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CALL FOR SYMPOSIUM PAPERS: Poverty in the New Gilded Age: Inequality in America 

Abstracts due: January 10, 2014
Conference April 2, 2014


With over 46 million people living in poverty, the effects of the great recession will be felt for many years to come. Forty-five percent of children are growing up in families that struggle to meet basic expenses. The middle class is increasingly finding itself on the losing side of the growing class divide. Equality of opportunity seems more difficult than ever to achieve, with wage stagnation, loss of wealth during the recent recession, and persistent unemployment in some communities retarding the class mobility that for so many decades has been the hallmark of American life.

The Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law of American University Washington College of Law invites symposium papers from practitioners and scholars that address the degree to which law, regulation and social policy can slow or reverse the trend toward accelerating inequality. Of particular interest are papers addressing how the massive push toward deregulation, privatization and public disinvestment play a role in the social changes that appear to be underway. Also crucial to this discussion are papers that address how traditional social welfare policy, such as SNAP, WIC, TANF, health care, child care, elder care, retirement, and housing policy, must transform to meet the shifting challenges faced by low- and middle-income communities. What are the limits of the traditional anti-discrimination paradigm in addressing the race and gender disparities that are widening in this environment? What are the underdeveloped areas of governance and regulation that could stem this tide?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

• The policy dimensions of growing inequality, including tax and transfer policies and disinvestment in social welfare programs and education; and the role of state and local fiscal crises in growing burdens on families.
• The legal structures that underlie the continuing deregulation and privatization of government goods and services, such as education, prisons, health care, and the effects of these trends.
• The disparate impact of these growing trends, including wage stagnation, unemployment and underemployment, on women, immigrants and people of color.
Please direct all questions and final submissions to Symposium Editor,
Erin Neff, at en7482a@student.american.edu.

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