This project is grounded in a critical pragmatist epistemology inspired by C. Wright Mills’ conceptualisation of ‘emancipatory political consciousness’, which contends that the making and re-making of reality is a political act, marked by a struggle between conflicting discourses and competing definitions of the status quo. While claims to knowledge are purely instrumental and provisional at best, the critical pragmatist view of cultural realities laying at the basis of this study can – and aims to – become a politics of resistance, and a moral call for individuals to intervene in public life, and to interrupt the uncontested flow of inequality. As iterated by Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler and Tipton (1985, pp. 303-304),
[s]ocial science as a public philosophy is public not just in the sense that its findings are publicly available or useful to some group or institution outside the scholarly world. It is public in that is seeks to engage the public in dialogue. It also seeks to engage the “community of the competent”, the specialists and the experts, in dialogue, but it does not seek to stay within the boundaries of the specialist community while studying the rest of society from outside.