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Tax Justice and Injustice: The Politics of Citizenship, Ownership, and Responsibility

When Dec 04, 2006
from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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When: Dec 04, 2006 from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library

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SANDRA MORGEN

 

Professor of Women's Studies, Penn State 
Director, 2007 Faculty Seminar

Sandra Morgen is an anthropologist, joining the Pennsylvania State University faculty as Professor of Women’s Studies in Fall 2006. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, race and class in women’s lives and in U.S. social and economic policy. For the past fifteen years she was director of the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon where she also headed a research initiative on women and economic restructuring focusing on welfare and poverty and was a professor in both the sociology and anthropology departments. Her most recent books include Taxes Are a Woman’s Issue(Feminist Press, 2006 with Mimi Abramovitz), Into Our Own Hands: The Women’s Health Movement in the United States, 1969-1990 (2004, Rutgers University Press) and Work, Welfare, Politics: Confronting Poverty in the Wake of Welfare Reform (2002, University of Oregon Press, co-edited with Frances Fox Piven, Joan Acker, and Margaret Hallock). She received the "Women Who Make a Difference Award" from the National Council for Research on Women in 2004 and an award for "Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Anthropology of the U.S." from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. This spring she will direct a faculty seminar through the Rock Ethics Institute on “Social Justice and the Economy: National and International Perspectives.”

Tax Justice and Injustice: The Politics of Citizenship, Ownership, and Responsibility

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Since 1980s neoliberal ideologies and policies have valorized the “free” market and promoted privatization, devolution, deregulation, and attenuated social welfare spending globally. These policies have contributed to growing income and wealth inequality and exacerbated economic insecurity over much of the globe, including in the U.S. Unlike the period between the 1940s and the late 1970s when U.S. federal tax policies were more redistributive and social policies promoted greater class, gender and racial equity, neoliberal tax and social welfare policies since 1980 have fostered economic polarization and the redefinition of public/social responsibility and social citizenship. What are the ethical questions raised by growing income and wealth inequality? How have changing ideas about equity and fairness explicitly and implicitly marked competing discourses about tax reform in the U.S.? What have been the political repercussions of tax “reform” efforts that have undermined the progressivity of the tax system? How do different meanings of citizenship, economic justice, and government animate “anti-tax” and “tax justice” movements in the U.S. today? Finally, what role might an ethic of economic justice play in promoting an inclusive public dialogue about taxes, public/social responsibility, and citizenship?

December 4, 2006
3:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library