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5th International desiguALdades.net Summer School

5th desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano

"Social Mobility and Interdependent Inequalities: A New Agenda for Research in Social Inequalities"

March 17 20, 2015 in Mexico City

Cooperation: International Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America desiguALdades.net, Berlin, and Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales (IIS), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México, D.F.

Program of the 5th desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano

Overview (in English and Spanish) and Summary (in Spanish)

The desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano is a format of academic exchange developed by the International Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America desiguALdades.net. Each year the network organizes a Summer School in conjunction with an academic institution in Latin America. The 5th desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano is organized together with the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIS / UNAM) in Mexico City.

Previous Summer Schools have focused on transregional interdependent configurations of inequalities (CEM / CEBRAP, São Paulo, 2010), asymmetries of class, race, gender and ethnicity (IDES, Buenos Aires, 2011), social inequalities linked to asymmetries of knowledge (UNAL, Bogotá, 2012) and the globalization of nature and social inequalities (PUCP, Lima, 2013).

The 5th desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano 2015 will explore the links between the persistence of structural inequalities on the national and global levels and individual social mobility in order to make their interdependencies visible. The central question for the event is: How are individual social mobility and interdependent inequalities in Latin America interrelated?

This question will be addressed within the following thematic focus areas: (a) Asymmetries of knowledge (b) Education and interdependent inequalities, (c) Migration, citizenship and inequalities concerning ethnicity, gender and generation, (d) Public space: between social mobility and segregation.

a) Asymmetries of knowledge

The term asymmetries of knowledge refers to inequalities in knowledge production in the Global North and South. Such asymmetries may result from both the way knowledge can be accessed and disseminated (tacit, codified, informal and formal) as well as from the actions by those who produce and use it (scholars, entrepreneurs, communities). The results of these asymmetries are reproduced both in the global and the local context. In this focus area, the effects of asymmetries of knowledge on social inequalities will be discussed. Individual works must investigate one of the methods of production of knowledge asymmetries, relate it to different levels and spaces (global, national and local) and analyze how knowledge asymmetries affect the possibilities for individual mobility or mobility of certain groups (women, indigenous, Afro-descendants, etc.).

 b) Education and interdependent inequalities

Education and the education system have traditionally been and continue to be a space for individual social mobility. They also constitute a political field that produces a discourse in which social mobility plays a central role in shaping belief in an equal future. On the other hand, recent changes related to the integration of Latin America into the world economy are causing a decline in the importance of education as a vehicle for social mobility. Individual papers should incorporate opportunities and limitations of this policy field and its institutions. They may also reflect on the conditions and practices of everyday life (family, home, health, food, etc.) that influence the possibilities of entry and persistence in school. In any case, it is expected that the situations analyzed are placed in the context of global changes and their impact on the national and local levels.

c) Migration, citizenship and inequalities related to ethnicity, gender and generation

Modern citizenship attached to the nation-state affects structural inequalities and social mobility in two ways: the first is linked to the inequality producing effects of citizenship and nationality rights. The second refers to the persistence of inequality between different nation states, especially among countries of the Global North and the Global South. International migration combines these two forms of inequality in an ambivalent way: On the one hand, it creates opportunities at the individual or household levels to achieve a better socioeconomic status. At the same time, however, it leads to a loss of political and social rights associated with nationality. Immigration status is always linked to experiences of humiliation and discrimination that are intertwined with other axes of social and cultural stratification, such as racism, gender discrimination, vulnerability of children, youth and elderly. Individual papers should discuss the ambivalence of social mobility in the context of migration.

d) Urban areas: between social mobility and segregation

Social indicators of urban and rural populations, both nationally and globally, demonstrate that life in a city increases the chances of upward social mobility. However, the increasing use of stratified urban spaces transform cities in privileged spaces of reproduction of social inequalities. Urban inequality is expressed in different dimensions: social, spatial, relational and symbolic. Contemporary urban sociability is dominated by mistrust, stigma, and fear; a differentiated use and signification of urban space and a growing confinement of the privileged sectors that goes along with the increasing isolation of the poor. In this context, urban policies (housing, infrastructure, property rights, gentrification, etc.) generate, consolidate and reproduce various forms of stigmatization and discrimination of vulnerable populations (indigenous, Afro-descendants, poor, young, elderly, unemployed, etc.) and socio-economic actors (street vendors, etc.). These policies link residence and the space of economic activities to a certain social status and deepen socio-economic stratification as well as social polarization and the increasing criminalization of the most disadvantaged. Individual papers should analyze dimensions in which urban inequalities (social, political, symbolic, relational) are expressed and their implications for social mobility as well as coexistence among the various social groups and strata. They may also incorporate some of these urban policies and their social effects, linking different levels and spaces (global, national and local).

Co-organizers of the 5th desiguALdades.net Summer School / Coloquio de Verano.

desiguALdades.net is an interdisciplinary, international, and multi-institutional research network on interdependent social inequalities in Latin America, supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The executive institutions of desiguALdades.net are the Lateinamerika-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin (LAI, Institute for Latin American Studies), the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (IAI, Ibero-American Institute, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Berlin), the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn and the GIGA German and Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg.

The Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales (IIS) of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) was created on April 11, 1930 with the mission to carry out scientific studies in the field of the social sciences. Its daily activities include research, human resource development through teaching, initiation of research projects and dissemination of research results. Its purpose is to generate relevant and pertinent scholarship and social knowledge. Researchers of the institute carry out scientific studies in the field of the social sciences in order to contribute knowledge about and to help with the solution of national problems. The institute also promotes social research on Latin America and other world regions as well as interdisciplinary research. It disseminates the results of its investigations and research which constitutes a major contribution to the social sciences. It also contributes to the formation and the academic improvement of academic staff, and promotes academic exchanges with other teaching and research institutions, both domestic and foreign, as well as with international organizations.


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