Friday, February 2, 2018 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Goldwin Smith Hall, Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium
232 East Ave, Central Campus
Michèle Lamont, 2017 Erasmus Prize Winner, 2017 President of the American Sociological Association, and Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, will present her talk titled: "Addressing the Recognition Gap: Destigmatization and the Reduction of Inequality."
In recent years, advanced industrial societies have experienced two simultaneous changes: growing inequality between the upper middle class and other classes, and multiplying claims for recognition from various groups. To make sense of these twin transformations, social scientists need to consider recognition and distribution as two intertwined facets of inequality. This leads Lamont to make the case for the study of cultural processes of recognition and stigmatization across a range of contexts. Lamont offers evidence of a growing recognition gap, with rigidifying boundaries toward the poor, Muslims, and other groups in the United States and Europe. She argues that institutions and cultural repertoires can serve as resources to expand recognition to the largest number of citizens, and explores how various stigmatized groups have responded to exclusion across three national contexts (the United States, Brazil, and Israel). Finally, drawing on the secondary literature, Lamont considers destigmatization processes as they apply to people with HIV-AIDs, the obese, and African Americans. Together, these diverse contributions aim to improve our understanding of how to generate more inclusive societies. The talk concludes with recommendations from the perspective of the social sciences and public policy.