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Department of Sociology


With growing inequality, the American Dream is becoming less effective as a collective myth.

With its focus on material success, competition and self-reliance, neoliberalism has generated stronger class and ethno-racial boundaries. One way forward is broadening cultural inclusion by promoting new narratives of hope. In this talk, Professor Michèle Lamont (Harvard University) will examine how this is achieved by discussing how "agents of change" in entertainment, education, philanthropy, religion, advocacy, and other sectors, contribute directly or indirectly to diffusing new frames about our collective future and identities. Prof Lamont will also describe how American Gen Zs (aged 18 to 24) promote authenticity, diversity, and sustainability and thus contribute to diversity and a weakening of group boundaries.The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of this study for other advanced industrial societies.

This event was held on Tue 1 Dec 2020, 12:30-2pm (GMT)

About the speaker:

Professor Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017 and she chaired the Council for European Studies from 2006-2009.

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