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Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality, 2nd Edition



Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality, 2nd Edition

Harriet Bradley

ISBN: 978-0-745-64408-0 December 2015 Polity 256 Pages


The gap between rich and poor, included and excluded, advantaged and disadvantaged is steadily growing as inequality becomes one of the most pressing issues of our times. The new edition of this popular text explores current patterns of inequality in the context of increasing globalization, world recession and neoliberal policies of austerity. Within a framework of intersectionality, Bradley discusses various theories and concepts for understanding inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity and age, while an entirely new chapter touches on the social divisions arising from disabilities, non-heterosexual orientations and religious affiliation.

Bradley argues that processes of fracturing, which complicate the way we as individuals identify and locate ourselves in relation to the rest of society, exist alongside a tendency to social polarization: at one end of the social hierarchy are the super-rich; at the other end, long-term unemployment and job insecurity are the fate of many, especially the young. In the reordering of the social hierarchy, members of certain ethnic minority groups, disabled people and particular segments of the working class suffer disproportionately, while prevailing economic conditions threaten to offset the gains made by women in past decades. Fractured Identities shows how only by understanding and challenging these developments can we hope to build a fairer and more socially inclusive society.
Introduction to Second edition
1 Introductory: Inequality and Identity
2 Inequality, Fragmentation and Identity
3 Capitalism, Modernity and Global Change
4 The Death and Rebirth of Class
5 Gender: Rethinking Patriarchy
6 ‘Race’ and Ethnicity: ‘Travelling in the West’
7 Age: Generations and Gaps
8 Emergent Identities and Inequalities: Disability, Sexual Orientation and Religious Affiliation
9 Conclusion: Fractured Identities: Processes of Fragmentation and Polarization in Globalizing Capitalist Societies
Bibliography and Sources
- New chapter on social divisions arising from disabilities, non-heterosexual orientations and religious affiliation
- Updated discussion of inequality in the current context of financial crisis, recession and austerity
- Updated literature and theoretical discussion throughout
"Bradley successfully combines political critique and trenchant scholarship in this up-to-the minute revision of her now classic text. Her focus is firmly on increasing inequality and polarization, in all their dimensions, in the context of globalization and the entrenchment of austerity and individualism. Her arguments are accessible, engaging and convincing. The book makes an important contribution to the resurgence of class analysis, and will be widely read."
Miriam Glucksmann, University of Essex

"Harriet Bradley’s new edition of Fractured Identities synthesises the changes consequent upon globalisation, the War on Terror, and changing demographics since the first edition with her clear and coherent account of the classic sociological work.  Any student using the book will be extremely fortunate:  it is innovative, current, and classic."
Sara Delamont, Cardiff University