The Inequality Reader

Contemporary and Foundational Readings in Race, Class, and Gender

Edited by David Grusky; Szonja Szelenyi

Second Edition • March 1, 2011 • 784 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813344843 • $72.00 USD$63.99 CAN

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Oriented toward the introductory student, The Inequality Reader is the essential textbook for undergraduate inequality courses. Respected editors David B. Grusky and Szonja Szelényi have assembled the most relevant classic and contemporary readings, providing balanced coverage of inequality’s past and present. The carefully selected essays are methodologically diverse and interdisciplinary in nature and cover the important course topics such as poverty, discrimination, and gender. With thirty new readings, the second edition provides expanded focus on policy issues, allowing students to learn about the possibilities for improving inequality, as well as additional qualitative readings that make the scholarship more accessible and relatable. Now more than ever, The Inequality Reader is the one-stop compendium of all the must-read pieces, featuring the most important qualitative and quantitative scholarship in the field.

David B. Grusky is professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University. His books include Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective; Mobility and Inequality: Frontiers of Research in Sociology and Economics; and Poverty and Inequality.

Szonja Szelényi has taught at Stanford University, The University of Wisconsin, and Cornell University. She is the author of Equality by Design.

Preface and Acknowledgements

Part I Introduction

1. David B. Grusky and Szonja Szelényi
The Stories About Inequality that We Love to Tell

Part II Does Inequality Serve a Purpose?

2. Kingsley Davis & Wilbert E. Moore
Some Principles of Stratification

3. Claude S. Fischer, Michael Hout, Martín Sánchez Jankowski, Samuel R. Lucas, Ann Swidler, & Kim Voss
Inequality by Design

4. Alan B. Krueger
Inequality, Too Much of a Good Thing

Part III The Structure of Social Inequality

Social Class

5. Karl Marx
Classes in Capitalism and Pre-Capitalism

6. Erik Olin Wright
Class Counts


7. Max Weber
Class, Status, Party

8. Tak Wing Chan & John H. Goldthorpe
Is There a Status Order?


9. Emmanuel Saez
Striking it Richer

10. David B. Grusky and Kim A. Weeden
Is Market Failure Behind the Takeoff in Inequality?

Part IV Inequality at the Extremes

The Ruling Class, the Upper Class, and Elites

11. C. Wright Mills
The Power Elite

12. G. William Domhoff
Who Rules America?

13. Alvin W. Gouldner
The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class

14. David Brooks
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Poverty and the Underclass

The Experience of Poverty

15. Barbara Ehrenreich
Nickel and Dimed

16. Katherine S. Newman and Victor Tan Chen
The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America

How Much Poverty Is There?

17. Timothy M. Smeeding
Poorer by Comparison

The Sources of Poverty and the Underclass

18. William Julius Wilson
Jobless Poverty

19. Douglas S. Massey & Nancy A. Denton
American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

20. Anne R. Pebley and Narayan Sastry
Neighborhoods, Poverty, and Children’s Well-Being

Poverty and Social Policy

21. Sharon Hays
Flat Broke with Children

22. Bruce Western
Incarceration, Unemployment, and Inequality

23. Stefanie DeLuca and James E. Rosenbaum
Escaping Poverty: Can Housing Vouchers Help?

Part V Racial and Ethnic Inequality

Constructing Racial Categories

24. Michael Omi and Howard Winant
Racial Formation in the United States

25. Reynolds Farley
Racial Identities: The Response to the Multiple-Race Response Option

Modes of Incorporation

26. Alejandro Portes & Min Zhou
The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and Its Variants

27. Mary C. Waters
Black Identities: West Indian Immigrant Dreams and American Realities

Discrimination, Prejudice, and Stereotyping

28. Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan
Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination

29. Devah Pager
Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration

30. Joe R. Feagin
The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places

31. Claude Steele
Stereotype Threat and African-American Student Achievement

The Future of Racial and Ethnic Inequality

32. William Julius Wilson
The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions

33. Melvin L. Oliver & Thomas M. Shapiro
Black Wealth / White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality

34. Herbert J. Gans
The Possibility of a New Racial Hierarchy in the Twenty-first-century United States

35. Larry Bobo
What Do You Call a Black Man with a Ph.D.?

Part VI Gender Inequality

Constructing Categories

36. Judith Lorber
The Social Construction of Gender

Labor Force Participation

37. Arlie Russell Hochschild
The Time Bind

38. Lisa Belkin
The Opt-Out Revolution

39. Pamela Stone
Getting to Equal: Progress, Pitfalls, and Policy Solutions on the Road to Gender Parity in the Workplace

40. Jerry A. Jacobs and Kathleen Gerson
The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality


41. Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse
Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of “Blind” Auditions on Female Musicians

42. Shelley J. Correll, Stephen Benard, & In Paik
Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?

43. Barbara F. Reskin
Rethinking Employment Discrimination and its Remedies

Sex Segregation

44. Maria Charles and David B. Grusky
Egalitarianism and Gender Inequality

45. Jerry A. Jacobs
Detours on the Road to Equality: Women, Work, and Higher Education

The Gender Gap in Wages

46. Trond Petersen & Laurie A. Morgan
The Within-Job Gender Wage Gap

47. Paula England
Devaluation and the Pay of Comparable Male and Female Occupations

48. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn
The Gender Pay Gap: Have Women Gone as Far as They Can?

Globalization and Gender

49. Arlie Russell Hochschild
The Nanny Chain

Part VII Generating Inequality

The Experience of Mobility

50. Timothy Egan
No Degree, and No Way Back to the Middle

The Structure of Educational Mobility

51. Richard Breen, Ruud Luijkx, Walter Müller, & Reinhard Pollak
Inequality in Educational Attainment

The Structure of Social and Economic Mobility

52. David L. Featherman and Robert M. Hauser
A Refined Model of Occupational Mobility

53. Richard Breen
Social Mobility in Europe

54. Jan O. Jonsson, David B. Grusky, Matthew Di Carlo, and Reinhard Pollak
It’s a Decent Bet that our Children Will be Professors Too

55. Gregory Acs and Seth Zimmerman
Like Watching Grass Grow? Assessing Changes in U.S. Economic Mobility

Status and Income Attainment

Basic Models

56. Peter M. Blau & Otis Dudley Duncan, with the collaboration of Andrea Tyree
The Process of Stratification

57. David J. Harding, Christopher Jencks, Leonard M. Lopoo, and Susan E. Mayer
Family Background and Income in Adulthood, 1961-1999

Social Psychological Models

58. William H. Sewell, Archibald O. Haller, & Alejandro Portes
The Educational and Early Occupational Attainment Process

59. Jay MacLeod
Ain’t No Makin’ It: Leveled Aspirations in a Low-income Neighborhood

Sibling Models

60. Dalton Conley
The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why

Social Capital, Networks, and Attainment

61. Mark S. Granovetter
The Strength of Weak Ties

62. Nan Lin
Social Networks and Status Attainment

63. Ronald S. Burt
Structural Holes

64. Roberto M. Fernandez and Isabel Fernandez-Mateo
Networks, Race, and Hiring

Part VIII The Consequences of Inequality

65. Janny Scott
Life at the Top in America Isn’t Just Better, It’s Longer

66. John Mullahy, Stephanie Robert, and Barbara Wolfe
Health, Income, and Inequality

67. Tak Wing Chan and John H. Goldthorpe
The Social Stratification of Theater, Dance, and Cinema Attendance

68. Annette Lareau
Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life

69. Eszter Hargittai
The Digital Reproduction of Inequality

Part IX Globalization and Inequality

70. Joseph E. Stiglitz
Globalism’s Discontents

71. Glenn Firebaugh
The New Geography of Global Income Inequality

72. Jake Rosenfeld
Little Labor

Part X What is to be Done?

Economic Stimulus and Jobs

73. Gary Burtless
Crisis No More

Early Childhood Education

74. James J. Heckman
Skill Formation and the Economics of Investing in Disadvantaged Children

Neighborhoods and Poverty

75. David Brooks
The Harlem Miracle

Employment and Unemployment

76. Joshua Cohen and Charles Sabel

Wealth and Savings

77. Dalton Conley
A Golden Parachute for Everyone?

Taxes and Redistribution

78. Robert Frank
The Pragmatic Case for Reducing Income Inequality

CEO Compensation

79. Lucien Bebchuk and Jesse M. Fried
Tackling the Managerial Power Problem

A Cautionary Note

80. Charles Murray
Poverty and Marriage, Income Inequality, and Brains

About the Editors
About the Book

“Timely, comprehensive, illuminating, The Inequality Reader offers the best over-view I know of thinking on the topic. It opens the undergraduate – and general intelligent reader’s – eye to the basic questions: How are we unequal? Why? What leads us to care or not? Where will current trends lead us and what is to be done? Enthusiastically recommended.” —Arlie Hochschild, author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life

The Inequality Reader is a remarkably rich and diverse collection, suitable for undergraduates encountering sociological analysis for the first time as well as graduate students looking for a comprehensive overview of the main strands of sociological thinking and research on inequality.” —Erik Olin Wright, Vilas Distinguished Professor, University of Wisconsin—Madison, and President-elect, American Sociological Association

“Grusky and Szelenyi’s The Inequality Reader continues to set the standard for comprehensiveness and timeliness as a resource for students of social stratification. It offers students and faculty alike one-stop shopping for seminal thinking and research on inequality.” —Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

“Inequality is the central motivating concern of sociology, and there is no better guide to the stratification canon than The Inequality Reader. In this second edition, Grusky and Szelenyi take us on a occasionally challenging, sometimes humorous, often provocative and always engaging tour of the major works on social stratification that should be read by any sociologist (or other curious soul) interested in how we arrive at our various stations in life.” —Dalton Conley, Professor of Sociology, Medicine, and Public Policy, New York University

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