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 almostliterally slapped together, devoid of purpose and focus. Thisuseful volume, however, is a striking exception. It is a 'reader'with a clear focus that consists of 23 well-chosen selctions and ahelpful appendix that lists additional readings." Tom Pettigrew,University of California Santa Cruz, Journal of Ethinic andMigration Studies, Vol 32 No 7

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

Martin Sanchez-Janowski, University of California atBerkeley

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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 andDirector for the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at NewYork University. He is the author of Being Black, Living in theRed: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America (1999) andHonky (2000).

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Table of Contents


ntroduction: Wealth and Poverty in the Affluent Society.

Part I: On the Origins and Causes of Wealth and Poverty:Systemic Explanations:.

1. Of the Division of Labor: Adam Smith.

2. Absolute and Relative Surplus Value: Karl Marx.

3. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: MaxWeber.

4. Some Principles of Stratification: Kingsley Davis and WilbertMoore.

5. Winner-Take-All Markets: Robert H. Frank and Philip J.Cook.

Part II: Who's Rich, Who's Poor: How Resources AffectLife Chances:.

6. Inequality: Christopher Jencks.

7. What Money Can't Buy: Family Income and Children's LifeChances: Susan Mayer.

8. Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth and SocialPolicy in America: Dalton Conley.

9. Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the BlackMiddle Class: Mary Patillo-McCoy.

10. Ain't No Making It: Aspirations and Attainment in aLow-Income Neighborhood: Jay MacLeod.

Part III: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous:.

11. From Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville.

12. The Miser and the Spendthrift: Georg Simmel.

13. The Very Rich: C. Wright Mills.

14. Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How they GotThere: David Brooks.

15. The Case of Pullman, Illinois: Michael Walzer.

Part IV: Lifestyles of the Poor and Anonymous:.

16. Swapping: Carol Stack.

17. The Code of the Streets: Elijah Anderson.

18. Sidewalk Sleeping and Crack Bingeing: Mitchell Duneier.

19. Whores, Slaves, and Stallions: Languages of Exploitation andAccommodation Among Prizefighters: Loic Wacquant.

Part V: What is to Be Done? Wealth, Poverty, and PublicPolicy:.

20. In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfarein America: Michael Katz.

21. The Hidden Agenda: William Julius Wilson.

22. The Stakeholder Society: Bruce Ackerman and AnneAlstott.

23. Black Economic Progress in the Era of Mass Imprisonment:Bruce Western, Becky Pettit, Josh Guetzkow.

Additional Readings.


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