Cover: The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past, from Harvard University PressCover: The Return of Inequality in HARDCOVER

The Return of Inequality

Social Change and the Weight of the Past

Product Details


$36.00 • £31.95 • €32.95

ISBN 9780674988071

Publication Date: 05/18/2021

Academic Trade

448 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

39 illus., 12 tables


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For Savage, there is a link between the rise of an ‘inequality paradigm’ (focused especially on wealth, rather than income) and movements such as Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall, which seek to address the economic legacy of historical injustices. The spotlight that has fallen on Russian oligarchs since the invasion of Ukraine is another manifestation of the inequality paradigm, emphasizing the links between present injustices (not to say humanitarian catastrophes) and political-economic maneuvering dating back to the 1990s.—William Davies, London Review of Books

Savage’s provocative book compels us to seek organizational answers.—Mitchel Y. Abolafia, Administrative Science Quarterly

A much-needed and highly insightful intellectual history of the concept and analysis of inequality… Extremely well written, engaging, and learned… It should be read carefully by social scientists who study inequality.—Richard Lachmann, American Journal of Sociology

A major sociological contribution to the ongoing global debate on inequality and the return of social class. A must-read.—Thomas Piketty, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, author of Capital and Ideology

With a wide-ranging, original, and visionary argument and engagingly written, The Return of Inequality is a major contribution, the crowning of an exceptionally productive career focused on the sociology of inequality, social change, and culture in the UK, Europe, and the world.—Michèle Lamont, Harvard University, past president of the American Sociological Association

Empirical analyses have documented increasing inequality over recent decades. There have been passionate calls to action. But the analyses and the action need to be linked by careful consideration of just how to think about inequality, including its locations, dimensions, forms, and visceral experiences. The Return of Inequality responds to that need with insight, deep thought, and important new perspective.—Craig Calhoun, Arizona State University

This highly original book deploys a unique combination of history, classic sociology, cultural sociology, and contemporary economics. Savage makes a compelling argument about how the legacy of the past combines with capitalist accumulation to affect inequalities of race, gender, and class around the world. His sophisticated reflections about the visual representation of inequality inform a broader inquiry into how the achievements and limits of social science shape the new politics of inequality. The book defines the emerging field of comparative global inequality.—Patrick Le Galès, Sciences Po Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics

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