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Lecture #2 - Terms, Concepts and Ideological Frameworks

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New College
June Larkin

Intro to Equity Studies NEW240 September 22 2011 Lecture #2 Terms, Concepts and Ideological Frameworks 1) Formal Equality vs. substantive Equity 2) Equity Concepts: Historical Accountability, Ideology, Hegemony, Citizenship 3) Social Activism – What do we mean by ‘equity’? – What are the various ways of thinking about equality? – If our goal is social justice for everyone, how do we deal with difference? – How have differences been constructed, both historically and in contemporary times? – Why does difference matter? – What are the political implications of various notions of difference? – Equality has many different meanings – Equality is rooted in age of enlightenment – notion of natural rights for everyone. – Formal Equality: equal rights could be achieved by treating everyone the same. – Education as human right – equality of education – Breaking down barriers that keep people out - Do not consider race, gender and class > Meritocracy: if we break down barriers, everyone will succeed (merit). – Meritocracy doesn’t take into account that people may have different needs – Just because you remove the barriers doesn’t mean that people can utilize this (whther it be education or financial etc.) – If we only focus on access we may actually reinforce inequality, by assuming that everyone can access if they want to –Bobiwash reading: “you get to the top of the ramp and you still can’t get it” - Major problem with equal opportunity programs – Access is a complex issue. – Ie. Proposition 8 – mormon backed proposition to government to remove rights of same sex couples to be marriage – passed by a 52% margin but was later declared unconstitutional and rescinded – major public demonstrations against – Having access to a range of opportunities is just a starting point. What are the conditions that can make it happen? – So we think more about Substantive equity: takes into consideration the impact of the social and economic distinctions between people and the justice of the arrangements that lead up to and resulting from these distinctions. Also considers differences in historical, social and economic conditions. Also promotes changing the outcomes – with changing the systems that have disadvantaged particular groups – Substantive equity is now the opperating principle in the law – taking into consideration the difference in needs of individuals. – Formal equality: treating everyone the same. Can lead to serious inequalities for groups that have been disadvantaged by a sys
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