Wealth
Wealth

The pursuit of wealth has captivated people’s attention for centuries. Yet, as a topic of social research, the way in which wealth is accumulated and unequally distributed has largely been neglected, remaining hidden beneath data on income inequality. <i>Wealth</i> aims to address this blind spot in the academic discourse.

In accessible prose, Yuval Elmelech explains how personal wealth differs fundamentally from other conventional measures of socioeconomic status and why it has become increasingly important to our understanding of social mobility and stratification. Crucially, Elmelech presents a dynamic sociological framework of wealth attainment that illuminates the effects of cumulative advantages and disadvantages over the course of an individual’s life, and across generations. He describes how these advantages and disadvantages are in turn shaped by a complex interplay of multiple markets, changing demographic landscapes, and persistent inter-group wealth disparities.

Blending theoretical approaches with empirical evidence and macro-level contexts with micro-level processes, this book is an astute guide for thinking about wealth as a key determinant of social and economic wellbeing and for interrogating the role of wealth accumulation in social inequality.

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  • February 2021
  • 200 pages
  • 155 x 214 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745697864
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9780745697871
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9780745697901
Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Why Wealth Matters
2 The Tenets of Wealth
3 The Evolution of Wealth
4 Individuals, Families, and Generations
5 Wealth Polarization and the Demography of Wealth Inequality
6 Conclusions

About the Author
Yuval Elmelech is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bard College and Research Associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.
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Reviews

Elmelech provides an engaging and comprehensive examination of one of today’s most pressing social problems. A must-read for anyone interested in wealth ownership and inequality and the policies that attempt to address asset poverty.
Lisa A. Keister, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
 
Elmelech moves considerations of wealth from a purely economic context to encompass sociological insights about institutional, demographic, and intergenerational factors that influence household accumulations and inequality.  Theoretically profound and empirically comprehensive.  A fitting companion to Piketty's seminal volume, Capital.
Seymour Spilerman, Julian C. Levi Professor of Sociology and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality, Columbia University
"Elmelech provides an engaging and comprehensive examination of one of today’s most pressing social problems. A must-read for anyone interested in wealth ownership and inequality and the policies that attempt to address asset poverty."
Lisa A. Keister, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
 
"Elmelech moves considerations of wealth from a purely economic context to encompass sociological insights about institutional, demographic, and intergenerational factors that influence household accumulations and inequality.  Theoretically profound and empirically comprehensive.  A fitting companion to Piketty's seminal volume, Capital."
Seymour Spilerman, Co-Director, Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality, Columbia University
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