Sally Haslanger, Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s & Gender Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be joining us on the College of Charleston campus for an engaging lecture: Narrative and Social Justice.
Recent work on social injustice has focused on implicit bias as an important factor in explaining persistent injustice in spite of achievements on civil rights. In this paper, Prof. Haslanger argues that implicit bias offers a familiar sort of individualistic narrative to explain injustice, but taken alone, it is inadequate. Most importantly, such narratives miss what is morally at stake. An adequate account of how implicit bias functions must situate it within a broader theory of social structures; changing structures is often a precondition for changing patterns of thought and action and is certainly required for durable change. So we must learn to develop different sorts of narratives that address not only the question, “What can/should I do?” but also “What can/should we do?”