Eleanor Rathbone Public Lecture - Inequality: the Enemy Between Us

Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, School of Law and Social Justice 

Professor Kate Pickett - Inequality: the Enemy Between Us 

The event is free and open to all who register at http://www.uolevents.org/190314er 


Eleanor Rathbone Building, Hearnshaw Lecture Theatre 

Kate Pickett is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York. She is co-author with Richard Wilkinson, of the bestselling The Spirit Level, winner of the 2012 Publication of the Year from the Political Studies Association and translated into 23 languages. Kate is a co-founder of The Equality Trust, Commissioner for the York Fairness Commission and Commissioner for the Living Wage Commission. She is a member of the Campaign for Childhood Committee of The Children's Society, sits on the Scientific Council of Inequality Watch, the Scientific Board of Progressive Economy and is a member of the Human Capital Research Working Group of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. 

Abstract 

Comparing life expectancy, mental health, levels of violence, teenage birth rates, drug abuse, child wellbeing, obesity rates, levels of trust, the educational performance of school children, or the strength of community life among rich countries, it is clear that societies which tend to do well on one of these measures tend to do well on all of them, and the ones which do badly, do badly on all of them. What accounts for the difference? The key is the amount of inequality in each society. The picture is consistent whether we compare rich countries or the 50 states of the USA. The more unequal a society is, the more ill health and social problems it has. Inequality has always been regarded as divisive and socially corrosive. The data show that even small differences in the amount of inequality matter. Material inequality serves as a determinant of the scale and importance of social stratification. It increases status insecurity and competition and the prevalence of all the problems associated with relative deprivation. Particularly important are effects mediated by social status, friendship and early childhood experience. However, although the amount of inequality has its greatest effect on rates of problems among the poor, its influence extends to almost all income groups: too much inequality reduces levels of well-being among the vast majority of the population. 

A networking reception will be held after the lecture. 
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