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FYI. BSA 2020 – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies


British Sociological Association 2020 Annual Conference

Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies
21–23 April 2020

Aston University, Birmingham, UK

The theme for the 2020 Annual Conference is – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies.  The conference will take place at Aston University, Birmingham from 21–23 April 2020.

We are delighted to announce our confirmed Plenary Speakers are:

  • Susan Halford, University of Bristol (BSA President)
  • Monica G Moreno Figueroa, University of Cambridge
  • Austerity Panel: Sylvia Walby, City University of London (Chair); Akwugo Emejulu, University of Warwick; Kayleigh Garthwaite, University of Birmingham; Guy Standing, SOAS University of London; Wanda Wyporska, The Equality Trust

The body has an interesting and contested role in sociological thinking and research. At times it has been seen as irrelevant to understanding key issues of structure and social positioning; while at other times framed as central to thinking about dynamics of interaction, identity formation and practices of regulation and control. In contrast, in contemporary examinations of the body a core agenda is to bring together questions of the everyday, with understanding key societal issues around how citizenship, entitlement, boundaries, marginalisation and exclusion operate. Therefore, ‘the body’ is currently examined in a multitude of ways and is itself pluralised to engage with the importance of thinking about varied types and understandings of what constitutes and distinguishes diverse bodies. Bodies are being explored in order to think about many aspects of the impact of inequalities, institutions, cultural practices, social values and norms, and discriminatory dynamics on individuals and groups.

Contemporary explorations of bodies generate a broad range of potential thematic questions for the conference in 2020. These include, but are not restricted to: What role are bodies playing in current disputes over who is a citizen in different global locations and who has the right to cross state boundaries? Does the concept of the ‘social body’ retain validity in contexts of fragmented identities and fractured ties to the state? Looking at issues such as disability and age, how important are bodies as vehicles for citizenship rights and welfare entitlement? What do contemporary disputes over gender and the body say about the intersection of medical, scientific and political classifications in establishing legitimate bodies’? In what ways do bodies play into intersectional dynamics of inequality and marginalisation? How important are bodies in understanding some of the costs of long-term austerity?

The BSA Annual Conference is the primary annual conference for sociology in the UK with opportunities for everyone connected to the discipline.

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