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The contexts studied by the author include rural and urban settings, and social milieus ranging from elite to deprived. Politeness, hand-wringing and humour can create a protective distance; while sadness, anger and hope for change connect with the issue of inequality and challenge the associated injustices.

Distancing and connecting emerge as central themes in the analysis. The spatial patterns of emotions align with participants' socio-economic positions, in more disadvantaged settings unapologetic anger about inequality was expressed, as was humour in the face of group or national misfortune. These emotional regimes can be understood within the wider context of participants' socio-economic position; their senses of injustice; and their views on the possibility of social change.

A. Barford argues that social norms surrounding justice and distribution can influence levels of inequality, and vice versa. This is of particular importance given the societal damage caused by inequality, which is now widely acknowledged.


The full article by A. Barford can be accessed via ScienceDirect.

Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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