25 July 2012

An Interview with Elizabeth Anderson

"The identities of disadvantaged groups vary across societies (although women are disadvantaged everywhere), but the cause is everywhere the same. Systematic group inequality is the result of advantaged groups gaining privileged access to goods critical to social advancement, and closing ranks so as to protect their relative monopoly. In other words, it is the result of the self-segregation of the advantaged. Self-segregation thus causes socioeconomic inequality.

It also undermines democracy. People privileged by segregation tend to be insular, clubby, smug, ignorant of the disadvantaged, inattentive to their interests, and full of negative stereotypes about them. When such people dominate positions of power and authority in society, the institutions they run are similarly negligent or even hostile toward the interests of the disadvantaged. Segregation thereby perpetuates inequality and undermines democracy." ~ Elizabeth Anderson

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