Sally Haslanger, Systemic Injustice, Ideology, and Agency (Perspectives on Ethics)

Perspectives on Ethics

Systemic Injustice, Ideology, and Agency

Racism, sexism, and other forms of systemic injustice are more than just bad attitudes.  In a stratified society, there are mechanisms – including law, policy, culture, technology, and the built environment – that stably position groups hierarchically. But attitudes play a role. How central is that role?  In this lecture Haslanger argues that social practices are patterns of interaction guided by social meanings that distribute things of value. In the case of unjust practices the network of meanings is ideological and is internalized in habits of mind that distort, obscure, and occlude important facts and result in a failure to recognize the interests of subordinated groups. How do we disrupt such practices to achieve greater justice? Haslanger argues that resistance to systemic injustice requires us to do more than just challenge false beliefs; social movements change the material and cultural conditions of agency.

This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, September 21. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit

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Sally Haslanger

Mon, Sep 21, 2020
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin