From the publisher:
Rugged Individualism and the Misunderstanding of American Inequality explores and critiques the widespread perception in the United States that one’s success or failure in life is largely the result of personal choices and individual characteristics. As the authors show, the distinctively individualist ideology of American politics and culture shapes attitudes toward poverty and economic inequality in profound ways, fostering social policies that de-emphasize structural remedies. Drawing on a variety of unique methodologies, the book synthesizes data from large-scale surveys of the American population, and it features both conversations with academic experts and interviews with American citizens intimately familiar with the consequences of economic disadvantage. This mixture of approaches gives readers a fuller understanding of “skeptical altruism,” a concept the authors use to describe the American public’s hesitancy to adopt a more robust and structurally-oriented approach to solving the persistent problem of economic disadvantage.
Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.