I draw on longitudinal data analysis and survey experiments to study the cultural and cognitive dimension of inequality: how (young) people learn about inequality, and how they make sense of it. Inequality has risen dramatically in the West, yet the trend has not been accompanied by growing popular concern. In fact, my work describes how people living in more unequal societies express less concern about inequality than those in more egalitarian societies. To understand why, my research looks at the role of socializing institutions, like schools and neighborhoods, through which young people learn about who gets what and why. Specifically, I study (a) how economic inequality impacts social segregation in neighborhoods, schools and workplaces; (b) how social distance between the rich and poor shapes how they come to (mis)perceive and explain inequality; (c) how meritocratic perceptions and explanations of inequality reinforce social cleavages; and (d) what kind of information or intervention is (un)likely to change people’s understanding of inequality. My research to date has been published in Sociology of Education, Socio-Economic Review, European Sociological Review among other publications, and has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Financial Times and at TEDx London.
This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.
Lecturer on Sociology, Sociology Department, Harvard University
PhD Student in Sociology, Harvard University
Graduate Student Affiliate, CES, Harvard University