The Spirit Level Concept: Wonderful Remedy or Utopian Therapy? Cover Image
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Koncepcja poziomicy – cudowne lekarstwo czy utopijna terapia?
The Spirit Level Concept: Wonderful Remedy or Utopian Therapy?

Author(s): Tomasz Szlendak, Arkadiusz Karwacki
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: The Spirit Level concept; income gap; inequality; trust; health condition; social activity; cultural activity

Summary/Abstract: This article aims at verifying the findings by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate E. Pickett (2009) which point to a strong correlation between the income gap and the escalation of social problems. Wilkinson and Pickett’s thesis, described here as ‘the Spirit Level concept’, states that all kinds of social problems (ranging from drug abuse to lack of trust among people) are directly connected with the scale of social inequality in a given country. In this article we test this concept by analyzing the relation between the income gap in a particular country and four important problems: health condition, trust, social activity and cultural activity. We investigate this relation in European Union countries.

  • Issue Year: 196/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 35-67
  • Page Count: 33
  • Language: Polish