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Holyoake Lecture - Inequality: the enemy between us

The malign role of inequality on well being across society.


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.


Speaker(s):

Professor Kate Pickett | talks
Mr Richard Wilkinson | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

16 October 2012 at 6:30 pm

Duration:

2 hours

 

Venue:

Friends Meeting House Main Hall
6 Mount Street
Manchester
M2 5NS


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Organised by:

British Humanist Association
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Tickets:

£7 general, £5 BHA and GMH members, and students

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