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Social Inequality and Difference Emma Rudd

1A Income and Wealth

There has been a call for more attention to be given to the distribution of income and wealth.

People's income is usually regarded as the best measure of their economic wellbeing, since it
determines how much they are able…

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Social Inequality and Difference Emma Rudd

Income and Class
There is no simple, direct link between income and social class. For example there is a wide
spread of earnings among people doing similar kinds of work. Nevertheless it is broadly true that
income is related to social class (e.g. for…

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Social Inequality and Difference Emma Rudd

Social Benefits
These became less generous in the 1980's and 1990's. This was because the benefit levels
were linked to prices rather than wages, yet wages rose faster than prices. So the living
standards of those on benefits fell further behind those of wage…

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Social Inequality and Difference Emma Rudd

One method is to ask a sample of the population about their wealth. For example, the Family
Resources Survey provides data on things like people's estimated savings. But people may
not feel like revealing their personal details to sociologists and statisticians. Also surveys…

Page 5

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Social Inequality and Difference Emma Rudd

Furthermore `wealth' is sometimes illusory or precarious. In the early years of the 21st century
many people carry huge debt burdens (e.g. large mortgages, high credit card debt, car loans). A
spell of unemployment could easily plunge them into a crisis situation. People who…


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