Synopses & Reviews
Why does inequality have such a hold on American society and public policy? And what can we, as citizens, do about it? Inequality in America
takes an in-depth look at individual-level and systemic inequality, focusing in particular on race, poverty, and gender, across a wide range of issues from housing and education to crime, employment and health. Caliendo shows how individual-level prejudice and systemic inequality are interrelated, how individual beliefs and attitudes can affect public opinion and lawmakers policy solutions and how systemic barriers to advancement as a result of these policies then contribute to individual perceptions, creating a cycle of disadvantage and advantage that can be difficult to break, though not impossible.
Feature boxes throughout the book offer insight into key public figures who have worked to combat inequality and suggestions for individual action. Concise and written in an accessible manner, Inequality in America paves the way for students to think critically about the effects of the attitudes, behaviors and structures of inequality.
"In this timely contribution to the constant call for meaningful conversation about race, North Central College political scientist Caliendo addresses how 'disparities in income and wealth, housing, education, crime, employment opportunities, and health' arise, perpetuate one another, and how we can alleviate them. Substantive questions are offered in each chapter, and two supplementary elements (which seem textbooklike), buttress and enliven the book. 'What Can I Do?' offers concrete suggestions relevant to the particular issues, from obtaining graduate degrees in public policy and urban planning to serving in food banks and soup kitchens. Twenty 'feature boxes' focus on the ideas of a 'particular individual or organization working toward economic and/or racial justice on behalf of the American people' a diverse group, among them James Madison, Michelle Obama, Booker T. Washington, Earl Warren, , Ward Connerly, ACORN, and Teach for America. While Caliendo's primary focus is upon the contemporary union of race and poverty, he looks at the historical roots of inequality and attends to rural poverty, as well as immigration and gender issues. The imperative message in this uncommonly balanced and fully accessible book is 'that there are multiple ways to address inequality, and none should be dismissed just because it does not coincide with our personal political beliefs.' (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Uncommonly balanced and fully accessible.” Publishers Weekly
A well-researched and insightful perspective on economic inequality and its conflict with American ideals.” Booklist
Inequality in America introduces students to otherwise somewhat closed scholarly debates on inequality and its pertinent issues. The richly textured coverage of vital public policy questions related to inequality and its data-driven foundation are the strengths of the book. Students will find the format of the book appealing. Interesting features such as the Representing” sections of each chapter help hone the respective chapters themes and coverage. Moreover, the What Can I do?” section in each chapter offers very useful and empowering strategies for students to take up as they try to negotiate the many challenges that confront their generation.” James Taylor, University of San Francisco
Inequality in America is an important addition to an introductory course in American government. It is clearly written and accessible to students, while thoughtfully addressing the complex institutionalization of inequality, and its effects, in the United States. Though there are texts that address racial politics more generally, this book is unique in its specific focus on the systemic nature of inequality and its focus on the intersections of race, poverty, and gender.” Catherine Paden, Simmons College
This textbook explores racial and economic inequality in America, focusing on the division between personal and institutional racism and classicism.
About the Author
Stephen Maynard Caliendo is professor of political science at North Central College. He is co-author of Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns, which won the APSA Ralph J. Bunche award in 2012, and coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity. He is also co-director of The Project on Race in Political Communication (RaceProject.org) since 2001.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Boxes
Chapter 1: Representation and the Roots of Inequality
Chapter 2: Income and Wealth
Chapter 3: Housing
Chapter 4: Education
Chapter 5: Crime and Employment
Chapter 6: Health
Chapter 7: Gender
Chapter 8: Affirmative Action
Conclusion: The Space between Power and Powerlessness