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Understanding Social Inequality
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Understanding Social Inequality



December 2006 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"This is a book that should be read by anyone interested in class, inequality, poverty and politics. Actually, probably more importantly it should be read by people who think that those things do not matter! It provides a wonderful summation of the huge amount of work on these topics that now exists and it also offers its own distinctive perspectives on a set of issues that are - despite the claims of some influential commentators - still central to the sociological enterprise and, indeed to political life."
- Roger Burrows, University of York

"A clear and compelling analysis of the dynamics of social and spatial inequality in an era of globalisation. This is an invaluable resource for students and scholars in sociology, human geography and the social sciences more generally."
- Gary Bridge, University of Bristol

With the declining attention paid to social class in sociology, how can we analyze continuing and pervasive socio-economic inequality? What is the impact of recent developments in sociology on how we should understand disadvantage?

Moving beyond the traditional dichotomies of social theory, this book brings the study of social stratification and inequality into the 21st century. Starting with the widely agreed 'fact' that the world is becoming more unequal, this book brings together the 'identity of displacement' in sociology and the 'spaces of flow' of geography to show how place has become an increasingly important focus for understanding new trends in social inquality.

 
Chapter 1: Introduction
 
Chapter 2: Modernity, Postmodernity and Globalization
The end of certainty

 
The Enlightenment 'project', modernity and postmodernity

 
Globalization

 
Models of globalization

 
Globalization and migration

 
 
Chapter 3: The Collar Line and Urban Boundaries
Collars and classes

 
Work and stratification in post-war Britain

 
Class theory in British post-war sociology

 
The Marxist response to sociology

 
Urban boundaries

 
 
Chapter 4: The Aftermath of Affluence
Dual labour markets

 
Marxism and the labour process

 
Restructuring and the collapse of work

 
The new space economy

 
Emerging spatial divisions of labour and capitalist transformations

 
Whatever happened to the collar line?

 
 
Chapter 5: New Spatial and Social Divisions of Labour
World cities

 
Los Angeles and the 'LA School'

 
Social polarization

 
Gentrification and the urban-seeking middle classes

 
The ghetto and the urban underclass

 
Methodology and urban social polarization

 
 
Chapter 6: Poverty, Social Exclusion and the Welfare State
Welfare state regimes

 
Poverty and social exclusion

 
Poverty in the United States

 
Poverty and social exclusion in Britain

 
Poverty and social exclusion in Europe

 
Towards a liberal welfare convergence?

 
 
Chapter 7: New Work and New Workers
New work

 
Fast food workers - flipping burgers in the globally branded restaurant

 
Call centres - taking calls in the interactive service factory

 
Paid domestic workers - caring and cleaning in global cities

 
Cash-in-hand jobs - informal work in marginal localities

 
Young people - working and playing in a restructured region

 
 
Chapter 8: Class Identity
Class interests

 
From class consciousness to class identity

 
The French connection - Bourdieu

 
Debating class identity

 
Identity and organization

 

This is a book that should be read by anyone interested in class, inequality, poverty and politics. Actually, probably more importantly it should be read by people who think that those things do not matter! It provides a wonderful summation of the huge amount of work on these topics that now exists and it also offers its own distinctive perspectives on a set of issues that are - despite the claims of some influential commentators - still central to the sociological enterprise and, indeed to political life.

Roger Burrows
University of York

With theoretical ease and the use of telling examples, Butler and Watt offer a clear and compelling analysis of the dynamics of social and spatial inequality in an era of globalisation. This is an invaluable resource for students and scholars in sociology, human geography and the social sciences more generally.

Gary Bridge
University of Bristol

A very good collection of articles supported with photos, maps, graphs and various charts.

A very detailed chronology of key events and dates and 'pros and cons' boxes enabling a two sided argument towards the questions.

An excellent supplementary reader

Mrs Sunray Heap
General Education , Cardiff and Vale College
December 12, 2011

A well written and accessiable text. Particularly strong here, and especially useful for my course, was the focus on space and inequalities within cities. The book also does a good job placing arguments within theoretical debates

Dr Matt Dawson
Sociology , Glasgow University
December 3, 2011

An excellent text

Dr Martin Power
Sociology, University of Limerick
April 21, 2011

One of the strongest textbook on social inequality currently on the market. It is adoptable for a range of modules on our BA (Hons.) Youth & Community Work.

Dr John Stitt
Youth & Community Dev., University of Cumbria
July 23, 2010

need something with a more global focus. the book is also too advanced for our students, none of whom are sociology majors but would be taking the course as an elective.

Mr Benjamin Fasching-Gray
Please select your department, Please select your institution
June 30, 2010

This a fantastic read! Absolutely perfect for my module on understanding inequality in education. I like the emphasis on socio-economic status but with recognition that it is not the only cause of inequality. Well written and engaging.

Mrs TAMSIN BOWERS-BROWN
Education , Sheffield Hallam University
November 16, 2009

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ISBN: 9780761963707
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