Informed by Marxism, Neo-classical Elitism theory (e.g., Michels, 1911; Mosca, 1896; Pareto, 1901), Social Identity Theory, Realistic Conflict Theory, and Evolutionary psychology, Social Dominance Theory (SDT) posits that systems of group-based social oppression and inequality such as racism, sexism, nationalism, religious sectarianism, classism and speciesism, etc. are specific instantiations of the general tendency for human social systems to organize themselves as group-based social hierarchies. Generally, SDT argues that the degree of social oppression and social hierarchy within a given society at any given time is the net result of the interplay between two multileveled sets of counteracting and contradictory social forces: hierarchy-enhancing social forces and hierarchy-attenuating social forces. These hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating social forces consist of: social ideologies, social customs, social stereotypes, individual behavioral predispositions, social values, asymmetrical ingroup bias, self-debilitating social behaviors, and the contents of institutional social allocations.
This workshop aims to explore more deeply and comprehensively specific examples of the interplay between these multileveled social forces that are thought to contribute to the creation, maintenance, and re-creation of group-based social inequality hierarchy. The aim is to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of group-based inequality through a mixture of discussion of the literature, the design of new studies, and individual consulting sessions linked with the specific research interests of the participants.