Economic inequality has characterized political societies throughout history. Socio-economic classes, poverty, extractive use of natural resources, and the increase of corporate power manifest some ways in which colonialism and capitalism structure contemporary social life. In the workshop, we approach economic inequality from the perspectives of economic history, political economy, decolonial critique, and eco-social justice. The common analytical ground is that economic inequality is not a ‘natural’ thing but socially and historically produced.
The participants should prepare a short presentation (~15min) to be discussed during the workshop and send a short abstract (~150 words) about the presentation in advance. Any topic related to economic inequality in different times and places is welcome. The participant could, for example, take a more political or economic history point of view and analyze the intersecting burdens of colonialism or capitalism on a particular group of people or a society, economic crisis and their societal and/or political impact, or resistance movements, etc. Alternatively, the participant could take a more cultural and social history point of view and scrutinize, for example, the daily life of the poor or the wealthy, representation of economic inequality in media or arts throughout different periods of history, and so on.
The workshop will be organised according to the following structure:
On the first day, we will have an introductory part of the workshop. After that, we will discuss the presentations of the participants. On the second day, in addition to finishing the presentations and making our final conclusions, we seek to organise a city walk or an excursion where we will get to know more about the history of economic inequality in the context of Finland and specifically Helsinki. We hope the January weather will be decent enough to carry out the city tour, but if that’s not the case, we’ll find a way to work around it. We workshop leaders also don’t want to walk for hours on wet, possibly slushy and muddy roads in the cold and horrible wind. :P
Suvi Baloch, Patrik Németh, Elina Sipilä