Cover of Manifesto for a Dream by Michelle Jackson
Manifesto for a Dream
Inequality, Constraint, and Radical Reform
Michelle Jackson
SERIES: Inequalities

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October 2020
208 pages.
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503611924
Paperback ISBN: 9781503614154

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A searing critique of our contemporary policy agenda, and a call to implement radical change.

Although it is well known that the United States has an inequality problem, the social science community has failed to mobilize in response. Social scientists have instead adopted a strikingly insipid approach to policy reform, an ostensibly science-based approach that offers incremental, narrow-gauge, and evidence-informed "interventions." This approach assumes that the best that we can do is to contain the problem. It is largely taken for granted that we will never solve it. In Manifesto for a Dream Michelle Jackson asserts that we will never make strides toward equality if we do not start to think radically. It is the structure of social institutions that generates and maintains social inequality, and it is only by attacking that structure that progress can be made. Jackson makes a scientific case for large-scale institutional reform, drawing on examples from other countries to demonstrate that reforms that have been unthinkable in the United States are considered to be quite unproblematic in other contexts. She persuasively argues that an emboldened social science has an obligation to develop and test the radical policies that would be necessary for equality to be assured for all.

About the author

Michelle Jackson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University. She is the editor of Determined to Succeed? (SUP, 2013).