Field Description

The study of social inequality ranges from anthropological studies of hunter-gatherer societies to historical investigations of the "Great Divergence" among nation-states in the nineteenth century and the contemporary economics and social results of what scholars call patrimonial capitalism. However framed, the study of inequality is a truly interdisciplinary inquiry that includes empirical sociological and political measures of the dimensions and levels of inequality; interdisciplinary analysis of the varying bases of power in status, political and economic systems; the development of various statistical indices to measure inequality; the inheritance and fraught reproduction of inequalities; the cultural investigation of the sacerdotal and pseudo-scientific sanction of power and privilege; the investigation of the historical struggles for juridical equality; the philosophical differences between formal and substantive equality along with the political and theoretical justifications of equality and inequality; and the debate over taxation and other public policies in regards to inequality.  

Students interested in this emergent field will find relevant, challenging and exciting courses in Anthropology, Demography, Development Studies, Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Ethnic Studies, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Health, Public Policy, and Sociology.