Spatial and Social Disparities

  • John StillwellEmail author
  • Paul Norman
  • Claudia Thomas
  • Paula Surridge
Part of the Understanding Population Trends and Processes book series (UPTA, volume 2)


The concept of inequality is one that we use frequently to refer to the diversity of the individual, place or object. But, following Amartya Sen (1992), the central question in any analysis or assessment is “inequality of what?”. The social sciences “system of interest” is more closely circumscribed although the range of relevant subject matter is still enormous. It encompasses the traditional fields of regional development and regional science in which, like human geography, differences across physical space are of paramount importance, as well as fields such as health studies and social policy where the focus on difference is less spatial and more oriented towards the age, gender and physical and mental condition of aggregate populations as well as towards difference in material advantage and social background.


Labour Force Participation Social Trust Labour Force Survey European Social Survey Institutional Trust 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Stillwell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Norman
    • 1
  • Claudia Thomas
    • 2
  • Paula Surridge
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Geography, University of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity College London Institute of Child HealthLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of SociologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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