Sociology launches inaugural semester with focus on income inequality

Melvin Oliver, PhD, a noted scholar on racial disparities who earned a doctorate in sociology here in 1977, will kick off the department’s inaugural semester with a lecture on “Income and Wealth Inequality” at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16, in Anheuser-Busch Hall. For more information on the lecture, which is free and open to the public, visit the Assembly Series website.

Issues of income inequality are a primary focus of the department’s leadership, including chair Steven Fazzari, PhD, the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics in Arts & Sciences; and associate chair Mark Rank, PhD, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the Brown School.

Fazzari’s research suggests the growing income gap between the nation’s rich and poor is a big factor in the economy’s sluggish growth since the Great Recession. Rank’s work suggests the likelihood of an individual American experiencing relative poverty at least once in their lifetime is surprisingly high.

Rank and Fazzari recently co-taught an interdisciplinary course on the “Economic Realities of the American Dream,” which explored how modern economic and social factors are making the Dream much more difficult to achieve.

While the Oliver lecture will be its first public event, the department has been bustling with activity this fall, including new courses being offered by the department’s first cohort of faculty recruits. 

Read more at The Source. 

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