Seminar by Dr Kaustav Banerjee

04 October 2023


October 4, 2023 - 3:30 pm


October 4, 2023 - 5:00 pm


Joan Robinson Hall   View map

Title: Identities and Group Inequalities.

Authors: Prof. Amit Bhaduri and Dr. Kaustav Banerjee

Abstract: This paper approaches the complex problem of the interrelation between group inequalities and identities in their various dimensions using set theoretic approach. A set is defined by an abstract identity like ethnicity, gender, caste etc. which may be inherited at birth or acquired or socially imposed as a construct, bestowing advantage or disadvantage to the individual. Each individual in the set shares a particular, common identity while they may or may not share other identities. In our set theoretic approach an average probability based on data is attached to that identity representing the extent of disadvantage typically suffered by an individual member of the set on account of that identity. The extent of disadvantage of these identities are reduced to a common measure using income deprivation. While this this reductionism is unavoidable for measuring group deprivation on a common scale, two common logical fallacies have to be avoided in dealing with the data, namely the fallacy of composition which arises from non- empty intersection of sets and modo-hoc fallacy from ignoring the order of arrangements of sets over time or space. This is illustrated by measuring and ordering group inequalities using India data.

Dr. Kaustav Banerjee is Associate Professor of Global Studies at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). He completed his PhD from Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU and prior to AUD, he was a faculty at Centre for the Study of Discrimination & Exclusion, JNU (2013-18) and Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum (2012-13). He is an economist specializing in agrarian systems, developmental policy and theories of exclusion and discrimination. He has 15 years of field-based research experience in the most backward districts of the country. He has also been involved with the policy formulation and implementation process of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. Additionally, he has been an Advisor to the Core Group of the Socio-Economic & Caste Census, 2011, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India which involved formulation of the pilot methodology and training of state level enumerators. He advised the Government of South Africa in 2016, on land reforms, agrarian development and rural economic transformation.