Highly readable and comprehensive, Social Inequality: Patterns and Processes presents an introduction to key concepts, research findings, trends, and theories in the major forms of social inequality: class, racial/ethnic, gender, and political. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of the subtle and often unseen ways in which inequality is structured and how it impinges on virtually all facets of individual and group life. Although the focus is primarily directed toward American society, the text presents numerous cross-national illustrations that compare income, wealth, poverty, mobility, gender, and other dimensions of stratification in the U.S. to other societies. Emphasis is placed on the interweaving nature of the different forms of social inequality and on the role of public policy and ideology in shaping and sustaining inequality.
A textbook for an interdisciplinary undergraduate course that addresses what Marger (sociology, Michigan State U.) sees as a major deficiency that others either analyze only one form of social equality or analytically conflate them making it difficult to distinguish them. She engages class, racial and ethnic, gender, and political dimensions of the phenomenon. A text bank is available. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)