This volume, edited by Hartley Dean and myself, investigates the patterns, drivers and consequences of wealth and privilege as well as those of marginalisation and deprivation. The book has brought together an exciting range of scholars from different disciplines to shed light on different aspects of social advantage and disadvantage and their implications.
The 17 chapters are divided into sections on concepts and theory, advantage and disadvantage across the life course, from early years to older age, cross cutting themes (such as gender, migration, neighbourhood), and a brief concluding section. The first section opens with a chapter by co-editor Dean on poverty and social exclusion, and then moves on to chapters on applying the capabilities approach to disadvantage as well as advantage (Burchardt and Hicks), on a human rights approach to advantage and disadvantage (Vizard), while I provided a discussion of class and social mobility. The lifecourse section begins a chapter on early childhood origins and manifestations of disadvantage (Stewart). This is followed up by a discussion of advantage and disadvantage in education (Sonia Exley), work (Hartley Dean) and ageing (Grundy); while inter-and intergenerational accumulation of wealth (Hills) and income inequality (Jenkins are also covered in this section.
‘Cross-cutting themes’ are treated in chapters on gender (Léon), race and ethnicity (Phillips and Platt), migration (Shutes), place (Lee), Crime (Newburn), and religion (Torry). Some chapters focus primarily on the UK, while others bring a more comparative, international and even global approach to the topic. In the final, concluding, chapter, I argue for a three-part approach to the analysis of advantage and disadvantage that combines recognition of and attention to cumulative processes (that is, how disadvantage and advantage are not only sustained by amplified over time and across generations), intersectional processes (that is, experience at the intersection of different social categories, such as gender, class, age, ethnicity), and relational processes (that is, how our understanding of our social position is shaped by interactions with others). I also argue that such a three-part approach and a focus on processes as well as outcomes will lead not only to better understanding but also potentially to the amelioration of inequalities.
- Access more information about Social Advantage and Disadvantage and how to order it from the OUP site