Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Income inequality and the absence of a Tawney moment in the mass media

McGovern, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-3984-2080, Obradović, Sandra ORCID: 0000-0001-7930-3909 and Bauer, Martin W. (2020) Income inequality and the absence of a Tawney moment in the mass media. Working paper (53). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[img] Text (LSE-III_working-paper-53) - Published Version
Download (687kB)


In this paper we address the paradox of increasing income inequality and the absence of public mobilization around the issue. As the mass media are our most important source of information on wider economic affairs, we examine the salience and framing of income inequality within major UK and US newspapers over the period 1990 – 2015. Despite an initial surge in media attention and again towards the end of the period, the issues-attention cycle of inequality resembles a hype-cycle that is more common with arcane academic or techno-scientific topics than with social mobilisation. The dominant frames present income inequality as the seemingly inevitable result of globalization, market forces and technological change. No new radical frames of economic injustice have emerged, neither have any new actors, and so policy solutions fall back onto existing left-right approaches.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J30 - General
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 09:09
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:20

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics