Generations of educators, organizers, and activists have relied on this brilliantly designed book-and-poster set, originally published in 1979, to illustrate the magnitude of America's economic divide. Today, income inequality is at an all-time high, and awareness of the issue is growing proportionately. The financial crisis of 2008 changed the economic picture for all Americans and helped the richest among us grow their holdings, even as income for the rest of us has remained stagnant.
Folded inside the companion booklet, the now-iconic poster depicts color-coded figures that make it possible to compare social groups at a glance and to understand how income distribution relates to race, sex, education, and occupation. For the first time, the poster has been redesigned to represent the level of educational attainment among American social classes. The booklet shows how to make the most of the poster in the classroom and beyond and reveals the seismic changes in America's social landscape over the past few decades with respect to who owns what, who earns what, who works where, and who lives with whom.
This much-anticipated update of the eye-opening (Chicago Tribune) presentation of American society, drawn from the 2012 current population Survey of the U.S. Census, will be an essential resource and a touchstone for the current debates over education, inequality, poverty, and jobs in our country.
View the Social Stratification Interactive Visualization.
About the Author
Stephen J. Rose is a senior economics fellow at Third Way: A Strategy Center for Progressives. He previously served in a number of research and policy positions at the Department of Labor, the National Commission for Employment Policy, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and the Educational Testing Service. He lives in Washington, D.C.