Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality
Author: Harriet Bradley
Publisher: Polity Press
Release Date: January 23, 1996
Despite claims about the 'classless society', modern industrial societies such as Britain and America are characterized by widening gaps between rich and poor. At the same time, inequalities of class overlap with other inequalities, such as those of ethnicity or gender. Recent research in sociology has highlighted the growing complexity of patterns of stratification and the interplay between different aspects of inequality. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to past and current theories of stratification and inequality. It pulls together work in the areas of class, gender, race and age, locating the analysis within current theories over modernity and postmodernity. Separate chapters on class, gender, race and age provide overviews of debates in a way designed to be accessible to students and also show how these four dimensions of inequality act upon one another. Unlike many other texts, the book covers both the modernist approaches derived from the sociological classics and newer contributions influenced by postmodernism and post-structuralism. While accepting the postmodern view that societies are becoming fragmented and social identities more fluid, Fractured Identities concludes that modernist insights are still vital. Modern societies are marked by both fragmentation and polarization.