The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Wellbeing

Category: Book
By (author): Pickett, Kate
By (author): Wilkinson, Richard
Subject:  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
  PSYCHOLOGY / General
  PSYCHOLOGY / Interpersonal Relations
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: January 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 9.25in x 6.12in
Our Price:
$ 37.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A groundbreaking investigation of how inequality infects our minds and gets under our skin

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 wellbeing so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this groundbreaking study 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, how it alters 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 is associated with elevated levels of stress hormones, 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 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 wellbeing, and lays out the path towards them.
Review Quote*"The question of inequality is likely to play a bigger role in the next election than it has for more than a generation. It would be better for all of us if that debate was informed by robust statistical analysis rather than the emotive politics of envy. Any politician wishing to do so would be wise to read Wilkinson and Pickett's books." --Andrew Anthony, Observer

"The Inner Level holds the reader's attention by elaborating a phenomenon most will already have observed, and by providing an explanation for the dysfunction they see around them, from the brazen disregard for rules among many corporate and political leaders to the nihilism of drug addicts and school-shooters." --Economist
Biographical NoteRichard Wilkinson has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health. He studied economic history at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor at University College London. Kate Pickett is Professor of Epidemiology, Research Champion for Justice and Equality and Deputy Director of the Centre for Future Health at the University of York. She studied physical anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. Wilkinson and Pickett's work on The Spirit Level was shortlisted for Research Project of the Year 2009 by the Times Higher Education Supplement, and it was chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade by the New Statesman. Together, they founded the Equality Trust, which seeks to promote public understanding of the effects of inequality.