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The Production and Reproduction of Social Inequalities: Global Contexts and Concepts of Labor Exploitation


11.- 12. November 2021


At the heart of the research unit “The production and reproduction of social inequalities: global concepts and contexts of labor exploitation” is a conundrum: that attempts at increasing equality often contribute to generating durable inequality.

The participating scientists in the research unit focus on concepts and actors, both institutional and individual, and their roles in producing and reproducing social inequalities in the context of colonial and postcolonial labor systems and regimes of mobility in the Global South. The inequalities under study take various forms and are characterized by labor exploitation, unequal power relations, graded rights, and gendered and racial exclusions.

The research unit investigates how concepts of labor exploitation have been used with the aim of challenging social inequalities, while eventually contributing to the production and reproduction of those same, or new, inequalities. We approach our topic in two complementary ways: On the one hand, we study the concepts’ global circulation in order to trace possible linkages across time and space. On the other hand, we examine the production and reproduction of social inequalities through the lens of grounded situations –that is, by analyzing localized cases in their regional, national, and global contexts.

Conference program

For more information please visit the conference website.