The Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion draws on expertise from across disciplines to gain international and comparative perspectives on how to extend cultural membership to the greatest number in society, to gain a better understanding of the social and cultural processes behind recognition gaps, and to determine how social scientists and policy makers can better respond to help make societies more inclusive. Since fall 2017, cluster members have studied a wide range of topics—racism, xenophobia, homophobia, immigration, destigmatization, incorporation, citizenship, indigeneity, etc.—across various national and transnational contexts.
The cluster connects visiting faculty, postgraduate scholars, and graduate students with the wide range of WCFIA scholars and colleagues. By bringing together academics from a variety of disciplines and institutions, the cluster fosters a research community that seeks to build up the systemic theory around inequality and recognition gaps and create sustained opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas.
Through collaborative activities like workshops, seminars, and individual research projects, cluster affiliates seek to:
- Document growing inequality and recognition gaps, including contradictory trends in different parts of the world.
- Understand and explain how various groups—the poor, the middle class, ethno-racial and religious minorities, LGBTQ, and others—experience these changes.
- Determine the role of cultural repertoires and institutions (including the law) in attenuating the impact of social exclusion.
- Identify what is missing in the literature on these interrelated topics and develop new perspectives on the study of comparative inequality.
- Explore various ways in which scholars from different fields could collaborate to advance the study of comparative inequality and social inclusion.
The Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion is chaired by Professor Michèle Lamont and has a ten-person faculty steering committee which helps guide and support the work of the cluster.