Inequality corrodes human relations. As Alexis de Tocqueville (1835/2003) noted, material differences divide people socially and obstruct empathy, favouring exploitation and slavery. Coming from aristocratic France, in 1831, de Tocqueville travelled the United States, impressed by the ‘equality of conditions’ (p. 11), which, in his opinion, helped Americans to trust each other. Indeed, for thousands of years the quality of human life has improved by raising material living standards, but nowadays for rich countries to get richer adds nothing to quality of life (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010). What instead seems to matter the most in developed nations is the level of inequality in society, namely, the size of income disparities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Social Cognition|
|Subtitle of host publication||Selected Works of Susan Fiske|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||23|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes