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Richard Wilkinson: the Rich are also worse off from inequality

No, The ”internal inequality” is not självhjälpslitteratur, says researcher Richard Wilkinson. He is visiting Sweden for the launch of his new book, while his wife and co-author Kate Pickett have fully up at home at the university of York. They are both researchers in the socialepidemiologi, a discipline that studies how social conditions affect disease patterns in the population.

But the clarification is, perhaps, as the book's subtitle promises a trick ”improves health and increases everyone's well-being”. However, it is not on any of the usual individcentrerade tips to achieve happiness or wellness, but about equality.

receiving in his hotel room, with glasses hanging around the neck and a panoramic view over Norra Bantorget behind his back. He corrects become accustomed to their eyebrows before the shoot.

During the mid-1900s increased equality in the developed world, but increasing inequality is a general trend in rich countries since around 1980, " says Richard Wilkinson.

On the table in front of him are books and a plastic sleeve with compelling charts, as he picks up sometimes to prove any connection, for example, between the weakening of trade unions and growing inequality. Carl eldh's monument to Hjalmar Branting and the Swedish labor movement in the square outside the hotel, he has of course already been identified.

is a sequel to ”Jämlikhetsanden” which came in 2010, when the latest financial crisis was fresh in their memory and the gaps between the rich and the poor caused social debate. The book used the statistics from 23 rich countries to lead in evidence that egalitarian societies are healthier than others. It provoked quite a stir and even got the counter-thrust – the confederation of Swedish Enterprise think tank Timbro, and gave the example out a critique entitled ”Jämlikhetsbluffen”.

Read more: can a modern welfare ride catch up with the riders

In his new book, which builds on the paper in the ”Jämlikhetsanden”, examines the Pickett and Wilkinson instead ojämlikhetens psychological effects. It is among other things about how inequality affects how we see ourselves and in other people, " explains Wilkinson. On the uk release cover posing, two birds, and a small dove and a flexing peacock, with its eyes fixed on each other.

" I think it is a common misconception to regard inequality as something out there in society, and that the only thing that means something to us as individuals is our own emotional highs and dippar, our friends and close relationships. But inequality affects us much more intimately, in depth. It undermines our self-esteem, and impedes social interactions. It makes we worry more over other people's eyes, " says Wilkinson.

have arrived in English translation is not surprising – Björn Eklund in the Carnival publishers tells us that ”the Jämlikhetsanden” went better here than in any other exporting country. It's especially great interest for the Picketts and wilkinson's research in Sweden has to do with the fact that Sweden is often mentioned in positive terms. Just like in the ”Jämlikhetsanden” there are countless bars and other types of graphs in the ”internal inequalities”, where Sweden stands out as an example.

"But you are no exception from the trend, you are also headed in the wrong direction," says Wilkinson.

When we meet, we will have the new book has already received several appreciative shouts in Swedish newspapers. On these pages you lifted, for example, the psychologist Tor Wennerberg presented the Picketts and wilkinson's research in the article ”this is Why we are genetically adapted to feel badly in unequal societies” (31/12). Which describes Wennerberg man as a hypersocial creature that constantly relate to the social utvärderingshotet, that is to say, the risk of being negatively judged by the surroundings.

also contains a discussion of man's social nature. During the interview, referring Wilkinson to the american biologist Robert Sapolsky, whose latest book ”Why we behave as we do” (Culture and Nature) provides the neuroscience explanations to our ability to feel both empathy and contempt for other people.

" We have been able to conclude that the inequality expressed in human behavior. It seems to do nothing with our internal. It can affect our psyche in a rather ugly way, because it is linked to our self esteem and our dignity. We are including more detail on why we are so sensitive to the status of the day and see how big statusskillnader associated with violence and mental illness, " says Wilkinson.

Read more: Inequality is completely natural, but not therefore impossible to get away from

our skämmiga statusstress and sense of equality to be inherited? If the human nature may seem complex and contradictory, helps the statistics to understand how our social environment affects how we feel, says Wilkinson.

that poverty is associated with health risks, but one of the points in the ”internal inequality” is that the vast majority are affected by inequality. I ask him if he was surprised that even rich people feel worse.

" Yes, when we first started to analyze the statistics, we were confused. It was a puzzle and it took me a long time to see the pattern, but it is the economic comparison with the other makes us feel worse. A study mentioned in our book shows that the statusångest becoming more common in all groups with increased income inequality. Our colleagues at the Harvard school of public health has talked about inequality as a general social pollutant. I do not believe that self-help books is the cure, " says Wilkinson.

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