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Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists Paperback – 5 Apr 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Policy Press (5 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847427200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847427205
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"For decades researchers have shown the damage inequality does to all society and Dorling's wonderful book extends this. With brilliance and passion Dorling analyses the mind-set of entitlement among those who hold ever tighter to money, power and life's best rewards, generation to generation." --Polly Toynbee, The Guardian<br \><br \>"A brilliant analysis of the nature of inequality in the UK. It is a 'must read' for anyone who wants to understand inequality and how we might tackle it. " --Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA<br \><br \>"..salutary, shocking reading." --Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

"Beliefs which serve privilege, elitism and inequality infect our minds like computer viruses. But now Dorling provides the brain-cleaning software we need to begin creating a happier society. " --Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology and author of "The Spirit Level"

"Original and angry" --Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Danny Dorling is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. With colleagues he has published 25 books, including 8 atlases, one now translated into 7 languages. In 2007 (Sir) Simon Jenkins described him as 'Geographer Royal by Appointment to the Left', in 2008 he was appointed Honorary President of the Society of Cartographers, and in 2009 he was presented with the Back Award of the Royal Geographical Society.


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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Social injustice is increasing. In an affluent society (even in recession, we are still relatively affluent)with all the historical and political knowledge available to us, still the gap between rich and poor grows, still the educational gap is immense, still, despite all the rhetoric, unfairness is endemic. Why can't we fix it? Is it just malice? Class prejudice? Or something else?
In this fascinating,indispensable book, Dorling offers some ideas...that maybe we're asking the wrong questions, and trying to deal with the wrong evils...

He replaces the old social evils identified by Beveridge (ignorance, want, idleness, squalor, disease) with some new social evils (elitism, exclusion, prejudice, greed and despair) and proceeds to build a case which suggests that inequality has become entrenched in our society and unless we challenge the assumptions on which our society is founded, then injustice will not only be with us, but will continue to grow.

As a non-fan of Blair and his cronies, I could weep for the heart of this country at the way Cameron and Clegg have managed to use a recession to justify increasing inequalities in education, pay, pensions, housing, health... they really need to read this book!

And so do you!

Even if you disagree with his conclusions, his passion and commitment shine from these pages. It's a book of the head and the heart. And a book for our times. Read Dickens, then Dorling!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me say one thing straight away. It is brilliant that this book exists. That Daniel Dorling has meticulously researched and taken the time to collate all the facts and figures into a dense but readable narrative that so confidently and precisely skewers the notion that we have all found our natural place in the order of things due to ability, ambition and work ethic. Yes this book does a great job at that .
You sense a however coming and you are correct. Before I come to the however , I feel i must add a caveat. The way that I see it the people who really need to read this book. The rich , the powerful , the policy and decision makers are never going to read a book like this. This is a book that is going to be read , mostly , by those who morally and politically sensitive to the needs of the others. In other words this is a book that is going to preach to the converted.
Injustice is a coruscating and sweeping evaluation of British politics that bluntly dismisses a plethora of supposedly progressive policies as ineffective and distractions from what he says are the real trends undermining the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the country at large.
He identifies five sets of beliefs - elitism, exclusion, prejudice, greed and despair - that he claims are replacing Beveridge's five social evils, created at the dawn of the welfare state (ignorance, want, idleness, squalor and disease), and have become so entrenched in Britain and some other affluent countries that they uphold an unjust system that perpetuates extreme inequality.
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Format: Paperback
'Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists' is Daniel Dorling's attempt to take further the contemporary debate on inequality in prosperous societies by moving on from the mere fact of rising inequality to the causes of its continuation in countries that clearly have the means, but apparently not the will, to make their citizens' lives more equal. In essence, his argument comes down to two factors: the operation of intrinsic structural forces of capitalist economics in rich countries; and the triumph since the 1970s of an ideology that explains that economic system as not merely natural, but a necessary consequence of free-market capitalism, which is itself treated as self-evidently the most efficient and moral economic system possible and thus the greatest guarantor of the general good.

In five substantial chapters, Professor Dorling examines the way in which unjust principles have been embedded in contemporary thinking and discourse. These five principles - an obvious and acknowledged parallel to Beveridge's five 'Giant Evils' - are elitism: social exclusion; prejudice; greed; and despair (and its political consequence - apathy). Dorling produces a wealth of argument and well-documented evidence to show how increasingly general acceptance of these inequities underlies and reinforces gross social inequality. The resultant disparity in life chances for individuals is excused by making them appear the necessary, inevitable and even desirable consequence of capitalism's alleviation for most of the very worst aspects of human existence.

So far so good, and it's hard to imagine anyone with an open mind reading this book entirely without profit.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent book and compares very favourably with others on a similar topic, such as The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, it seems a shame that it has not attracted the same attention as these other books or warranted a response as they have (see The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left's New Theory of Everything).

I have been reading on the topic of social equality/inequality and its consequences for some time, considering it to be one of the central questions of politics, from the nineteen eighties at least some of the most sophisticated political thinking has actually been in favour of inequality, considering it to be not simply natural but also eminently defensible (see Equality). This has become the political consensus and has spread beyond politics to be a popularly held opinion too.

It is from this juncture that Dorling begins his book, that inequality in order to exist and persist requires a belief system which underpins it and treats it as normal and inevitable. The book has an excellent index and contents page, it is structured very well, each chapter has a title corresponding to the toxic beliefs Dorling identifies in his introductory chapter and is further subdivided into subheadings identifying the policies, politics and public decisions corresponding to the specific belief.
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