Social class and social identity
AbstractOver the last 25 years, the relative economic situation of women, African-Americans, and other groups facing economic discrimination has improved but, paradoxically, the relative economic situation of the population's lower half has worsened. These opposite trends are surprising since the very groups whose overall situation has improved remain disproportionately represented in the bottom half. This paper presents several likely explanations of the trends. First, there has been a historically unique distancing of the upper economic half from the lower economic half that has lessened the former's interest in aiding the latter. Second, the increasing belief in free markets that has characterized the period is argued to be consistent with the removal of prejudices based on race, gender, and ethnicity while at the same time eroding institutions that relieve class income differences. Third, the fact that one can “exit” from a social class, but must raise one's voice to improve the treatment of one's gender or race is argued to have weakened the overall status of the lower half, while strengthening the overall status of women and African-Americans. And fourth, certain psychological biases are argued to have caused weakened support for collective efforts to improve the condition of the lower half.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.
Volume (Year): 64 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RRSE20
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hirschman, Albert O, 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1463-84, December.
- William Darity, 2003. "Will the Poor Always be with Us?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 471-477.
- Almaz Zelleke, 2005. "Basic income in the United States: Redefining citizenship in the liberal state," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(4), pages 633-648.
- Michael Lewis & Steven Pressman & Karl Widerquist, 2005. "The basic income guarantee and social economics," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(4), pages 587-593.
- David George, 2011. "A Convoluted Path," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 265-272, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.