Call for papers: RN07 Mid-term conference - Culture(s) on the margins



Call for papers

Culture(s) on the margins

9th mid-term conference of the European Sociological Association's Sociology of Culture research network (RN7)

31st August to 2nd September 2022

University of Portsmouth, UK

The ESA Research Network Sociology of Culture (RN7) announces its 9th midterm conference, which will take place on 31st August to 2nd September 2022 at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

The European Sociological Association’s Research Network on the Sociology of Culture provides a global network for scholars working on sociological studies of culture and cultural reflections upon sociology. It aims to develop sociological understandings of phenomena such as meaning, symbolism, cultural structures and practices.

Conference Theme:

Culture(s) on the margins

Sociologists and those working in related disciplines have often found more of interest on the margins than in the centre. It is where innovation takes place, where the new replaces the outmoded, where ‘outsider’ or heterodox voices challenge the orthodoxy, and where culture creators are most able to follow the laws inherent to their specific region of the cultural field. The margins are where you will find ‘underground’ or ‘cutting edge’ scenes. Moreover, ethnographic traditions in sociological research have produced fine-grained accounts of cultures of subaltern, subcultural, diasporic groups, and the ways in which these groups and individuals engage in counter-hegemonic practices.

At the same time, sociologists have also drawn attention to how those occupying the margins of societal fields are characterized in terms of lack: dominated individuals and groups lack the requisite cultural capital or social connections to get on in life; they are ‘failed consumers’ or they make the wrong choices; they lack the time and resources with which to develop and deploy an aesthetic disposition; and they lack the social power to confer legitimacy on their practices or representations. Those ‘beyond the pale’ are rendered abject, considered to be ‘matter out of place’. Among the social types identified on the margins, there is the Simmelian figure of the stranger who ‘comes today and stays tomorrow’, who is invisibilized and ignored, or hypervisibilized and racialized. Strangers are part of the group and yet do not fully belong. They are set apart from the group with an objectifying distance, and during times of crises, they are the ones blamed when things go wrong. As Skeggs (2004) points out, cultures of the dominated are nevertheless ‘propertized’ by the dominant who, occupying more mobile position are able to plunder the edgy associations and most exciting bits while leaving behind that which is deemed to be ‘the constitutive limit’ and that which has no cultural value.

This conference asks which perspectives, methodologies and methods might help sociologists better understand and make sense of culture(s) on the margins. How might academics address and challenge power imbalances within the field of culture and other societal fields but also within cultural sociological practice? How can academics (the dominated dominant) research the margins without silencing the voices that they seek to hear, and avoiding the position of the researcher or activist who (in the words of bell hooks) silently assumes that there is ‘no need to hear your voice when I can talk about you better than you can speak about yourself’?

The conference explores these and related questions at local, national, transnational, regional and global levels.

We welcome contributions in the following areas:

Culture and inequality

Hierarchies, divisions and contestations

Margins and marginality

Field analysis

Value and values

Communities, spaces, places

Migration, diasporas and culture


Urbanity and rurality

Appropriation and appreciation

Orthodoxy and heterodoxy

Exclusion and exclusivity


Taste and tasting

Bodies, subjectivities, identities

History, change and continuities

Collective and public memories

The immemorial and what we cannot/shall not remember

Deviance, protest and resistance

Cultural production

Cultural consumption

Culture, classes and lifestyle

Cultural and human geographies


Digital cultures

Media and mediatization

Mediation and intermediaries

Social media and their margins

Popular and unpopular culture

Mapping locations and cultural phenomena

Representations of locations, people, cultures

Geographies and social regimes – genders, sexualities, classes, ‘races’, ethnicities, religions, disabilities

Mobilities and immobilities

Movements and flows - voluntary and forced - humans, goods, ideas

Gentrification of cities and other locations

Social, cultural and sociological theory

Cultural sociology (general)


Notes for authors

We welcome both abstract and panel proposals.

Each author cannot submit more than two abstracts (as first author).

Please submit your abstracts and panel proposals in word or pdf format by 28th February 2022 to ESAPortsmouth2022[at] ()




Please submit your abstracts and panel proposals in word or pdf format by 28th February  2022 to ESAPortsmouth2022[at]


Panel proposals

Please submit a short outline of the panel session (no more than 150 words) and 3-4 abstracts according to the instructions above.


Important dates

The deadline for abstract submission is 28th February 2022. Notification of acceptance by 7th April 2022.

Registration opening 15th April 2022.

Early Bird registration: 15th May 2022 deadline.

Registration deadline for presenting authors: 15th June 2022.


Conference website: