Please join us for a colloquium being given by Michèle Lamont, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University.
"Narratives of Hope: Self-Worth and the Current Crisis in American Society and Beyond"
With growing inequality, the American Dream, and its equivalents elsewhere in the world, is becoming less effective as a collective myth. With its focus on material success, competition and self-reliance, neoliberalism is leading the upper-middle class toward a mental health crisis while the working class and low-income groups do not have the resources needed to live the dream. It also generates a hardening of symbolic boundaries toward various groups. One possible way forward is broadening cultural inclusion by promoting new narratives of hope. I will discuss approaches to achieving this goal. I will go on to discuss the role of culture and belonging in the promotion of collective well-being and conclude with an exploration of the implications of my analysis for Europe and other advanced industrial societies.