The Divide is a 2015 documentary, based on the The Spirit Level. I held a public screening and discussion of the film as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science in Belfast.
The Divide tells the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in the modern day US and UK, where the top 0.1 per cent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent. By plotting these tales together, we uncover how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor. This film tells the human story of the link between income inequality, status anxiety and a wide range of social and health inequalities. The arguments presented in The Spirit Level underpin some of the ideas presented in the film, although it is also about the sheer injustice of the situation, never mind the theory.
For those who haven't seen The Divide, it is now available in the documentaries section on Netflix if you have an account, as is it otherwise hard to find a viewing.
Nat O’Connor is a member of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRiSS) and a Lecturer of Public Policy and Public Management in the School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy at Ulster University.
Previously Director of TASC, Nat also led the research team in Dublin’s Homeless Agency.
Nat holds a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin (2008) and an MA in Political Science and Social Policy form the University of Dundee (1998). Nat’s primary research interest is in how research-informed public policy can achieve social justice and human wellbeing. Nat’s work has focused on economic inequality, housing and homelessness, democratic accountability and public policy analysis. His PhD focused on public access to information as part of democratic policy making.