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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #243 - Read: Alain Bihr and Roland Pfefferkorn "Dictionary of inequality" (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:28:17 +0200


Over 400 pages and 500 entries written by 215 scholars in the humanities and social sciences (sociology, economics, philosophy and law, geography and statistics, ethnology and anthropology, and even in medicine and mathematics): the dictionary written under the direction of Alain Bihr and Roland Pfefferkorn inequality seems particularly well equipped to rule on the issue. ---- It turns out that already the first dictionary of its kind (one might even approach the dictionary dominions of collective Manouchian published in 2012 in Syllepse). It is also found that the book was written to meet a dual principle of multidimensionality and multi-disciplinary. In other words, the analysis of social inequality requires the mobilization of work from several distinct fields of scientific research. And study their application to be covered in all fields of practical expression.

Inequalities between social classes and between sexes (or gender), Inequalities (or age classes) and socio-spatial inequalities, inequalities between racialized groups (or between nationalities within a state) as inequalities between groups of states worldwide: examining inequalities induced necessarily by this double orientation multidimensional and multidisciplinary, international perspective may attest to the structural coherence of neoliberal policies exerted in the South as in the North (of where the existence of geographical entries such as "Brazil", "China" and "India").

This consistency allows finally to understand the systemic inequalities that, despite their specificity that is obviously not to deny, interact with each other to the point of co-production and determine mutually and reciprocally. As such, it will then immediately see the entry "intersectionality" written by the philosopher Elsa Dorlin. This concept, proposed in the late 1980s by the US lawyer Kimberlé from Crenshaw and authoritative within gender studies, suggests the "relationship between power relations" (p. 207) describing precisely the situation people simultaneously undergoing various forms of domination. Alain Bihr and Roland Pfefferkorn expose clearly in the introductory presentation to their dictionary: context governing the composition of their work fits into the "wave of neoliberal policies," which have helped to break the back of (p. 5) Southern countries from the former third world victims of structural adjustment programs planned by the World Bank and the IMF, to ruin the command economy of the Soviet States suddenly converted to wild capitalism and weaken social protection policies torn High struggle in the North in the name of deregulation of capital and market deregulation.

But it is also a result of social regression caused by neoliberalism that the symbolic hegemony understanding of inequality only Marxist prism of social classes has been questioned on behalf of the advent of new political subjects of contestation desirous 'complexity in the problem. This means that the problem of inequality can not be recognized without the discussions that exist as an object of scientific knowledge and control objectives as social movements do. There would be definitely no consensus in the analysis of inequality, since already calling the questioning of power relations, it also requires collective actors involved to discuss their respective specificity, without underestimating any of their interactions or their intersections. From this point of view there could be identified via the entry "anarchism," written by Irene Pereira this multiplicity of forms of domination from a generic section and radical critique of hierarchical authority when the traditional Marxist perspective prioritizes itself to analyze inequalities by overvaluing as "principal contradiction" the only economic field. It will be understood, social inequality captured in their multidimensionality cover a total social fact and plural deserving to release based on field surveys and conceptualizations of the systemic nature. The system of inequalities and refers to the consistency of unequal social relations against which equality would then apply to the regulatory idea as wherever it is practically denied. This postulate supplies the sense of libertarian communist struggle and inequality Dictionary Alain Bihr Roland Pfefferkorn and thus represent a special sacrament to furbish their arms where the most scientifically rigorous understanding of reality allows to better fight politically for achievement possible.

Franz B. (AL 93)

Dictionary inequalities, under the direction of Alain Bihr and Roland Pfefferkorn, Armand Colin, 2014, 440 pages 29 euros.
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