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This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within themthe well-offandthe poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problemill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populationsis more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies. The Spirit Leveldoes not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone.
Richard Wilkinson has played a formative role in international research on inequality, and his work has been published in ten languages. He is professor emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School. Kate Pickett is a professor of epidemiology at the University of York and a National Institute for Health Research career scientist.
Table of Contents
|Note on Graphs||p. xix|
|Material Success, Social Failure|
|The end of an era||p. 3|
|Poverty or inequality?||p. 15|
|How inequality gets under the skin||p. 31|
|The Costs of Inequality|
|Community life and social relations||p. 49|
|Mental health and drug use||p. 63|
|Physical health and life expectancy||p. 73|
|Obesity: wider income gaps, wider waists||p. 89|
|Educational performance||p. 103|
|Teenage births: recycling deprivation||p. 119|
|Violence: gaining respect||p. 129|
|Imprisonment and punishment||p. 145|
|Social mobility: unequal opportunities||p. 157|
|A Better Society|
|Dysfunctional societies||p. 173|
|Our social inheritance||p. 197|
|Equality and sustainability||p. 217|
|Building the future||p. 235|
|Postscript - Research Meets Politics||p. 273|
|The Equality Trust||p. 299|
|Sources of Data for the Indices of Health and Social Problems||p. 306|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|