Direct Conflict: Addressing Educational Inequality as a Matter of Conflicting Interests
Gian McCann, Spring 2018
Director: Lucille McCarthy
Committee Member: Pamela Bennett
McCann’s portfolio seeks to investigate persistent inequalities in education through the lens of “direct conflict.” “Direct conflict” is defined in the portfolio as “a condition applied to any good that cannot be gained–to any extent–by one human group without that same good–to that same extent–being lost by another human group.” This portfolio examines how goods, ranging from money and food to dignity and humanity, can breed direct conflict between human groups. McCann also explores the rational dilemma raised by direct conflict and how that dilemma precludes the groups advantaged by persisting inequalities from justifying the pursuit of equality. This theory-practice portfolio expresses McCann’s position between his current Humanities training and his foray into Public Policy education and includes nascent research projects such as the proposal of a Microcredit Student Loan program in the west African nation of Liberia as well as an ongoing “Communications Mapping” effort being performed in conjunction with the Belizean Ministry of Education.