Inequality: the Enemy Between Us
Professor Kate Pickett (University of York)
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.
Date: Tuesday 9th February 2016
5.30pm Registration and Refreshments
7.00pm Reception and Networking
Venue: Creative Edge (building 26) at Edge Hill University (Directions).
PROFESSOR KATE PICKETT
Kate trained in biological anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at UC-Berkeley. She is currently Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences, University of York. Kate was an UK NIHR Career Scientist from 2007-12, is a Fellow of the RSA and a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health. She is co-author, with Richard Wilkinson, of The Spirit Level chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade by the New Statesman, winner of Publication of the Year by the Political Studies Association and translated into 23 languages. She is a co-founder and trustee of The Equality Trust.
This date is part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the next couple of months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality. Read more about the Festival of Ideas…