Fringe Events

During this fringe event we will have the opportunity to meet the authors of the book The Tenacity of the Couple Norm and discuss its contents. The book explores the ongoing strength and insidious grip of couple-normativity across changing landscapes of law, policy and everyday life in four contrasting national contexts: the UK, Bulgaria, Norway and Portugal. The central argument of the book is that the couple-norm is at the heart of how intimate life is organized, regulated and recognized and the couple has been valorized and conventionalized so that it is the very essence of ‘normal’, with notable implications on how people live their intimate lives in Europe. The authors will outline the book’s genealogy, architecture and key contributions (approximately 30 minutes), followed by 30 minutes of Q&A from attendees.

Sasha Roseneil is Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science in the Institute of Advanced Studies, Pro-Provost (Equity & Inclusion) & Dean, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences at UCL, University College London

Isabel Crowhurst is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex

Tone Hellesund is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Bergen Norway

Ana Cristina Santos is Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Mariya Stoilova holds a postdoctoral research position at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Engaging with a panel of experts and an open discussion with the audience, this session addresses the ambivalent situation that researchers using qualitative methods currently find themselves in. While there have been recent successes in institutionalizing qualitative methods in some European contexts, other colleagues still face a situation in which qualitative methods are not fully acknowledged. Yet, some scholars have started to use the notion of “post-qualitative” approaches, seemingly moving beyond what we know as qualitative research approaches.

How well are qualitative methods institutionalized and accepted in different European contexts? Given the current social and technological developments, what are the main challenges that qualitative approaches face? What are new directions in the field of qualitative research?

A panel of experts and RN20 board members will discuss what they currently regard as main challenges for qualitative methods and how they see the future of qualitative approaches. The major part of the session will consist of an open discussion with the audience.


Ann Mische is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Currently, she is working on a book on the role of futures thinking and foresight methodologies in social and political change efforts focused on democracy, development, peacebuilding and climate change. She is also working on a separate project on the political trajectories of anti-partisan protest cycles in the global protest wave since 2008. Her first book, Partisan Publics: Communication and Contention Across Brazilian Youth Activist Networks, examined civic and political networks of Brazilian youth activism during the re-democratization period. She has also written theoretical articles on agency, culture, networks, temporality, and social interaction.

Anne Ryen is professor of sociology at Department of sociology and social work, Agder University, Norway. She has been project leader of several research programs and projects in Norway and in East-Africa and collaborated with colleagues across global regions. She is former Chair of ESARN20, and former member of ESA-Exec for two consecutive periods. Her many publications include“Fighting the Crocodiles: Immigrant Students and Their Perilous Routes at Campus” (2018) in Qualitative Inquiry, “Indigenous Methods” in Paul Atkinson et al. (Eds) Sage research methods, (2019), “The Ubiquitous Rank. Some Reflections on Walking on Thin Ice” (on colour trouble in African contexts) in Ellis Hurd (Ed.), The Reflexivity of Pain and Privilege Auto-Ethnographic Collections of Mixed Identity, Brill (2019), and “Research Ethics between Care and Control” in David Silverman (Ed.) Qualitative Research, (2021), Sage. She is currently writing on contemporary qualitative research conundrums in global times which brough in the local, but asks: Whose local is it?

Paul Lichterman currently is Professor of Sociology and Religion at the University of Southern California. A cultural sociologist and ethnographer of public life, he has studied participation in a variety of social movement efforts, religious volunteer groups, and professional NGOs. He has been honored with disciplinary awards for his articles in premier journals and his two monograph books, The Search for Political Community: American Activists Reinventing Commitment and Elusive Togetherness: Church Groups Trying to Bridge America’s Divisions. His forthcoming book, How Civic Action Works: Fighting for Housing in Los Angeles (Princeton University Press, 2021) offers a new, pragmatist-inspired framework that illuminates how social advocates construct the claims, relationships and strategies that drive collective action.

Thomas S. Eberle is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and former co-director of the Research Institute of Sociology at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He also taught at several other universities. He served as president of the Swiss Sociological Association from 1998 to 2005 and as vice-president of the European Sociological Association (2007-11) and as a member of many national and international committees. His major research areas are the sociology of culture and of communication, of knowledge and of organization, as well as interpretive sociology, phenomenological sociology, methodology, and qualitative methods. Relevant publications are‘Phenomenology as a Research Method’ in The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, ed.by. U. Flick (2014); ‘Qualitative Cultural Sociology’ in The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Sociology, ed.by. D. Inglis & A.-M. Almila (2016); and ‘Collecting images as data’ in The SAGE Handbook ofQualitative Data Collection, ed. by. U. Flick (2018).

Mainly in natural sciences, but more recently also in social sciences there is a strong trend towards open access publishing (OAP) of journals and increasingly also of books. At the same time, review processes become faster and more transparent, in some disciplines post-publication peer review is establishing. By this, a broader audience should have access to the results of scientific research and corresponding discourses. Many public funding agencies require OAP of results of funded research projects. Publishers try to take advantage by offering OA platforms and shift to article processing cost (APC) financing. Scientists them-selves witness a rapidly changing landscape of established and recently emerging journals of mixed quality, ethics and aims.

In light of these general trends: What are specific challenges for sociology and social sciences? How should sociological associations and their journals define their publication strategies? This fringe event will focus on sociology as discipline and the following questions:

  • What are the pros and cons of full OAP for associational journals?
  • How to find a balance between scientific quality, inclusiveness, editorial professionalism and financial sustainability?
  • Is post-publication peer review an option for sociology?

Michalis Lianos– Editor of European Societies
Matthew Derbyshire – Taylor & Francis
Paula Villa – President of German Sociological Association
Marta Soler – President of ESA and editor of International Sociology

By Jenny Phillimore, Hannah Bradby, Tilman Brand, Beatriz Padilla, Simon Pemberton Routledge ISBN 9780367629359

What implications does migration-driven diversity have for health services in European cities? As newcomers arrive in neighbourhoods to live and work alongside established minorities and majority populations, what are the implications for how local health service providers, and those that use their services, address everyday health concerns?

This panel discussion of a book-length account of a research project based in diverse neighbourhods in four European countries - Portugal, Sweden, UK and Germany - includes healthcare provision from the public healthcare system alongside private and informal actors who offer advice and services.

The project used a mixed method approach to offer insight into complex and intricate actions, which vary over time and space, implemented by both neighbourhood residents and healthcare providers in different localities, from four countries with different health and welfare traditions. In the face of increasingly marketised, cash-strapped, restrictive and institutionally racist healthcare regimes, people strive to meet their own and their patients' healthcare needs.

The panel discussion will critically appraise the research project and underline lessons for future research into meeting healthcare needs in diverse localities.

The critical sociological readers are early and mid-career academics, familiar with the locations where the research was undertaken.


Tove Samzelius has a PhD from Malmö University where she is a researcher in the Social Work Department, as well as working for Save the Children’s domestic programme in Sweden.

Claudia da Freitas has a PhD from Utrecht University and is Associate Researcher at the Institute of Public Health and Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto.

Jessica Okumu has a PhD from Northumbria University and works at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

Kristine Krause has a PhD from Oxford University and works at the University of Amsterdam, where she is part of the Health, Care and the Body and the Long-term Care and Dementia Research Groups.

Hannah Bradby has a PhD from Glasgow University and works at Uppsala University where she co-convenes the Welfare Research Group.

Research Network 03 "Biographical Perspectives on European Identities” and RN36 "Sociology of Transformations: West and East" present ‘Meet the Authors’ event to discuss an edited book by Kaja Kaźmierska and Katarzyna Waniek (editors): “Telling the Great Change: The Process of the Systemic Transformation in Poland in Biographical Perspective”(2020) University of Lodz Publisher (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego).


Kaja Kazmierska, PhD is a Professor at the University of Łódź, head of the Department of Sociology of Culture, Faculty of Economics and Sociology at the University of Łódź, Poland, and director of the Institute of Sociology. She specializes in biographical research, identity, and biographical memory. The author of books: Polish Wartime Experiences and Shaping of Ethnic Identity. Analysis of Borderline Narratives (IFiS PAN, Warsaw 1999), Biography and Memory: The Generational Experience of the Shoah Survivor (Academic Studies Press, Boston 2012). She has edited a selection of texts entitled Biographical Method in Sociology. Anthology of texts (Nomos, Kraków 2012). The co-author (with Katarzyna Waniek and Agata Zysiak) of the book Tell the University. Academic Łódź in Biographies Inscribed in the History of the University of Łódź (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, Łódź 2015) and recently published (with Jarosław Pałka) Soldiers of the Polish Army. Oral History (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, Łódź 2018).


Katarzyna Waniek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology of Culture, Institute of Sociology, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, University of Łódź, Poland, and was a Research Assistant in the EU FP7 “EUROIDENTITIES” project and a co-worker in a project Experience of the Process of Transformation in Poland. Sociological Comparative Analysis Based on a Biographical Perspective financed by the NCN program. She gained the title of Doctor of Philosophy at Otto-von-Guericke Universität, Magdeburg. For many years she has been conducting and analyzing autobiographical narrative interviews. Her research interests include: biographical methods, European identity, collective memory, immigration and intercultural communication, liaison work, transformation, suffering, and stigmatization.

Within the scope of the activities of RN 17 Work, Employment and Industrial Relations we would like to organize an event titled “Meet the Editors” where we would like to engage in a talk with Professor Eleonore Kofman, Work, Employment and Society; Professor Guglielmo Meardi, European Journal of Industrial Relations and Professor Maarten Keune Editor of Transfer. European Review of Labour by addressing some key questions, including:

  • What led you to become Editor and what do you see as your duty as Editor of the Journal? Can you tell us about the origin of the Journal?
  • Which is the scope of the Journal and where does the Journal sit in this broad field of research on work, employment and industrial relations?
  • In terms of the research you publish, what are you on the lookout for and what would attract authors to want to publish in the Journal?
  • How would you advise to an Early Career Researcher who would love to get published in the Journal ?

The event would deem to be a key asset for all ESA participants, particularly Early Career Researchers, who will benefit from engaging in conversation with Professor Kofman, Professor Meardi and Professor Keune, supporting them getting a clear view about the international perspective towards publishing.


Eleonore Kofman is Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship and co-Director of the Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University London. She is Editor in Chief of the journal Work, Employment and Society. Her research focuses on gender and migration, including less studied aspects such as South-South and North-South gendered migrations, and the articulation between different forms such as family and labour. She is conducting research on Gendered. Dynamics of Labour Migration(Middle East and South Asia) as part of the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund Gender, Justice and Security Hub (2019-24). She is co-author of Gendered Migrations and Global Social Reproduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 and has published articles in Comparative Migration Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Migration and Social Politics. She is a member of the Executive Board of IMISCOE.

Professor Guglielmo Meardi has been the Editor-of-Chief of the European Journal of Industrial Relations since 2020. The EJIR, founded by Richard Hyman in 1995, is distinctively devoted to comparative and international labour issues, which results in a high rate of international co-autorships with a mix of academic writing traditions. Guglielmo is Professor of Economic Sociology at Scuola Normale Superiore. He was previously Professor of Industrial Relations and Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick, UK.

Maarten Keune holds the Chair in Social Security and Labour Relations at the AIAS-HSI institute of the University of Amsterdam since 2009. Previously he worked at the International Labour Organization and the European Trade Union Institute. He obtained a PhD in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His research interests concern work, employment and social policy and labour relations in the EU and beyond. His present research projects deal with work and labour relations in global platform capitalism; European social rights and social citizenship; work and collective representation in the creative industries; and labour relations and inequality. He is one of the editors of Transfer: European review of labour and research.