Programs by Country: U.S. + Dialogue of Civilizations

USA: Inequality, Poverty and the Social Responsibility of Business (Honors) – CLOSED

Dialogue of Civilizations | , U.S.

Faculty Leader: Dennis Shaughnessy (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Liz McClanahan (

Term: Summer I


  • HONR1205    Inequality and Urban Poverty in the United States
  • HONR3310 The Social Responsibility of American Business in the 21st Century


This Program addresses the topic of growing economic inequality and poverty in the US, and the role that business can play in potentially reducing inequality and poverty.  Economic inequality in particular is among the most discussed topics in public policy today, particularly as it exists in large and thriving or once thriving cities.  The obligation of businesses to address inequality is certainly one of the most debated topics in the business community, and is all too often the subject of contentious debate.  It is therefore an exceptionally good time to examine the root causes of economic inequality in the US, and the potential that exists within the private sector to lessen its increasingly harsh and irreversible consequences on disadvantaged and vulnerable people and communities.

The material and approach is interdisciplinary, involving concepts and principles from business, economics, sociology and political science.  It is also experiential, with “field work” in five major cities—Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York City.