Events

The Gender of Capital: how families perpetuate wealth inequality

Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute

Online and in-person public event (The Auditorium, LSE Centre Building), United Kingdom

Speakers

Professor Céline Bessière

Professor Céline Bessière

Dr Sibylle Gollac

Dr Sibylle Gollac

Dr Sarah Trotter

Dr Sarah Trotter

Dr Ali Meghji

Dr Ali Meghji

Chair

Professor Sam Friedman

Professor Sam Friedman

Why do women in different social classes accumulate less wealth than men? Why do marital separations impoverish women while they do not prevent men from staying or becoming wealthy?

To answer these questions, Céline Bessière and Sibylle Gollac draw on their book The Gender of Capital, which brings attention to the economic relations in families. They reconsider the effectiveness of legal changes that profess formal equality between men and women, while condoning inequality in practice.

Drawing on research spanning twenty years, our speakers analyse what they call ‘family wealth arrangements’. They break with the common understanding of the family as an emotional haven of peace in a brutal capitalist world, showing how men and women do not reap the same benefits from family wealth arrangements. From the single mothers of the French ‘Yellow Vest’ movement to the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, the mechanisms of control and distribution of capital vary according to social class, yet they always result in the dispossession of women.

Capital is gendered. This event discusses how class society is perpetuated through the masculine appropriation of capital. 

Meet our speakers and chair

Céline Bessière is a Professor of sociology at Paris Dauphine University (PSL University). She is the author of a book on Cognac winegrowing family businesses (De génération en génération, Paris : Raisons d’Agir 2010). 

Sibylle Gollac is a Research Fellow in sociology at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS, CRESPPA-CSU). Her PhD dissertation focused on the real-estate strategies of contemporary French families.

Together, Céline and Sibylle study the material, economic and legal dimensions of family, in particular through the analysis of inheritance and marital breakdown. Their research is at the crossroads of several fields: sociology of law and justice, sociology of gender and family, and economic sociology. They co-authored, with a larger team (Collectif Onze), a book drawing on a vast research on family courts in France (Au tribunal des couples; adapted into a graphic novel, by Baptiste Virot). 

Sarah Trotter joined LSE Law School as an Assistant Professor in September 2018. She specialises in family law and European human rights law and is particularly interested in the assumptions that are made in law about how we relate to one another and ourselves. 

Ali Meghji (@alim1213) is an Associate Professor in Social Inequalities in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. Prior to this he completed a research fellowship at Sidney Sussex College, a visiting fellowship at Harvard’s Weatherhead Centre, and a PhD, MPhil, and BA in sociology at Cambridge. He is the director for undergraduate education, the course organiser for the MPhil in marginality and exclusion, and the course organiser for SOC12 Empire, colonialism, imperialism. 

Sam Friedman (@SamFriedmanSoc) is a sociologist of class and inequality, and his research focuses on the cultural dimensions of contemporary class division. He is currently writing a book with Aaron Reeves exploring how the British elite has changed over the last 120 years. Alongside this project he continues to research social mobility into Britain’s higher professional and managerial occupations. He is also Programme Director of the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science at LSE's International Inequalities Institute. 

More about this event

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many of the School's departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend checking back on this listing on the day of the event if you plan to attend.

Whilst we are hosting this listing, LSE Events does not take responsibility for the running and administration of this event. While we take responsible measures to ensure accurate information is given here this event is ultimately the responsibility of the organisation presenting the event. 

How can I attend? Add to calendar

This public event is free and open to all. This event will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and an online audience. 

To join in-person: Register at The Gender of Capital - Eventbrite

To join online: Register at The Gender of Capital - Zoom

For any queries email iii.comms@lse.ac.uk.

Twitter

LSE Inequalities LSEInequalities

What would be the best way of finding a lasting solution to persistent conflicts in the world's poorest countries?… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

3 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Inequalities LSEInequalities

TODAY - The Gender of Capital: How families perpetuate wealth inequality Our speakers discuss how class society is… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

3 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

  Sign up for news about events