Title

Inequality Beliefs and Social Justice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2020

Department

Sociology

Language

English

Publication Title

Rugged Individualism and the Misunderstanding of American Inequality

Abstract

Whether one relies on large-scale survey data or on-the-ground conversations, the story is the same: individualism remains quite popular in the U.S. From the beliefs of the American public detailed in chapter 2 to those of the working-class custodians in chapter 5 to the perspectives of future social workers in chapter 6, the ideology of individualism appeals to a wide range of Americans. The weight of the evidence suggests that today, as in the past, Americans continue to possess underdeveloped understandings of the non-individualistic causes of social inequalities. After we review this evidence, one important question remains: why should we care what Americans believe about inequality?

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