Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve

Richard Wilkinson

£9.99

Based on an equally impressive range of data and analysis, ‘The Inner Level’ now shows the impact inequality has on individuals: how it affects us psychologically, makes social relations more stressful, undermines self-confidence and distorts natural differences in personal abilities. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity produce much higher levels of wellbeing than those based on excessive individualism, competitiveness and social aggression.

In stock

ISBN: 9780141975399 Category: Tags: ,

Description

The essential new book from the authors of the international bestseller The Spirit Level

‘Why are people, particularly young people, experiencing increasing levels of mental illness and distress? Highly readable and authoritative, The Inner Level shows clearly how social anxieties and the problems they lead to rise steadily in richer, more unequal societies’ Clare Short, The Tablet, Books of the Year

Why is the incidence of mental illness in the UK twice that in Germany? Why are Americans three times more likely than the Dutch to develop gambling problems? Why is child well-being so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this groundbreaking study demonstrates, the answer to all these hinges on inequality.

In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the centre 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,
how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material
inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to defi ne 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 is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression 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 innately
competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of ‘natural’ differences in individual ability. This book sheds new light on 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.

Additional information

Weight0.258 kg
Dimensions19.8 × 12.9 × 2 cm
Author

Publisher

Cover

Paperback

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