There are many different types of social inequality and academics offer many different opinions about it. But social inequality is also a "real life" problem familiar to ordinary people -- not just a topic for the ivory tower. Almost everyone, even the least academically inclined, has something to say about it. The aim of Outsights is to better understand inequality by considering some of these varied perspectives.
In particular, Outsights examines the views of social outsiders. There are many kinds of outsiders. In fact, their shared defining feature is that they are not insiders -- not white, not male, not middle class, not middle-aged, not able-bodied, not born in North America. Outsiders are among society's most vulnerable members -- victims or potential victims of the way life is organized. They are frequently critical of people on the inside, and especially skeptical of insiders' views of life on the outside.
Outsiders know a lot about life on the margins: they hold deep, often personal understandings of things like sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and unemployment. What's more, they're often concerned with aspects of inequality that don't even cross the minds of insiders: where to find their next meal, how to access medical care, and ways other than education to climb the social ladder.
Outsights attempts to bridge the gap between the views of insiders and outsiders with the goal of better understanding the causes and costs of social inequality -- and what can be done about it.
--From the Introduction
About the Authors:
Nicole Meredith is the author or co-author of several books and articles, including Waiting to Happen: The Sociology of Unexpected Injuries. She holds a master's degree from the University of Toronto and works in the field of organizational communication.
Lorne Tepperman, professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, is the author, co-author and editor of dozens of books, including many bestselling textbooks in introductory sociology, social problems, and social inequality. He has served as president of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.