1st Edition

Inequality in Britain

By Alan Ware Copyright 2020
    124 Pages
    by Routledge

    124 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a thorough and engaging analysis of inequality in Britain, including its long-term development and transformation since the beginning of the 20th century.

    The author argues that inequality is not what it used to be – no longer can policy-makers consider it just in terms of status, wealth and income. Having resurfaced strongly as an issue after the financial crisis of 2007–2008, a truly informed discussion of inequality must now be wide ranging and take account of a variety of interacting factors. They include both a radically different role for education in the labour market and the interests of future generations. Government policies, market failures and fundamental changes in British society and economy in earlier decades have all contributed to inequality’s contemporary scope, its intensity and who it affects.

    Alan Ware traces and illuminates the altered nature of inequality in Britain, its consequences and especially its political implications. It offers a timely, concise and illuminating examination that will be of interest to all those concerned about inequality and, more broadly, to scholars and students of sociology, social/public policy, contemporary British history, political sociology and political theory.

    1. Introduction

    2. Money and Status

    3. Positional Competition

    4. Merit, Markets and Luck

    5. Generations and Policies

    6. Social Inequality and Diversity

    7. Inequality in a Democracy

    8. Observations on Future Redistribution in Britain


    Alan Ware is an Emeritus Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford University, and a senior research associate of University College London, United Kingdom.

    "Alan Ware’s account emphasises how positional competition drives inequality, with adverse effects not only on social welfare but also on venerable institutions, especially education. This sparkling and original contribution highlights the political implications of the changing relationship between money, class and status in contemporary Britain."

    Deborah Mabbett, Birkbeck, University of London, UK.

    "Inequality in Britain is an essential guide to understanding what there is to know about inequality in Britain. Alan Ware draws together the lessons of disparate fields into a comprehensive analysis of the interactions between multiple sources of inequality, demonstrating the fundamental relationships between class, gender and ethnicity. He seamlessly draws together historical perspectives and data driven economic accounts into a book that is both highly informative and a damn good read. An absolute must for the bookshelves of anyone who is concerned about who we are and what we might become."

    Rosie Campbell, King’s College London, UK.

    "What this book promises is a sketch map of how different aspects of inequality fit together. It achieves that aim admirably. But it does so much more. It shows how the development of inequality is driven by positional competition, relative deprivation and the cumulative effects of social and policy developments over time. Its concluding message - that creative political leadership is essential for an adequate set of policy responses – is both sober and ambitious. A tour de force."

    Albert Weale, University College London, UK.