Author: Robert de Vries

  • As you were: How the pandemic failed to change what we think key workers should earn

    This is a guest post by the former co-editor of Inequalities Rob de Vries (in collaboration with me and Tina Haux), which was originally posted on the LSE Social Policy blog. At the height of the first UK lockdown, one message came across loud and clear: Keyworkers are heroes. Nurses and care workers yes; but […]

  • Exploring TV’s new obsession with ‘Poverty Porn’

    One of our regular readers, Jayne Linney, runs a fascinating blog over at In one of her recent posts she examines the renewed surge of interest in patronising documentaries about poor communities. Definitely worth a read:  

  • An instinct for fairness?

    An instinct for fairness?

    I’m just now getting around to reading Joseph Stiglitz’s book from last year The Price of Inequality. There’s lots of interesting stuff in there, some of which I may end up talking about here on the blog. But as I was reading the other day, there was one particular section that struck me. He’s talking about […]

  • Practical privilege

    We don’t usually just post links to other articles here, but I was really impressed by this honest description of privilege from the side of the privileged. He really nails how his path into his career was so much easier and smoother because he ‘looked the part’:

  • The Habits of Highly Annoying Get-Rich Gurus

    The Habits of Highly Annoying Get-Rich Gurus

    Sorry for the extended holiday hiatus everyone. Both Brendan and I have been really busy and have struggled to find time for blogging. But now we’re back, so why not let us start the year with something horribly depressing and infuriating – Happy 2014 everyone! This is something I saw at the end of last […]

  • The Boris Johnson ‘Cornflake’ model of social mobility

    The Boris Johnson ‘Cornflake’ model of social mobility

    There are some Boris Johnson news stories we can all enjoy. Like that time he fell in a river. Or when he got stuck up on a zip-wire. Or even when he rescued that woman being menaced by youths – astride his trusty bicycle, the world’s most unlikely knight errant. Then there are the less […]

  • What are elite universities for?

    What are elite universities for?

    A perennial question in higher education is whether elite institutions like Oxford and Cambridge are doing enough to recruit people from outside the traditional pool of white private-school kids. Every year we have the same conversation, and reach the same conclusion: probably not. What I didn’t realise until recently was that this debate assumes something […]

  • The problem of low pay

    The problem of low pay

    Low pay is a huge problem in the UK. Of the 11 million people currently living in poverty, 6 million have jobs. Some of this is due to under-employment – people who work, but can’t get full-time hours – but not all. For example, three quarters of children in working poor families have a parent […]

  • Do people always create the same status hierarchies?

    Do people always create the same status hierarchies?

    It’s been a while since we talked about the inequality hypothesis on this blog. It’s also been a while since I’ve seen any coverage of it elsewhere. For certain politicians and commentators on the left it seems to have settled into the status of fact (“we know that inequality causes all sorts of social problems”), […]

  • Money worries are cognitive handicap for poor people

    Money worries are cognitive handicap for poor people

    I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but am only just now getting around to it. At the end of August, Science published a paper showing that worrying about money has a significant impact on poor people’s cognitive function; i.e. when you’re poor, money worries take up valuable brain-space, distracting you from […]