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Spirit Level talk

West Oxfordshire Green Party

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 19:00 (GMT)

Spirit Level talk

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Admission Ended Free  

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Free event! Madeleine Power, Researcher at The Equality Trust will give a talk on the principles that have inspired the famous book The Spirit Level and the work carried out by that trust to create a fairer society.  Here is the abstract:

Comparing life expectancy, mental health, levels of violence, teenage birth rates, drug abuse, child wellbeing, obesity rates, levels of trust, the educational performance of school children, or the strength of community life among rich countries, it is clear that societies which tend to do well on one of these measures tend to do well on all of them, and the ones which do badly, do badly on all of them. What accounts for the difference?

The key is the amount of inequality in each society. The picture is consistent whether we compare rich countries or the 50 states of the USA. The more unequal a society is, the more ill health and social problems it has.

Inequality has always been regarded as divisive and socially corrosive. The data show that even small differences in the amount of inequality matter. Material inequality serves as a determinant of the scale and importance of social stratification. It increases status insecurity and competition and the prevalence of all the problems associated with relative deprivation. Particularly important are effects mediated by social status, friendship and early childhood experience. However, although the amount of inequality has its greatest effect on rates of problems among the poor, its influence extends to almost all income groups: too much inequality reduces levels of well-being among the vast majority of the population.

Do you have questions about Spirit Level talk? Contact West Oxfordshire Green Party

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