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The inner level : how more equal societies reduce stress, restore sanity and improve everyone's well-being

by Wilkinson, Richard G.,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 4 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection HM821.W545 2019
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HM821.W545 2019
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction HM821.W545 2019
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  HM821.W545 2019
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 305.5 Wil
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  305.5 Wil
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Nonfiction
A groundbreaking investigation of how inequality infects our minds and gets under our skin

Why are people more relaxed and at ease with each other in some countries than others? Why do we worry so much about what others think of us and often feel social life is a stressful performance? Why is mental illness three times as common in the USA as in Germany? Why is the American dream more of a reality in Denmark than the USA? What makes child well-being so much worse in some countries than others? As The Inner Level demonstrates, the answer to all these is inequality.

In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the center of public debate by showing conclusively that less equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, altering how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to define and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status leads to elevated levels of stress hormones, and how rates of anxiety, depression and addictions are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount.

Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are inescapably competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of "natural" differences in individual ability. This book draws together many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "British epidemiologists Wilkinson and Pickett continue their analysis of economic inequality and its effect on society. In The Spirit Level (2009), they made a case that equality is essential for any country to thrive. Here they show how big income gaps between the richest and poorest hurt everyone by impacting health, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships. Income inequality is linked to an increase in mental illness, obesity, substance abuse, homicides, imprisonment, and a decrease in life expectancy. The authors quash myths and misconceptions about the notion of meritocracy. Scandinavian nations are commended for being among the most egalitarian societies in the world. Not so for America, where 40 percent of kids live in, or close to, poverty. And the income differential between CEO pay and production workers' wages in the largest 350 U.S. businesses since 2000 averaged between 200:1 and 400:1. Although numerous charts and graphs interspersed throughout a heavily referenced discussion can make for a slow reading experience, the message is clear and critically important: embrace egalitarianism for better health and quality of life.--Tony Miksanek Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this detailed and wide-ranging book, Wilkinson and Pickett, British epidemiologists and authors of The Spirit Level, argue that income inequality causes a society "a greater burden of health and social problems." These include anxiety (and its consequent negative health effects), social isolation, drug and alcohol dependence, "narcissism and self-aggrandizement," and so on; the authors conclude that these ills can be ameliorated by decreasing income inequality. While they painstakingly present evidence of correlation between, for example, mass shootings or bullying and higher income inequality (or better well-being and more equality), their assertions about causation are more speculative. They also take something of a kitchen-sink approach, devoting entire chapters to ideas tangential to the main thesis, for example that environmental sustainability must be considered in tackling inequality. In the final chapter, they offer valuable suggestions on how to decrease inequality, such as worker representation on corporate boards, which seems an almost utopian goal in contemporary America but has been mandated in Germany since 1951. Though stylistically somewhat dry, with an academic slant toward statistics rather than illustrative anecdotes, this book will strongly appeal to readers interested in well-being, equality, or both. Agent: Sarah Scarlett, Penguin U.K. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Equality -- Psychological aspects.
Social stratification.
Individualism -- Psychological aspects.
Individualism -- Social aspects.
Social mobility -- Psychological aspects.
Income distribution.
Publisher New York :2019
Contributors Pickett, Kate, author.
Language English
Description xiii, 337 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-323) and index.
ISBN 9780525561224
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