Growing Inequalities and Dangers to Democracy in Ultramodern Society: Some Policy Implications

E. Etzioni-Halevy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Technological development, postindustrialism, and globalization generate economic growth and growing affluence. And cultural variegation creates a bazaar of almost unbounded possibilities—and thus freedoms—for human self-expression. An additional postmodern trend of fragmentation is the segmentation of the labor market into a primary and a secondary one of temporary and part-time workers, who periodically leave or are forced to leave the work force altogether. Conversely, when elites let autonomy lapse and/or fail to struggle for equality, this enhances inequalities, a process that also enfeebles democracy. Consequently, the modem era of decreasing inequalities and evolving democracy has been followed by the ultramodern era in which, in the midst of affluence, inequalities have been increasing. Moreover, this turnabout has been having adverse effects on democracy. So social theorists—inadvertently and by default—encourage the quiescence in struggles to decrease inequalities. This quiescence lends tacit legitimacy to, and thus encourages, policies that exacerbate inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Global Political Policy
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429272004
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

<p>Query date: 2022-05-16 15:25:14</p>


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