ASA President-Elect Talk
Social Differentiation and the Discomfort of Change in Education and Society
By Dr. Prudence L. Carter
Thursday, February 24, 2022: 5:30-7pm
State legislators have passed laws against the explicit teaching of race-based knowledge and histories in public schools. Epistemological debates ensue within social science disciplines about the foundational texts of the canon. Lawsuits and political contestation persist about the constitutionality of increased access and inclusion of historically excluded social groups. Different shades of immigration motivate political backlash and increased regulations of the territorial boundaries of the United States. For sociologists, conventionally, social mobility and change have demanded the assimilation of historically excluded groups and ideas. But what happens as the doors of opportunities demand further expansion—beyond the established “comfort zone,” when social movements and critical scholarship push the symbolic boundaries for increased social differentiation of the cultural center of institutions and organizations? In this talk I share preliminary, conceptual arguments and findings on perceptions of social cohesion, crises and destabilization, and the meanings of knowledge, as representation and participation evolve in higher education and K-12 schooling.