Socially Speaking: Addressing Inequality

The American dream is about upward mobility, yet the 2008-2009 economic crisis and sluggish recovery put a dent in this dream for millions of Americans. Experts discussed upward mobility and inequality.


  1. The latest Socially Speaking featured a panel of faculty experts discussing upward mobility and inequality, tying the talk to current events: the affordable housing crisis, the presidential election and how our schools are preparing future adults. Lane Kenworthy of Sociology, Thad Kousser of Political Science and Amanda Datnow of Education Studies were joined by Voice of San Diego editor-in-chief Scott Lewis as moderator.

  2. (l to r) Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis as moderator, Lane Kenworthy, Division of Social Sciences Dean Carol Padden, Thad Kousser and Amanda Datnow.
  3. Panelists

  4. Lane Kenworthy is a professor of Sociology and holds the Yankelovich Chair in Social Thought. He is the director of the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research, and studies the causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, mobility, employment and social policy in the United States.
  5. Thad Kousser is a professor of Political Science and has authored, coauthored or edited several works on U.S. politics and government. He is a recipient of the UC San Diego Academic Senate's Distinguished Teaching Award and the Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.
  6. Amanda Datnow is professor of Education Studies and associate dean of the Division of Social Sciences. She was chair of the Department of Education Studies from 2008 to 2013. Her research focuses on educational reform, particularly with regard to issues of equity.

  7. Thad Kousser said trade is a big issue for the presidential race, touching on the TPP, policy movements and the U.S. remaining “on top.” But he said this election isn’t going to be one to unravel the advancements on trade.
  8. He then brought up California's new $15/hour minimum wage bill, saying it came together from a coalition of those who could afford it and those who needed it: