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Opening Conference: The Production and Reproduction of Social Inequalities

Global Contexts and Concepts of Labor Exploitation

At the heart of the research unit “The production and reproduction of social inequalities: global concepts and contexts of labor exploitation” is a conundrum: that attempts at increasing equality often contribute to generating durable inequality.

In their contributions to the opening conference of the research unit the participating scientists focused on concepts and actors, both institutional and individual, and their roles in producing and reproducing social inequalities in the context of colonial and postcolonial labor systems and regimes of mobility in the Global South. One special focus in the different panels was the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the livelihoods and experiences of (labor) migrants.

The inequalities discussed during the opening conference take various forms and are characterized by labor exploitation, unequal power relations, graded rights, and gendered and racial exclusions.

We would like to thank all speakers and participants of the opening conference for their valuable inputs for further research and discussion.

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This Research Unit is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation