Blind to structural inequality
in Reclaiming economics for future generations
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The chapter details how the neoclassical framework dominates academic economics globally and argues that it is fundamentally unable to make visible, much less address the structural inequalities that are almost the defining feature of our modern economies. For example, its theoretical foundations are unsuitable for addressing structural inequality because they analyse the interaction of individuals in an ahistorical vacuum. Consequently, they ignore the historical and social contexts that explain where inequalities come from and how they are reproduced, and as such, neoclassical economics is strongly biased towards accepting the status quo. The chapter illustrates these weaknesses and blind spots through considering how neoclassical economics attempts to explain the prevalence of racial and gender discrimination. The book then returns to the experiences of students who are told that this neoclassical framework is an objective description of the economy, and yet realise very clearly how unable it is to describe their experiences of structural inequality.

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