Lecture Series December 2017: Jonathan Mijs › view all

"Learning about Inequality in Unequal America: How University Shapes the Development of Inequality Beliefs"

December 13, 2017 - 16:15h/4:15pm
University of Bremen, UNICOM, House 7, Conference Room (7.3280)
M 9
28359 Bremen
Contact: Stephan Dochow
Series: BIGSSS Lecture Series
Event type: public

Jonathan Mijs, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at LSE, gives a talk on "Learning about Inequality in Unequal America: How University Shapes the Development of Inequality Beliefs" in the BIGSSS Lecture Series.

The talk takes place at University of Bremen, Unicom-Building, BIGSSS Conference Room (7.3280) at 16:15hrs on December 13th, 2017.

 

Abstract

As America becomes increasingly separated by socioeconomic and racial fault lines, how do people learn about the lives of others? Scholarship has produced a long list of correlates of inequality beliefs, but lacks an organizing theoretical framework. I suggest that citizens learn about inequality in institutions that can be homogenous or heterogeneous. The latter expose people to information on the structural sources of inequality that is not available in the former. I test theoretical expectations for a national panel of college students. I find that: (1) inequality beliefs change substantially over the college years; (2) the direction of change is shaped by exclusivity and diversity of the college, and by students' outgroup social interaction---especially their roommates. The cognitive process that links institutions to belief formation helps explain why Americans have not rallied against inequality: the joint growth of inequality and segregation means that, paradoxically, the more unequal America becomes, the less likely people are to experience its full extent.

 

About Jonathan Mijs

Jonathan Mijs is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University (2017). Among many things, he studies how individuals learn and perceive social inequalities, the relationship between meritocracy and inequality, and the diverse effects of neo-liberalism.

 

About the BIGSSS Lecture Series:

Each semester the Graduate School invites a mix of established and young scholars to present their work to the students and the faculty of the School as well as to the wider interested public. Taking place every other week, the Lecture Series is the central meeting point for the entire Graduate School and provides an excellent opportunity for engaging in intensive, interdisciplinary, scholarly debate.