Wealth and Poverty in America: A Reader / Edition 1

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What does it mean to be poor in America at the dawn of the 21st century? For that matter, what does it mean to be rich? And how are the two related to each other? These apparently simple questions present enormous theoretical and empirical challenges to any student or social scientist. Wealth and Poverty in America is a collection of over 20 important essays on the complex relationship between the rich and poor in the United States. The authors include classical and contemporary thinkers on a wide variety of topics such as economic systems, the lifestyles of the rich and poor, and public policy. An editorial introduction and suggestions for further reading make this a useful and valuable source of information and analysis on the realities of the American rich and American poor.

  • Collects 23 of the most important essays by classic and contemporary thinkers on wealth and poverty in America.
  • Covers economic systems, lifestyles of the rich and poor, and public policy.
  • Includes editorial introduction and a further reading list.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"All too many collections of social science writings are almost literally slapped together, devoid of purpose and focus. This useful volume, however, is a striking exception. It is a 'reader' with a clear focus that consists of 23 well-chosen selctions and a helpful appendix that lists additional readings." Tom Pettigrew, University of California Santa Cruz, Journal of Ethinic and Migration Studies, Vol 32 No 7

"This book is a wonderful resource for teaching. Dalton Conley has accumulated a set of important readings on both spectrums of the social stratification ladder."

Martin Sanchez-Janowski, University of California at Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631231806
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/18/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.65 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dalton Conley is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director for the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at New York University. He is the author of Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America (1999) and Honky (2000).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Wealth and Poverty in the Affluent Society 1
Pt. I On the Origins and Causes of Wealth and Poverty: Systemic Explanations 11
1 Of the Division of Labour 13
2 Absolute and Relative Surplus Value 21
3 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 29
4 Some Principles of Stratification 43
5 Winner-Take-All Markets 53
Pt. II Who's Rich, Who's Poor: How Resources Affect Life Chances 67
6 Inequality 69
7 What Money Can't Buy: Family Income and Children's Life Chances 76
8 Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America 83
9 Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class 96
10 Ain't No Making It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood 115
Pt. III Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous 127
11 From Democracy in America 129
12 The Miser and the Spendthrift 135
13 The Very Rich 140
14 Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There 161
15 The Case of Pullman, Illinois 172
Pt. IV Lifestyles of the Poor and Anonymous 179
16 Swapping 181
17 The Code of the Streets 190
18 Sidewalk Sleeping and Crack Bingeing 201
19 Whores, Slaves, and Stallions: Languages of Exploitation and Accommodation Among Prizefighters 211
Pt. V What is to be Done? Wealth, Poverty, and Public Policy 223
20 In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America 225
21 The Hidden Agenda 254
22 The Stakeholder Society 267
23 Black Economic Progress in the Era of Mass Imprisonment 278
Additional Reading 291
Index 293
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