Rising income inequality has been brought front and center as an issue in this year’s presidential campaign. But do we really know what’s driving it, and the keys to closing the gap? Are popular explanations supported by research and data? Sociologist Kevin Leicht has focused much of his career on inequality and related issues, and suggests a rethink in “Getting Serious About Inequality,” an article published in the spring issue of The Sociological Quarterly. Leicht (pronounced Lighsht) heads the sociology department at Illinois and also is the co-author of “Post-Industrial Peasants” and “Middle Class Meltdown in America,” both published over the last decade. He spoke with News Bureau social sciences editor Craig Chamberlain.