Bias in Context #4: Psychological and Structural Explanations of Injustice

October 26, 2017 - October 27, 2017
Department of Philosophy, University of Utah

Room 2110, LNCO
255 Central Campus Drive, University of UTah
Salt Lake City
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Sponsor(s):

  • University of Utah, College of Humanities

Main speakers:

Ásta (Sveinsdóttir)
San Francisco State University
Glenn Bracey
Villanova University
Bryan Chambliss
University of Arizona
Jacqueline Chen
University of Utah
Clifton Granby
Yale University
Adam Hosein
Northeastern University
Meena Krishnamurthy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Theresa Lopez
University of Maryland
Kate Manne
Cornell University
Jennifer Mueller
Skidmore College

Organisers:

Erin Beeghly
University of Utah
Jules Holroyd
University of Sheffield

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THEME: What is the relationship between psychological and structural explanations of persistent social injustice? 

This conference—the final in a series of four—considers recent empirical and philosophical work that frames social injustice in terms of individualistic psychological explanations.  Such explanations appeal to phenomena such as prejudice, implicit bias, stereotyping, and stereotype threat, in order to understand persisting inequities in a broad range of contexts, including educational, corporate, medical, and informal social contexts (Valian 1997; Fricker 2007; Antony 2012; Saul, 2013; Madva 2016).

A key challenge to these explanations, and the discourses that incorporate them, maintains that the focus on individual psychology is at best obfuscatory of, and at worst totally irrelevant to, more fundamental causes of injustice, which are institutional and structural (Young 1990; Cudd 2006, Anderson 2010; Ayala 2015, Haslanger 2015). Yet structural explanations face difficulties accommodating the extent to which individual agency is implicated in those problematic structures or institutions. Nor are they well placed to articulate how individual agency might be directed towards changing these structures.

This conference series will generate more fully worked-out understandings of the interaction between these two kinds of explanations.  It will also investigate the normative and practical implications of one’s explanatory mode on attempts to address injustices via institutional policy, interpersonal intervention, and collective action.  

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There will also be a poster session associated with this conference on October 26.  Poster presenters include:

Saray Ayala-Lopez (Philosophy, CSU Sacramento)
Rima Basu (Philosophy, USC)
César Cabezas (Philosophy, Columbia)
Gabrielle Johnson (Philosophy, UCLA)
Annette Martin (Philosophy, NYU)
Katherine Tullman (Philosophy, CUNY)
Nadya Vasilyeva (Psychology, UC Berkeley)
Jennifer White (Philosophy, UCLA) & Alex Madva (Philosophy, Cal Poly Pomona)



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September 24, 2017, 9:00am MST

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