ESA Conference 2019

14th ESA Conference, 20-23 August 2019 to be held in Manchester / UK

In encouraging presenters and other conference participants to think Beyond Europe we wish to consider contemporary developments, processes, practices and subjectivities not only through the lens of Europe and European sociology, but also as central to the development of sociology, or sociologies, for the present and the future. We cannot and should not ignore the factors which are re-shaping Europe from within, such as the effects of globalization, nationalism, populism and migration and, of course, ‘Brexit’. However, it is also crucial that we continue to look towards the possibilities of a global sociology which also takes account of the local without being parochial.

Boundaries and boundary making spans the sociological spectrum, from how we create and reinforce the markers of distance and difference in social interaction, through the ways in which communities and groups are divided from each other by ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation and other dimensions of inequality. Boundaries are underlined through the extreme divisions of our living conditions: homelessness, ghettos and gated communities. Divisions are being reinforced between citizens and non-citizens as well as between Europe and the rest of the world. Social, symbolic and material boundaries affect us all.

We will also explore the Barriers which reinforce these boundaries: barriers to movement, whether for asylum, migration, work or education; barriers to reflection and understanding; barriers to better living conditions; barriers to cooperation and empathy; barriers created through politics and policy – intended and unintended.

Belonging is an increasingly contested idea, reinforced as nationality through populism and the far right, disrupted by war, violence, racism and other forms of rejection. It is also created and re-created in communities of necessity and choice and through intimacies, transformations of the self, and our understandings of home. New types of belonging are emerging through virtual networks and communities which challenge both traditional and sociological thinking.

The 14th ESA conference will offer opportunities to engage not only with the content of sociological research and theorizing, but also with the ways in which our discipline has been and is being shaped, both in and beyond Europe. Where are the boundaries of the discipline? How can we address barriers to its development both inside and outside of academia? What does it mean to belong to the community of sociologists?

We are sure that the conference will give a wide range of sociologists, other academics, practitioners and fellow travellers, an excellent opportunity to present and engage with research and scholarship and also to explore the potential influence of sociology in the public sphere. The conference theme calls for thinking in new ways about persistent inequalities, for challenging dominant discourses and for taking a fresh look at abstract concepts in order to better understand how sociology can contribute, both in theory and practice, to the unmaking and rethinking of ‘boundaries’ and ‘barriers’ and to understanding ‘belonging’.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers
Manuela Boatcă, Institute for Sociology, University of Freiburg, Germany
Michèle Lamont, Harvard University, USA
Nasar Meer, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK
Françoise Vergès, Collège d'études mondiales (FMSH), France
Michel Wieviorka, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, President of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH), France

20 August 2019 – Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception
21, 22, 23 August 2019 – full conference days
23 August 2019 – Closing Ceremony and Conference Party

The University of Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan University
The venues are all within walking distance of each other.

LOC (Local Organising Committee)
Prof. Gary Pollock, Manchester Metropolitan University (Chair)
Gaynor Bagnall, University of Salford, Manchester
Benedicte Brahic, Manchester Metropolitan University
Tom Brock, Manchester Metropolitan University
Helen Holmes, University of Manchester
Tally Katz-Gerro, University of Manchester
Jessica Ozan, Manchester Metropolitan University
Elisa Pieri, University of Manchester
Helene Snee, Manchester Metropolitan University
Jenny Van Hooff, Manchester Metropolitan University
Catherine Walker, University of Manchester

From the President’s message to all ESA members:
“Many of us would wish that Brexit wasn’t going to happen in 2019, but if it is then we should see this conference in Manchester as a statement that European Sociology works across and beyond boundaries and borders, and make it an occasion to think about research and relations beyond Europe, as well as what it means to belong to Europe.” - Prof. Sue Scott

Call for Papers
planned for December 2018

This page is updated regularly! Last update: 20 August 2018.

Atrium of the Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

University Place, University of Manchester