Why do people in more unequal societies have worse health and
shorter lives? And why are levels of violence higher and community
life weaker where there is more inequality? In this book,
pioneering social epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson shows how
inequality affects social relations and well-being. In wealthy
countries, health is not simply a matter of material circumstances
and access to health care; it is also how your relationships and
social standing make you feel about life. Using detailed evidence
from rich market democracies, the book addresses people's
experience of inequality and presents a radical theory of the
psychosocial impact of class stratification. The book demonstrates
how poor health, high rates of violence and low levels of social
capital all reflect the stresses of inequality and explains the
pervasive sense that, despite material success, our societies are
sometimes social failures. What emerges is a new conception of what
it means to say that we are social beings and of how the social
structure penetrates our personal lives and relationships.
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