Inequality emerged as a social concern during the Enlightenment and was seen as violating the norm of human equality. Three main development narratives were generated following this concern: one of long-term equalization (de Tocqueville), one of polarization (Marx), and one of modern rising inequality followed by equalization (Kuznets). Although each of these narratives was able to score some points, none of them fully captured the actual trajectory of the inequality curve which is currently bending upwards towards more inequality. 21st century inequality studies are taking off in new directions, multiscalar, multi-dimensionally rooted in recent moral philosophy, and more focused on causal mechanisms and forces. Since early modernity a centre of economic inequality in the world, Latin America has a special relevance to inequality studies. Nevertheless, it is currently the only world region with a predominant tendency of equalization.
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