Home | Keynote Session The Different Dimensions of Social Inequality Understanding and Measuring Inequality

Keynote session: The different dimensions of social inequality: understanding and measuring inequality across the life-course

This plenary session will be delivered by Mike Savage, Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Professor Emer Smyth, Head of the Social Research Division at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin. Emer is also a Co-Director of the Understanding Inequalities project.

How best to understand and measure inequality has been the subject of much debate. Increasingly, it has become clear that focusing only on one aspect of inequality gives a misleading view of the way in which cumulative and intersecting disadvantages serve to shape the lives of individuals, families and communities. This session addresses current debates on inequality and seeks to provide new thinking on how best to understand and measure it.

In his presentation, ‘Analysing social class in an era of increased inequality', Professor Mike Savage will reflect on how sociological concepts of class need to be updated in the context of increased economic inequality. He will show how a focus on multidimensional capitals (economic, cultural, social) can give tools to renew class analysis in current conditions.

Professor Emer Smyth will turn the attention to children and young people using Millennium Cohort Study data to look at the influence of different dimensions of family background (education, class and income) on educational outcomes across the school career from preschool to lower secondary education. The analyses aim to identify potential phases for policy intervention in order to enhance educational equity.

Find out more about both speakers and their work here.