Diversity, inequality, community in America

August 30, 1999

ITHACA, N.Y. -- One of our country's most unique features is its racial, ethnic and cultural diversity. But America also is characterized by its substantial and persistent social and economic inequality. This diversity and so-called "durable" inequality are the heart of a new book, A Nation Divided: Diversity, Inequality and Community in American Society (Cornell University Press, 1999).

Edited by Cornell University sociologists Phyllis Moen, Donna Dempster-McClain and Henry A. Walker, A Nation Divided explores the origins, influence and implications of these controversial issues.

"Can a nation in which inequality is enmeshed with diversity maintain and/or establish a sense of community?" the co-editors ask in their introduction. "While American society has drawn strength from multiple, and sometimes overlapping identities, when divisions harden, the possibilities of building and sustaining community become increasingly remote."

In the 303-page volume, leading social scientists explore how different groups become socially and economically unequal and how the persistent patterns of durable inequality affect national stability. Incorporating the latest theory and research, the researchers describe the changing demography of diversity and inequality and the interplay of diversity, inequality and community in educational institutions, the military, the family, popular culture and religion. They also offer strategies for reducing durable inequality and creating social harmony.

Authors of the chapters include prominent scholars such as Melvin L. Kohn of Johns Hopkins University, Sandra Lipsitz Bem of Cornell, William Julius Wilson of Harvard University, Glen Elder of the University of North Carolina, James Lowell Gibbs and C. Matthew Snipp of Stanford University and Robin M. Williams Jr., professor emeritus of sociology at Cornell, to whom the book is dedicated. The contributors tackle topics such as:

EDITORS : For a review copy, contact Andrea Clardy at (607) 277-2338, fax (607)277-2397 or afc4@cornell.edu.

-- The roots and nature of durable inequalities.

-- The connection between durable inequality and social stability.

-- Challenges to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's controversial bell curve theory.

-- Discrimination against women and gender minorities, such as gays and lesbians, and the value of assimilation of these groups into the American cultural mainstream.

-- Relationships among ethnic differences, "social location" and geographical location and assimilation, social integration and equality.

-- Trends and problems relating to durable inequality in education, family, mass media and religion.

-- Views of the future in relation to diversity and inequality and potential strategies for promoting equality among diverse groups.

The book contains 23 tables, 20 drawings and six maps. It is available as a paperback ($18.95) or in hard cover ($49.95).
Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release. Some might not be part of the Cornell University community, and Cornell has no control over their content or availability.

-- For information on the book on the web: http://www.corne llpress.cornell.edu/cornellpress/cup3_catalog.taf?_function=detail&Title_ID=3268 &_UserReference=785DEC34C6AB0EFCBB2EE948

-- For information on Phyllis Moen:


-- For information on sociology at Cornell University:


-- For information on the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Institute:


Cornell University

Related Diversity Articles from Brightsurf:

More plant diversity, less pesticides
Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands.

Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology.

Ethnolinguistic diversity slows down urban growth
Where various ethnic groups live together, cities grow at a slower rate.

Protecting scientific diversity
The COVID-19 pandemic means that scientists face great challenges because they have to reorient, interrupt or even cancel research and teaching.

Cultural diversity in chimpanzees
Termite fishing by chimpanzees was thought to occur in only two forms with one or multiple tools, from either above-ground or underground termite nests.

Bursts of diversity in the gut microbiota
The diversity of bacteria in the human gut is an important biomarker of health, influences multiple diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases and affects various treatments.

Underestimated chemical diversity
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates.

New world map of fish genetic diversity
An international research team from ETH Zurich and French universities has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time.

Biological diversity as a factor of production
Can the biodiversity of ecosystems be considered a factor of production?

Fungal diversity and its relationship to the future of forests
Stanford researchers predict that climate change will reduce the diversity of symbiotic fungi that help trees grow.

Read More: Diversity News and Diversity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.