Ethnic class stratification and economic inequality. A global comparative analysis
Max Haller, University of Graz
Date: Thu, 3 July 2012, Time: 16:00 - 17:00
In recent times, global inequality has become an important issue in comparative social research. In my presentation, I start from the assumption that also economic inequality within nation states remain an important issue. While inequality between nations has decreased, that within nations is increasing in many cases (Milanovic 2005). Huge differences exist in this regard; while most European (welfare) states have only a moderate income inequality, it is extremely high in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Starting from the sociological assumption that class formation, social stratification and ethnic differentiation represent three basic processes of the production and reproduction of inequality, my central thesis is that inequality within nations is influenced significantly by their degree of ethnic heterogeneity, measured in a comprehensive way (including descent, language and religion). Ethnic heterogeneous states show high levels of inequality, particularly when class stratification and ethnic differentiation interact and when their political system is not democratic. Extreme levels of inequality exist in countries characterized by the heritage of ethnic exploitation in the form of slavery. These theses are investigated in two ways: (1) Through a quantitative, multivariate analysis of the determinants of income inequality in about 140 countries around the world; for this aim, a new data set has been created; (2) through case studies of characteristic patterns of ethnic class stratification in different world regions. The lecture will focus on the first type of analysis.About the presenter
D. Max Haller is professor of sociology at the University of Graz. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna and his Habilitation from the University of Mannheim. He was the co-founder of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and of the European Sociological Association. His recent work is focused on sociological theory, comparative social research and European integration.