Bernheim Lectures in Social Responsibility
These lectures are part of the Bernheim Project « Social Responsibility in Economic Life », of the Utopies pour le temps présent initiative and of the course LHOOV2212. Those who are not attending the course LHOOV2212 and who would like to attend these Bernheim lectures can do so free of charge provided they simply send a mail to Therese Davio.
This course exposes students to issues of social responsibility that public and private decision makers are facing in economic life. The questions addressed include: How to take into account societal factors when making a decision, beyond direct economic impact and legal compliance? Why should those factors be considered? What are the challenges related to that issue? In particular, how to define and act according to the “common good”? What are the circumstances and settings that facilitate the practice of social responsibility? Students should register on moodle.
2018 Lectures: Anca Gheaus (Pompeu Fabra University)
Gender and the firm
November 12, 13, 15 and 16, 2018
Monday November 12, 2.00 - 5.00
Tuesday November 13, 2.00 - 5.00 pm, LECL 83
Wednesday November 14, 2.00 - 5.00 pm, MORE 57
Friday November 16, 2.00 - 5.00 pm, STUD 13
Although women in rich democratic countries tend to have higher educational achievements than men, they continue to be less attached to the labour market then men, earn less then men for doing similar kinds of work and be - in certain cases largely - under-represented in positions of power and prestige in the workplace. Moreover, women’s access to some professions seems difficult; at the same time, feminised jobs pay less and confer less social status. To some extent, these are the results of clearly objectionable things such as explicit or implicit biases against women. But women’s own choices of type and level of occupation, too, plays a role. In this course we shall discuss gender inequalities in the workplace, their causes and whether they represent a form of injustice against women. Special attention will be payed to the way in which gender norms are responsible for the gendered division of labour at home, and to how this creates strong incentives for women to work less and often choose jobs with lower benefits and career possibilities. Half of the lectures will be dedicated to the variety of policies that could be implemented, by states of by firms, in order to undermine the gendered division of labour at home and in the workplace and to eliminate discrimination against women.
First lecture: Gender norms and the gendered division of labor
We start by discussing the gendered the division of labour: what is it, and what are the mechanisms that generate and perpetuate it? Special attention will be payed to the interconnections between the gendered division of labour in the home and in the workplace. Most of the discussion will focus on what is objectionable about the gendered division of labour and the norms that uphold it: The gendered division of labour is often instrumental to women’s lower income and opportunities and puts them to a higher risk of poverty and domination. Part of these effects are due to the unequal compensation of activities that are deemed “male” and “female”. But, even with equal compensation, some women and some men will be oppressed by the norms that generate a gendered division of labour, since they are better suited to occupations that are associated with the opposite sex. We shall also discuss the question of whether these norms are intrinsically objectionable, or whether they are objectionable only due to their gendered nature.
Okin, Susan Moller. 1989. Justice, Gender and the Family, New York: Basic Books, chapter 7, “Vulnerability by marriage”, pp. 134-169.
Allen, Anita. 2008. “Rationalising Oppression.” Journal of Power 1(1):51–65.
Gheaus, Anca. 2012. “Gender Justice,” Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6:1–24.
Hakim, Susan. 2000. Work‐lifestyle Choices in the 21st Century: Preference Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hochschild, Arlie and Anne Machung. 1989. The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home. New York: Viking Penguin.
Robeyns, Ingrid. 2011. “A Universal Duty to Care.” In Axel Gosseries (ed.) Arguing About Justice: Essays for Philippe van Parijs. Louvain: Presses Universitaires de Louvain, pp. 283–290
Second lecture: Discrimination against female workers
Some of the gender inequalities in the workplace are a result of women’s and men’s apparently freely ade choices. To the extent to which this is the case, can such inequalities nevertheless be unjust, and why? Further, it is often claimed that women on the labour market face discrimination. What is gender discrimination, and why is it wrong? We shall devote some time to examine statistical discrimination against women in the workplace. In this lecture we shall also discuss the inter-connections between discrimination on the labour market and the gendered division of labour outside the work place, in particular in the spheres of procreation and childrearing.
Radcliffe-Richards, Jeannette. 2014. “Only X%: The Problem of Sex Equality,” Journal of Practical Ethics 2(1):44–67.
Arneson, Richard. “Equality of Opportunity”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equal-opportunity/
Brownstein, Michael. 2015. “Implicit Bias,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/implicit-bias/
Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. 2007. “Nothing Personal: On Statistical Discrimination”, Journal of Political Philosophy 15(4): 385-403.
Stricker, Lawrence and William Ward. 2004. “Stereotype Threat, Inquiring About Test Takers’ Ethnicity and Gender, and Standardized Test Performance.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 34:665–693.
Third lecture: Policies that offset the effects of gender norms (part one)
Can liberal states permissibly engage in attempts to counter the norms that uphold the gendered division of labour? In particular, should states interfere by regulating family life in order to promote gender justice in the workplace? If yes, what are the best policies for doing so? Over the years, several kinds of measures have been proposed, amongst which: to split the paychecks between workers (usually male) and their stay-at-home spouses; to provide adequate institutional care to those who need it in order to free women to work on the same terms as men; gender-neutral parental leaves; flexible schedules for workers with children and other dependents in need of care; a universal basic income. All these policies are controversial amongst feminists. We shall also spend some time discussing who (if anyone) should pay for some of the above policies.
Schouten. Gina. forthcoming. Liberalism, Neutrality, and the Gendered Division of Labor. Oxford University Press, Chapter 1.
Behrends, Jeff and Gina Schouten. 2017. “Home Economics for Gender Justice? A Case for Gender-Differentiated Caregiving Education.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20(3):551-565.
Bergmann, Barbara. 1998. “The Only Ticket to Equality: Total Androginy, Male Style.” Journal of Contemporary Legal Studies 9:75–86.
Brighouse, Harry and Eric Olin-Wright. (2008). “Strong Gender Egalitarianism.” Politics and Society 36:360–372.
Elgarte, Julieta. (2008). “BI and the Gendered Division of Labour.” Basic Income Studies 3(3).
Lloyd, Susan. (1995). “Situating a Feminist Criticism of John Rawls’s Political Liberalism.” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 28:1319–1344.
Fourth lecture: Policies that offset the effects of gender norms (part two)
What policies could, and should, be implemented by firms even in the absence of state regulation? Should there be gender quotas on management boards, and what are the best justifications for this in different circumstances? Should firms adopt hiring procedures that can minimise implicit biases? Should they subsidise their employees’ childrearing – for instance by creating daycares, kindergartens and after-school programmes when needed – in order to equalise work opportunities for women and men? And (how) should employers strive to avoid statistical discrimination against women in cases when it is legal? Finally, we shall pay some attention to issues of gender justice in non-ideal circumstances. In particular, what is value and significance of ensuring equal opportunities between women and men for jobs that receive compensation in excess of what we are entitled to by justice? For instance, what are the complaints of women who are being denied jobs above the glass ceiling, or who occupy very advantageous social positions, yet receive less pay then their male peers for doing the exact same work?
Blanc, Sandrine and Tim Meijers. Forthcoming. “Firms and parental justice. Should firms contribute to the cost of parenthood and procreation?,” Philosophy and Economics.
Abel, Will, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton, “Parental Leave and Gender Equality” (unpublished manuscript).
Gheaus, Anca. Manuscript. “The feminist case against supporting care” (available on demand from the author)
Kalev, Alexandra, Frank Dobbin and Erin Kelly. 2006. “Best Practices or Best Guesses? Assessing the Efficacy of Corporate Affirmative Action and Diversity Policies”, American Sociological