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Durable Inequality von Charles Tilly
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Durable Inequality (1998. Auflage)

von Charles Tilly (Autor)

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Charles Tilly, in this eloquent manifesto, presents a powerful new approach to the study of persistent social inequality. How, he asks, do long-lasting, systematic inequalities in life chances arise, and how do they come to distinguish members of different socially defined categories of persons? Exploring representative paired and unequal categories, such as male/female, black/white, and citizen/noncitizen, Tilly argues that the basic causes of these and similar inequalities greatly resemble one another. In contrast to contemporary analyses that explain inequality case by case, this account is one of process. Categorical distinctions arise, Tilly says, because they offer a solution to pressing organizational problems. Whatever the "organization" is--as small as a household or as large as a government--the resulting relationship of inequality persists because parties on both sides of the categorical divide come to depend on that solution, despite its drawbacks. Tilly illustrates the social mechanisms that create and maintain paired and unequal categories with a rich variety of cases, mapping out fertile territories for future relational study of durable inequality.… (mehr)
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Titel:Durable Inequality
Autoren:Charles Tilly (Autor)
Info:University of California Press (1998), 299 pages
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Durable Inequality von Charles Tilly

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there are inequalities in life chances between various categories of persons: male/female, black/white, citizen/foreigner, and so on. for each pair, you could attempt to give a pair-specific explanation of the inequality, something to do with its historical origins and how the inequality is persisting through time. what tilly is doing here is different: he is offering a *general* explanation that purports to cover all durable categorical inequalities. as you'd imagine, it's quite abstract. here in block-quote is one bit where he outlines the theory:

[begin quote]
Humans invented categorical inequality millennia ago and have applied it to a wide range of social situations. People establish systems of categorical inequality, however inadvertently, chiefly by means of these two causal mechanisms:

• Exploitation, which operates when powerful, connected people command resources from which they draw significantly increased returns by coordinating the effort of outsiders whom they exclude from the full value added by that effort.

• Opportunity hoarding, which operates when members of a categorically bounded network acquire access to a resource that is valuable, renewable, subject to monopoly, supportive of network activities, and enhanced by the network’s modus operandi. [...]

Two further mechanisms cement such arrangements in place:

• Emulation, the copying of established organizational models and/or the transplanting of existing social relations from one setting to another; and

• Adaptation, the elaboration of daily routines such as mutual aid, political influence, courtship, and information gathering on the basis of categorically unequal structures.

Exploitation and opportunity hoarding favor the installation of categorical inequality, while emulation and adaptation generalize its influence.
[end quote] ( )
  leeinaustin | May 17, 2021 |
Tilly discusses social inequalities as being durable. He explains that through exploitation, opportunity hoarding, emulation, and adaptation specific categories in society are marginalized. Tilly seems to borrow ideas from Marx and Weber while integrating original thoughts. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about social inequality. ( )
1 abstimmen goose114 | Feb 16, 2010 |
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Charles Tilly, in this eloquent manifesto, presents a powerful new approach to the study of persistent social inequality. How, he asks, do long-lasting, systematic inequalities in life chances arise, and how do they come to distinguish members of different socially defined categories of persons? Exploring representative paired and unequal categories, such as male/female, black/white, and citizen/noncitizen, Tilly argues that the basic causes of these and similar inequalities greatly resemble one another. In contrast to contemporary analyses that explain inequality case by case, this account is one of process. Categorical distinctions arise, Tilly says, because they offer a solution to pressing organizational problems. Whatever the "organization" is--as small as a household or as large as a government--the resulting relationship of inequality persists because parties on both sides of the categorical divide come to depend on that solution, despite its drawbacks. Tilly illustrates the social mechanisms that create and maintain paired and unequal categories with a rich variety of cases, mapping out fertile territories for future relational study of durable inequality.

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