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"Social Meaning and Social Justice" ~ Sally Haslanger

Event Type
MillerComm Series
Spurlock Museum
Mar 14, 2014   4:00 - 6:00 pm  

Although the Women's Movement and the Civil Rights Movement achieved great gains in the 20th century, it is also true that our societies remain unjustly stratified.  Racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ communities, non-citizens, the disabled, the poor, and others are categorically disadvantaged; and this disadvantage is systematic and durable. (Tilly 1999)  There is no doubt that both individuals and social institutions play a role in causing this stratification.  But persistent inequality is not simply a result of the bad or unjust actions of individuals or badly structured institutions.  Individual and institutional injustice are just the tip of the iceberg: they are the expression of deeper and less tractable sources of inequality in social meaning.  But what exactly is social meaning?  How does social meaning give rise to injustice?  And how can we change social meanings?  This paper addresses these questions relying on the notion of social schemas.

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