Learning Sciences of Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, 6860 Readings

Archive for the ‘Inequality’ Category

How do our Brains react when Income is Distributed?

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Economists from the Norwegian School of Economics NHH and brain researchers from the University of Bergen UiB have worked together to assess the relationship between fairness, equality, work and money. More precisely, the interdisciplinary research team from the two institutions looked at the striatum, the “reward centre” of the brain. By measuring our reaction to questions related to fairness, equality, work and money, this part of the brain may hold some answers to the issue of how we perceive distribution of income.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

Socio-environmentally determined health inequities among children and adolescents

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There is ample evidence to show that young people living in poorer circumstances are more likely to be at risk of unintentional injuries and lack of physical activity than those from more affluent families. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 5−19 years in the WHO European Region, with road traffic, drowning and poisoning ranking among the top 15 causes of death in 0−19-year-olds. Deaths in countries with the highest injury rates are almost seven times those in countries with the lowest rates, with five out of six child injury deaths taking place in poorer countries. Physical inactivity in childhood and adolescence is recognized as having profound negative implications for the health of young people as they grow into adulthood, and being subject to socio-environmental influences. WHO/HBSC Forum 2009, the third forum in a series designed to promote adolescent health, concentrated on action on socio-environmentally determined health inequities among children and adolescents. This publication presents the summary of outcomes from WHO/HBSC Forum 2009. It also features two background papers on injuries and physical activity and environmental inequalities among children and young people which set the context and present a summary of the evidence on the topics, and 10 country case studies which share national experiences.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Health, Inequality

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How family dynamics play out in the OWS movement

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If one were to describe the populace of the United States as a family, who would be the children, and who would be the parents? I would argue that the occupiers, as representatives of the 99%, would be the “children”, and that the parents would be a self-serving Wall Street and a sluggishly responsive government.

To therapists, calling someone a “child” is the opposite of an insult. It’s often the children who are the most thoughtful, insightful, caring and aware. The body politic—in this instance a metaphor for a family–is one in which the people in charge are not taking care of the family system as a whole, despite their hold on the power of the system.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 12, 2011 at 1:57 am

Posted in Family, Inequality

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Democracy Is In Our DNA: The Science Behind The Protest

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Democracy is ingrained in our DNA, because it has helped us to survive. We have lived for most of our evolutionary history in small bands, and this has shaped our psychology today. Upstarts would occasionally try and dominate others — dominance is part of our primate heritage — but our ancestors had a number of effective means to keep these irritants under control. Traditional societies still use these techniques – we call them STOPS or strategies to overcome the powerful — with much success. The most effective weapon that a group can deploy is to desertion, by simply leaving a dominating leader behind.

Not only do we naturally organize ourselves into democracies but we are a social species – and disaffection is contagious.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Does Inequality Make Us Unhappy?

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This labor unrest among monkeys illuminates our innate sense of fairness. It’s not that the primates demanded equality — some capuchins collected many more pebbles than others, and that never created a problem — it’s that they couldn’t stand when the inequality was a result of injustice. Humans act the same way. When the rich do something to deserve their riches, nobody complains; that’s just the meritocracy at work. But when those at the bottom don’t understand the unequal distribution of wealth — when it seems as if the winners are getting rewarded for no reason — they get furious. They doubt the integrity of the system and become more sensitive to perceived inequities. They start camping out in parks. They reject the very premise of the game.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Inequality

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