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Global Inequalities and Power

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How do we approach global inequalities? As a public institution our responsibility is to be self-reflexive in our intellectual and research praxis; to be responsive to and engaged with the diverse communities that make up our campus. Therefore we cannot identify global inequalities without attempting to change how that inequality of resources and power is maintained in today’s global economies.

Stony Brook University is already a top school in the U.S. at promoting upward mobility for students. In fact, a 2017 mobility study from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research ranks Stony Brook among the top 10 colleges and universities in the nation whose students begin college at the bottom fifth of income distribution and then go on to have income in the top three-fifths of the income distribution. This is one important piece of a broader goal of addressing global inequalities. We need to think about how we sustain and extend our work in these areas. With a growing international student population, this is not just about understanding and engaging with income inequality in the US, but as part of a broader phenomenon that will only become more important in the future. We have to imagine our impact on Long Island, but also nationally and globally. 

While discussions of globalization today emphasize the benefits of increased specialization of labor, our research reveals a more complex picture, showing how this creates major income disparities that are intensified by a globalized extractive economy that mines the natural wealth, land, labor, food resources and the very bodies of the global underclass. In addition to income, issues such as cultural and political sovereignty, land and water rights, gender discrimination, and access to education have led to new interdisciplinary proposals aimed not at simply understanding global inequalities, but actively working to create new forms of socialization, or to revive ancestral practices of ethical living and being in good relations. 

The broad social impact of Stony Brook research and education in this area is in deepening public understanding of the unequal distribution of the benefits of capital; influencing public policy; intervening in political debate; educating informed consumers, citizens, opinion-shapers and leaders.


Name Current Title Department
E.K. Tan Associate Professor Asian and Asian American Studies and English
Abena Asare Associate Professor Africana Studies
David Wiczer Assistant Professor Economics
Anne O’Byrne Associate Professor Philosophy
Joseph Pierce Associate Professor Hispanic Languages and Literature