By Jorge Larraín
Este libro de Jorge Larraín explora de manera sistemática las relaciones entre modernidad, globalización, neoliberalismo e identidad en América Latina. El objetivo es contestar algunas preguntas pendientes que no han sido suficientemente analizadas y dilucidar algunas confusiones conceptuales que se han ido difundiendo.
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The critical importance of the notion of equality needs a firm foundation. It is similarly crucial to present the logic behind and the importance of examining wealth as an indicator of life chances and inequality. 19 While this broadly defined concern involves many complex layers, our analysis will focus mainly on the fundamental material aspects of inequality. The specific level of analysis will thus feature disparities in life chances and command over economic resources between and among blacks and whites.
While resources theoretically imply both income and wealth, the reality for most families is that income supplies the necessities of life, while wealth represents a kind of “surplus” resource available for improving life chances, providing further opportunities, securing prestige, passing status along to one’s family, and influencing the political process. indb 32 3/23/06 4:54:21 PM Race, Wealth, and Equality / 33 importantly complement existing income data. An investigation of wealth will also help us formulate a more detailed picture of racial differences in wellbeing.
We therefore turn to a theoretical discussion of wealth and race that develops aspects of traditional race and class arguments in an attempt to illuminate the processes that have led to wealth disparities between black and white Americans. Toward a Sociology of Race and Wealth A sociology of race and wealth must go beyond the traditional analysis of wealth that economists have elaborated. Economists begin with the assumption that wealth is a combination of inheritance, earnings, and savings and is enhanced by prudent consumption and investment patterns over a person’s lifetime.