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#300LaSalle: Cory Blad, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Sociology
Throughout the year, the Manhattan College community will reflect on the meaning of the Lasallian tradition.
From Mission Month in April until the end of the Jubilee Year in November, members of the Manhattan College community will reflect on the meaning of the Lasallian tradition on campus.
One of the five Lasallian pillars is concern for the poor and social justice. As the chair of the sociology department at Manhattan College, Cory Blad, Ph.D., examines social interactions; social organizations; and the influence that social groups, institutions and social structure have on human behavior.
Blad specifically focuses on all types of inequality in the world and examines why and how they exist. He has participated in several Lasallian initiatives during his decade on campus at Manhattan College and is active in support of issues related to social justice.
Aspects of inequality serve as a foundation for everything I do in the classroom. We can’t talk about inequality without talking about the larger structural context in which it exists. We have to talk about things like the economic system. We have to talk about things like gender inequality, racial inequality and how they relate to larger power inequalities. And we have to develop a broader understanding about why our mission exists, and why it not only continues to exist, but why it continues to be necessary in a world where inequality, particularly economic inequality, is getting worse.
I get a lot of questions, especially from students, about “Haven’t we solved this? Haven’t we fixed this?” or more specifically, “Why haven’t we fixed this?” The reason for the mission’s existence in the first place has not gone away. There’s still a deep need, just as it existed for De La Salle, for us to address the problems of access to education, to address vocational development, to address critical thinking and critical thought development.
All of those things that existed for poor children in France in the 1600s exist on a much broader scale today. On an everyday basis, because of the discipline that I’m in and because of the work that I do, I am forced to confront the reasons for the mission’s existence and the increased need to address the mission in a very direct way.