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.