Cover image for A nation divided : diversity, inequality, and community in American society
A nation divided : diversity, inequality, and community in American society
Moen, Phyllis.
Publication Information:
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xii, 346 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN90.S6 N37 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The United States will enter the twenty-first century with an increasingly diverse, unequal, and divided population. Longstanding tensions persist between ethnic groups, rich and poor, and immigrants and the native-born. New sources of strain involve sexual and gender minorities, those who possess alternate family forms, and white and nonwhite immigrants, as well as the widening gulf between rich and poor Americans.

A Nation Divided offers a fresh approach to these controversial issues. In this volume, leading social scientists explore the potentially explosive combination of diversity and inequality. Using the latest theory and research, the authors show how different groups become socially and economically unequal and how such patterns of "durable inequality" affect national stability. They also discuss strategies for reducing durable inequality and creating social harmony. Their contributions address 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.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This splendid book addresses what more than a few sociologists consider the most urgent problem facing this country today: the social and economic realities that characterize the lives of different groups of people and, most importantly, the "durable inequalities" that persist over time and make breaking out of old patterns difficult, if not impossible. The almost uniformly first-rate writing in this volume is divided into four sections. The first, "Diversity and Inequality," includes a wonderfully lucid chapter by Melvin L. Kohn countering The Bell Curve. The well-argued, carefully documented chapters in the second part look at race and ethnicity and socioeconomic inequality. Part 3 looks at inequality in educational, military, religious, and familial institutions and in the mass media. The book concludes with approaches to "intergroup tensions." Those not familiar with the terminology of sociology may have trouble with this volume, which is otherwise very highly recommended for academic, research, and larger public libraries.ÄEllen Gilbert, Rutgers Univ. Lib., New Brunswick, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Diversity and Inequalityp. 13
Chapter 1 Durable Inequalityp. 15
Chapter 2 Two Visions of the Relationship between Individual and Society: The Bell Curve versus Social Structure and Personalityp. 34
Chapter 3 Two Faces of Diversity: Recreating the Stranger Next Door?""""p. 52
Chapter 4 Gender, Sexuality, and Inequality: When Many Become One,Who Is the One and What Happens to the Others?p. 70
Part 2 The New Demography of Durable Inequalityp. 87
Chapter 5 The State of the American Dream: Race and Ethnic Socioeconomic Inequality in the United States, 1970-90p. 89
Chapter 6 Strangers Next Door: Immigrant Groups and Suburbs in Los Angeles and New Yorkp. 108
Chapter 7 Jobless Poverty: a New Form of Social Dislocation in the Inner-City Ghettop. 133
Chapter 8 Persisting Inequality between Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan America: Implications for Theory and Policyp. 151
Part 3 Durable Inequality in American Institutionsp. 169
Chapter 9 Do Historically Black Colleges and Universities Enhance the College Attendance of African American Youths?p. 171
Chapter 10 Overcoming Race: Army Lessons for American Societyp. 189
Chapter 11 War's Legacy in Men's Livesp. 209
Chapter 12 Diversity and Consensus: What Part Does Religion Play?p. 228
Chapter 13 Diversity in American Familiesp. 245
Chapter 14 Television and Diversity: the Quantum Leap Modelp. 260
Part 4 Afterwordp. 275
Chapter 15 The Reduction of Intergroup Tensionsp. 277
Chapter 16 Long Time Passing: Race, Prejudice, and the Reduction of Intergroup Tensionsp. 296
Bibliographyp. 305
Contributorsp. 327
Indexp. 335