16 09 2011

Looking back now the dust has settled, here’s some thought provoking material.

Behind the Riots Guardian sociology series

Reading the Riots Guardian, LSE, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Open Society Foundations series

Paul Gilroy on the riots

Important video on the riots in Tottenham:


Framing the City

11 06 2011


Call for Entries

FRAMING THE CITY is a juried photography competition accompanying a major international conference hosted by CRESC at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from the 6th – 9th September 2011.

First and second prizes will be awarded to those photographs judged to best capture the conference theme: FRAMING THE CITY. Entrants are invited to examine the nature of change in the urban environment; to reflect on and challenge notions of city living from the local to the global and across cultural, technical and political landscapes.

The CRESC Framing the City conference aims to scrutinise the processes by which cities are conceptualised, realised, lived and contested. All shortlisted entrants will be part of an online competition gallery on flickr, hosted as part of the conference proceedings.

The winning entrants will:

· have their work published in the prestigious online magazine Manchester Review

· have their work featured on the CRESC FRAMING THE CITY conference brochure (1st prize, front cover; 2nd prize, back cover)

· receive a collectors’ item hardback copy of the work of photographer Stephen Gill

· receive a cash prize (1st prize £100; 2nd prize £50)

· have their work displayed at the Royal Northern College of Music during the conference

· attend a prize giving at the conference opening ceremony on 6th September

Deadline for entries: Thursday 30 June 2011

There is a limit of 3 entries per person, but prizes will be awarded to single photographs not to a collection of work and entrants must agree to the ‘Creative Commons Licence’ conditions of flickr.

To enter please click here

Research Committee 21

13 12 2010

deadline for abstract submission approaching!

Research Committee 21 on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association

The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings

Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011.

Deadline for abstract submission December 21st, 2010.

Check out the website and view the available panels.

The RC-21 2011 Conference will analyze how globalization and individualization have given rise to new forms of diversity ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, class and otherwise, and new deliberations and conflicts over citizenship and belonging in urban settings in both the Global South and North. We want to know how people with diverse backgrounds locate themselves and others in new social hierarchies, how they struggle to create meaningful places, in what ways they develop strategies to belong, and with what consequences. Moreover, we aim to understand better what types of (new) policy responses and forms of governance have developed to manage diversity in urban settings.

The struggle to feel at home can be understood as a response to the process of globalization. On the one hand, there are indications that traditional loyalties evaporate, which seems to hold particularly for those who operate in what Castells has called the ‘space of flows’, for example for people involved in the tier of internationally oriented knowledge workers. On the other hand, there are also indications that traditional or local orientations and loyalties become more significant, and corresponding groups are strengthened. This is especially the case for those people who are, for Castells, in the space of place, and who often comprise the less privileged groups in society. In this way, globalization goes hand in hand with localization, i.e. a greater stress on the meaning of local traditions and practices. This process of glocalization results in new societal cleavages to which new notions of citizenship have been viewed as a possible response. Some of the research questions orienting the meeting are: how do social, political, economic and cultural processes at the international or transnational level influence new forms of diversity and, consequently, new forms of belonging? What type of (new) policy responses and governance forms have developed to manage diversity in urban settings? How can we understand the recent culturalization and emotionalization of citizenship, e.g. by way of rising demands on feelings of loyalty, national or local pride and on the need to feel at home? How do these homogenizing tendencies relate to the development of transnational citizenship and multiple and hybrid identities?

Secondly, the struggle to belong can be understood as a response to individualization. There is considerable debate on the meaning and extent of individualization. Individualization is often understood as a socio-cultural phenomenon: the duty to behave as autonomous and free as possible. While individualization processes are rooted in long term historical forces, neoliberal pressures have accelerate these processes by privatizing risk, making individuals financially independent, and requiring people to become calculating citizens. During the conference, we want to discuss how individualization influences identities, chances and tasks for individuals living in urban settings. How do citizens experience these changes? What new duties, rights and communities come into existence in response to (which kind of) individualization? Which emotions does individualization evoke or demand, e.g. joys or pains that come with autonomy and freedom of choice? What new forms of mutual help and solidarity are created or expected in local communities? How does individualization give rise to new social and political communities and to new notions of publicness?

In sum, the central concern of the 2011 RC-21 annual conference is the ways in which individuals and communities in an urban context respond to the major social processes of globalization and individualization: how do they articulate various forms of diversity and develop inclusive or exclusive strategies to belong.


A History of Private Life

28 09 2009

Today I heard a fascinating discussion on the radio respnding to an interesting sounding series of programmes on Radio 4 about the history of private life. The discussion today was about the meaning of the home and included Amanda Vickery, Simon Jenkins of the National Trust, anthropologist Daniel Miller and sociologist Elizabeth Silva.

Together they looked at the concerns which have dominated life inside the home for hundreds of years. Why are tussles over who rules the roost a persistent theme? Are modern homes increasingly atomised, separated from local communities and housing an army of home-workers and divorcing couples unable to afford to sell their houses? Or are they predominantly a safe refuge from which householders can show off their exquisite taste and treasured possessions, while leading harmonious and socially integrated lives?

The panel examined which of these and many other views might shape how historians of the future will view the private lives we lead at the beginning of the 21st century. You can find out more about the History of Private Life series and Amanda Vickery’s research behind it here. Interestingly it seems that the series gets its name from a series of books of the same title edited by Georges Duby and Philippe Aries, a French Historian who also wrote influentially about the history of childhood.

You can usually hear programmes like this again on the BBC iPlayer.