Professor Lynch, Magill summer School 2013, Slides

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PDF of slides from Professor Lynch's persentation at the Magill Summer School 2013.

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Professor Lynch, Magill summer School 2013, Slides

  1. 1. Equality as Rhetoric: The Careless state of Ireland Kathleen Lynch Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of Social Justice MacGill Summer School, Glenties, July 31st 2013
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation • Economic Inequality in Ireland – • Why Equality is good for public health and well-being • Dismantling the Equality Legislation and Infrastructure- the facts of the case • Why do we have a Careless State and • Why is Equality just a rhetorical device? • The Role of Ideologies, including the ‘Charity Mentality’ Anti-intellectualism and‘Neoliberalism’ • The problem of neglecting critical social scientific thought
  3. 3. Growing Income Inequality (SILC) Survey of Income and Living Conditions (CSO, 2012: 11). Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 3
  4. 4. Dismantling Institutions promoting Equality -1 • Equality Authority (EA) – 2009 43% cut and merged with HRC (2013) (Est. 1999) • Irish Human Rights Commission (HRC) -Budget cuts since 2009 and merged with EA (2013) • Gender Equality Unit – Department of Education – Closed early 2000s • Higher Education Equality Unit – UCC -Closed 2003 and merged into HEA (Est. 1993) • National Committee on Education Disadvantage disbanded (1998 Act) and appointed in 2001 – disbanded after 3 years – 2005 • Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education- closed 2008 (Est. 2002) • Combat Poverty Agency –closed 2008 (established 1986) • Women’s Health Council – closed 2009 (established 1997) • Crisis Pregnancy Agency - 2001 closed and merged with HSE in 2009 (Est.2001) • National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) _Closed 2009 (Est. 1998) Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 6
  5. 5. Dismantling Institutions promoting Equality -2 • Gender Equality desk at the Department (Ministry) of Justice, Equality and Law Reform – Desk Closed 2009 • National Women’s Council of Ireland -158 member organisations- budget cuts of 15% in 2008- 2011, and 38% in 2012 • Traveller Services -2008 -2013 cutback more than for any other social group– all 42 Visiting teachers for Travellers removed* Traveller Accommodation 85% cut; Traveller Equality organisations, 76.3% cut. see Harvey (2013) Report Travelling with Austerity (2013) • Rape Crisis Network Ireland – core HSE funding removed 2011; SAFE Ireland network of Women’s’ Refuges – Core HSE Funding removed 2011 • People With Disabilities in Ireland's (PWDI) - funding removed 2012 Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 7
  6. 6. Ireland’s history as a CARE-LESS State • Before and after the ‘Celtic Tiger’ era - Ireland has a minimalist welfare state and is now classified internationally with the US and UK as a neoliberal state – Social-class segregated schooling – Minority segregation in education: Gender, Travellers, Disabled, Blind, Deaf, Intellectually Disabled – Social Class-segregated health care upheld by the medical profession, and supported by faith-based groups and the middle and upper classes • The form of carelessness is all that changed in the last 20 yrs. • Rise of private for-profit education (Hibernia, DBS etc.) built on a tradition of exclusive schooling • Rise of private for-profit health care (Beacon, for-profit hospitals, for-profit nursing homes for elderly, for-profit home care etc. built on the back of a deeply class-biased health system… Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 8
  7. 7. Liberal Conceptions of Citizenship – contribution to carelessness • Within Ireland/Europe The Full [adult] citizen is defined as an autonomous person – economically self sufficient • Citizenship is equated with paid work, contributions in the public sphere- dependency, even inevitable dependencies, are called into question…’full citizens’ are not dependent • Caring and Being are not citizenship-defining ways of living – E.g. cuts to One Parent family allowances; changing definition of unemployment assistance to ‘jobseekers’, cuts to disability supports • Yet Dependency and Interdependency are endemic to the human condition Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 9
  8. 8. Neo-liberalism reinforced the idea of the active market citizen • The market has become the primary producer of cultural logic and cultural value in Irish society – – The governing values are competition & self advancement/aggrandisement…minimal welfare state is eroded • Multiple manifestations – Rise of private for-profit health care/elder care/child care – Institutionalisation of new managerialism which involves embedding market values in public services and in the welfare machinery of the State (Lynch, Grummell and Devine, 2012, New Managerialism in Education) – Citizens are redefined as ‘Customers’ and ‘Clients’ with a market relationship to the State ..’Pay-as-you-Go’ (those who cannot pay get no services or only get them late or in part) – Cuts to public services are defined as ‘restructuring, ‘regenerating’ ‘modernising’…governance through dictat legitimated through ‘consultation’ Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 10
  9. 9. The unintended consequences of moral monopoly • Religious groups have monopolised moral spaces in Ireland and have been overly concerned with regulating sexual mores • Secular-forms of morality have been and are still demonised – humanism, socialism, communism, feminism,… • Demise of religion has created a moral and ethical void - people have not been enabled to develop a moral imagination outside of religion – • Irony – power of religion to control moral spaces has facilitated a deeply immoral society – no reason to be moral in the absence of religious belief – Urgent need for ethical education that is multifaceted, one that is not tied to any given set of religious beliefs while respecting people’s right to their own personal faith Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 11
  10. 10. Ideology of charity dominates public discourse about justice in Ireland • A Charity Mentality prevails … • In a charity framework, justice is a voluntary act …it can be given and taken away, a gift held by those who decide to give, on the terms which they decide to give it. – It is an individual act, not collectively binding • Those living on charity have no rights to the services or goods offered that can be vindicated by law • Charity ideology leads to misrecognition/non- recognition of vulnerable groups - ideology of deserving and undeserving poor develops from within the charity framework Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 12
  11. 11. Dangers of charity as a political principle (1) • It is driven by the desire for moral recognition on the part of those who give, not by a recognition of the rights of those who receive. – It services the guilt of the better off not the needs of those who are vulnerable • It generally does not seriously challenge the generative causes of injustice at the level of structures – structural inequalities are secondary considerations within the charity frame Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 13
  12. 12. Dangers of charity as a political principle (2) • It can exacerbate inequality as it gives the impressions something is being done… • Charitable work is voluntary so need not be coordinated – often inefficient • It creates a public impression that those offering charity are morally superior to the needy as they are working out of virtue • It is demeaning for those in receipt of it – – charity has to be sought; it is not a right so those seeking it are subject to scrutiny on the terms defined of those in power… – Charity is based on the instutionalisation of unequal relationships Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 14
  13. 13. Dangers of charity – It absolves the State from acting for justice and people for acting for structural change – people can retain privileges with moral impunity as they have engaged in ‘charitable acts’ • It leads to great disparities in service provision – It provides an avenue for the privileged to assuage their guilt without discomforting themselves • Give away clothes they do not need, computers that are redundant etc.…. enables people to feel morally justified in their judgement of the vulnerable ‘other’ Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 15
  14. 14. The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Challenge to the ‘Voluntary’ sector – Subsidiarity: the organisational principle stating that a matter ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralised authority capable of addressing that matter effectively. – When providing services, this means relying on Voluntary effort, Voluntary contributions – most available from those who are best resourced – Communities that has the most money for voluntary contributions will have the best services Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies UCD School of Social Justice 16
  15. 15. Equality in Cultural Context • Conservative nationalism and anti-intellectualism in Irish public life – Religious, unions, businesses, professional groups, politicians have all worked to maintain inequality • Anti-intellectualism feeds into a cosy Consensualism in politics and in the academy • This masquerades as objectivity in research and being ‘balanced’ or ‘without ideology’ in politics…this is sociological nonsense • There is ‘No view from Nowhere’… all positions both academic and political have ideological roots • Why the Consensus?- absence of critical social scientific education and public analysis – Lack of support for critical social sciences.. – No designated space in the media for an analysis of egalitarian, gender, disability, age, race or other such issues that is scientifically informed...

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