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The Wealth Paradox
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The West is currently in the grip of a perfect storm: a lingering economic recession, a global refugee crisis, declining faith in multiculturalism, and the rise of populist anti-immigration parties. These developments seem to confirm the widely held view that hardship and poverty lead to social unrest and, more specifically, scapegoating of minorities. Yet in this provocative new book, Mols and Jetten present compelling evidence to show that prejudice and intergroup hostility can be equally prevalent in times of economic prosperity, and among more affluent sections of the population. Integrating theory and research from social psychology, political science, sociology, and history, the authors systematically investigate why positive factors such as gratification, economic prosperity, and success may also fuel negative attitudes and behaviours. The Wealth Paradox provides a timely and important re-evaluation of the role that economic forces play in shaping prejudice.


‘Mols and Jetten present a compelling case for the importance of the wealth paradox. This timely and fascinating book should serve as essential reading for all those interested in the continuing debate about economic conditions and hostilities towards minorities and newcomers.'

Maykel Verkuyten - Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands

‘A game-changer! Analyses of xenophobia typically focus on the anxieties of those at the bottom of the hierarchy. The authors carefully unsettle the academic and lay assumptions behind that focus and problematise the status concerns of the comparatively well-off. This is a provocative book of immense contemporary significance.'

Nick Hopkins - University of Dundee

‘The Wealth Paradox is a timely, clear and important corrective to the traditional social science assumption that only harsh times and contexts produce xenophobia and prejudice. Mols and Jetten integrate data and theory from history, social psychology, political science and psychology to craft an analysis of relative advantage that will change the way we think about the relationship between wealth and prejudice.'

Heather Smith - Sonoma State University, California

'This book is an impressive deep dive into the motives of 'people from relatively well-to-do circles', uncovering their leadership role in the protests of the less privileged. The scientific analysis of how and why prosperity also affects intergroup relations calls for a collective responsibility for combatting increasing global inequality.'

Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti - University of Helsinki, Finland

'… this book deserves an audience beyond academia: this is myth-busting at its most politically useful.'

Source: The Times Higher Education Supplement

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