SSP Research Seminar Series: Rethinking Naturalisation

We are delighted to welcome our guest speaker Dr Wendy Bottero of the University of Manchester to present "Rethinking Naturalisation".


A key theme in work on subjective inequality is the question of how inequalities are rendered more or less visible, not least because analysts have long identified a ‘problem’ with ordinary people’s understandings. But are people’s understandings really so restricted? People are more alert to wider structural and economic processes than some analysis suggests, but typically view these processes in terms of how they must be negotiated, seeing inequality as a ‘given’ feature of the environment to be managed in their daily lives. For some analysts such a taken-for-granted practical experience of inequality ‘naturalises’ it as inevitable or self-evident. But despite its situated and practical character, people’s sense of inequality is ‘good enough’ for most people to want lower inequality, to fuel scepticism and dissent to legitimating ideologies, and to generate significant levels of recalcitrance, resistance and protest.

I critically interrogate the claim that ordinary people’s understandings of inequality are limited, paradoxical or mystified, and consider whether the restricted visions found in ordinary people’s sense of inequality are partly a reflection of the restricted vision of analysts. I argue that if we locate people’s knowledge, beliefs and values about inequality within a more situated understanding of their practical engagements and concerns then their sense of inequality seems less distorted or naturalised and starts to make better sense.

Joining details

You can join us via the zoom link below from 12:00 noon and there will be a Q&A session at the end.

Meeting ID: 819 2690 5080
Passcode: cg3E%C