Title: Beyond left-right: teaching inequality with four ideological lenses

Authors: Oliver Cooke; Patrick Dolenc; Kimberly Schmidl-Gagne

Addresses: Stockton University, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ 08205-9441, USA ' Keene State College, 229 Main Street, Keene, NH 03435-3400, USA ' Department of Mathematics, Office of the Provost, 229 Main Street, Keene, NH 03435-1501, USA

Abstract: We believe the economic inequality experienced in many Western countries today threatens democratic principles. Exposing today's undergraduates to the debate over inequality is therefore vitally important. Yet, political discourse surrounding controversial public policy issues, like economic inequality, continues to grow increasingly polarised and adversarial. While we embrace controversy and intellectual disagreement in our classrooms, we believe students should be taught to think in ways that move beyond divisive dichotomies that are often framed as mutually exclusive. The traditional left-right debate over inequality in the USA is representative of this type of discourse. The pedagogical framework described here, which revolves around four political ideologies, circumvents this usual left-right constraint. By allowing students to explore the issue of inequality in a multidimensional political space, our framework engenders a more nuanced and less polarised discourse on inequality.

Keywords: inequality; economic inequality; ideology; Great Compression; Great Divergence; living wage; classical liberal; libertarian; radical; social-democrat; conservatism; liberalism; progressivism; diagnostic; critical thinking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2018.092244

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2018 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.18 - 35

Received: 01 Aug 2017
Accepted: 14 Feb 2018

Published online: 11 Jun 2018 *

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