Second Annual Conference of desiguALdades.net:
New Differences, Persistent Inequalities? Latin American Experiences
December 8 - 9, 2011, in Berlin
Social inequalities in Latin America have been historically characterized by their intriguing persistence, their salient ethnic, racial and gender components, and their interconnections with global processes.
Since the democratization wave during the 1980s, however, structures of inequalities in the subcontinent are undergoing extensive transformations. In this context, a plurality of new actors has emerged converting social ascriptions (as indigenous, as black etc.) into differences that articulate political agency. Consequently, legal frameworks and social policies have been broadly reconfigured in order to respond to claims for more racial, ethnic and gender justice. At the same time, leftist and center-leftist parties have assumed power in various countries transforming the appeal for social redistribution - beyond racial, ethnic and gender classifications - into a central component of democratic legitimization.
Both processes have ambivalent impacts on the patterns of social inequality observed in Latin America. On the one hand, new social policies may have produced in some countries a remarkable reduction of inequality. On the other hand, the distribution of social benefits according to gender, racial and ethnic criteria - certainly necessary to compensate existing inequalities - is producing new asymmetries in the access to political and social rights.
Following up on the first Annual Conference of desiguALdades.net (Berlin, December 2010) which focused on transregional interdependencies, with the second Annual Conference we will concentrate on interdependencies between struggles for the reduction of inequality and articulations of differences.