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Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12pm

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In The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past , sociologist Mike Savage argues that time and history have to be taken more seriously by scholars of social inequality. Understanding 21st century inequality needs to go beyond considering the differential relationships between people and acknowledge the balance of present-day actions against the weight of past forces. Contemporary capitalism is not new, dynamic and turbo-charged; it is marked by the entrenchment of inherited privilege, and the renewal of empire in a post-colonial world.

The inequality turn has led to a ready spatialization of concepts and measurement, whether through Bourdieu’s conception of fields, or relational approaches more broadly, but have not sufficiently understood how inequality and especially the return of capital and wealth is part of a renewal of past forces. He therefore offers an altogether bleaker and more disturbing view which questions the contemporary fixation with novelty and innovation.


Jonathan Mijs
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston University

Michèle Lamont
Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies; Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies, Departments of Sociology and African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Author: Mike Savage
Martin White Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics

Leslie McCall
Associate Director Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality and Presidential Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Branko Milanovic
Visiting Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Miguel Centeno
Musgrave Professor of Sociology and Vice-Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

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