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Lottery of birth
Lottery of birth

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Week 4: Lottery of birth in the twenty-first century


The challenges of inequality, alongside those of demographic changes and climate change, are arguably the biggest issues of our time and of the next generation’s futures.

This week you will again look at how the big picture is played out in real, individual human lives. You’ll consider whether the inequalities at birth – that have been present for hundreds of years – are likely to be reduced in this century and if so, how.

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Figure 1

The week begins by looking at some of new ways that data can be presented in order to broaden out the inequalities picture, beyond income and wealth. It goes on to look at a summary of the population changes that will continue to be the backdrop to the lottery of birth in this century. You will then look at some key points within the debates around how to address inequality.

Half of this week’s learning will be directed by yourselves. The course ends with an opportunity for you to identify something that you think might play a significant role in addressing inequalities in the future and to write something about it. This may be a particular political, socio-cultural or scientific change or breakthrough.