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The Morality of Inequality: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on How to Make a Difference
Scientific report: The Morality of Inequality
Belle Derks, Naomi Ellemers, Frank Hindriks, Daan Scheepers, Félice van Nunspeet, Jojanneke van der Toorn
Description and aims
Many contemporary problems relate to inequality between (groups of) individuals in society. Standard analyses focus on individual level and instrumental factors to explain and resolve social inequality. In the workshop we explored the added value of a group-level analysis taking into account moral concerns, by examining whether this improves our understanding of unequal outcomes relating to: (a) health, (b) education and work, (c) migration, and (d) the environment.
The aim of the workshop was to prepare a volume of essays developing our theoretical perspective and considering how this may help explain and find new solutions for societal inequality in four domains. During the workshop we actually produced text, tables, statistics, illustrations and references to go into this volume. We presented this in the form of a book proposal by the end of the week to Amsterdam University Press, who has agreed to publish and distribute this volume. We will deliver the full manuscript by September 2016.
Scientific developments and Aha-insights
We developed a different type of analysis to understand the mechanisms that induce and maintain social inequality, by incorporating insights from multiple relevant disciplines, and applies this to four pressing societal issues.
“Aha” moments were contained in noticing the convergence and complementarity of insights developed in different disciplines.
The format we used (preparing parts of a manuscript during the workshop) was new – also to us, and intense, but it worked well, and gave us a concrete goal to structure the activities and discussions. We interspersed plenary discussions and brainstorms with focused work in subgroups.
Practical issues, support and facilities were excellent!