Power and Inequality: A Comparative Introduction

Paperback | October 25, 2010

byGregg M. Olsen

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This groundbreaking book examines the nature and implications of social inequality in a new and illuminating way. The author examines key measures of social inequality and indicators of poverty across six selected nations - three Anglo-American countries (the US, UK, and Canada), and threeNordic nations (Finland, Norway, and Sweden). Professor Olsen's research shows that while inequality is an inherent and pervasive aspect of capitalism, and while the past few decades have seen sharp rises in inequality across the industrialized world, nonetheless substantial variances betweencountries continue to exist. In those countries like the US that have most zealously embraced neoliberalism, inequality and poverty have been exacerbated to a much greater degree than is the case in the Nordic lands, which still rank among the most egalitarian of countries. This cross-nationalvariation challenges many prominent classical and contemporary theoretical accounts of inequality, and suggests that high levels of social inequality are neither necessary nor inevitable in advanced capitalist societies. They are, rather, the product of constellations of power and the interactionsof social forces.

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From the Publisher

This groundbreaking book examines the nature and implications of social inequality in a new and illuminating way. The author examines key measures of social inequality and indicators of poverty across six selected nations - three Anglo-American countries (the US, UK, and Canada), and threeNordic nations (Finland, Norway, and Sweden). P...

Gregg M. Olsen is professor of sociology at the University of Manitoba. He specializes in the study of social inequality and its political causes.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.74 inPublished:October 25, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195444000

ISBN - 13:9780195444001

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesPreface and AcknowledgmentsPart I. Considering Inequality: Conceptualization and Comparison1. Understanding Inequality: A Comparative Introduction2. Conceptualizing Equality: Four IdealsPart II. Measuring Inequality: Non-Material and Material Indicators3. Material Indicators of Inequality: Poverty, Income, Wealth, and Life Chances4. Non-Material Indicator of Inequalities: Rights and EntitlementsPart III. Explaining Inequality: Theoretical Approaches5. Legitimating Inequality: Sociobiological, Functionalist, and Culturalist Accounts6. Challenging Inequality: Power and Conflict AccountReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"An engrossing and persuasive cross-cultural analysis of how equality and inequality are defined and practiced." --Choice