International conference streams

The conference will be structured around 7 streams, each addressing a key topic relating to the overall theme of unequal families and relationships. Please contact the stream leaders if you have any questions relating to submitting a paper to a particular theme.

Global social change: personal life, global inequalities and environmental issues
Stream leaders: Lydia Martens and Lynn Jamieson
This stream invites a range of reflections on the relationships between personal lives and global social change including, but not limited to, studies of transnational families, global care chains and the global sex industry. We also particularly invite presentations that develop critical discussion and insights into how environmental change is created, experienced or worked with differently in personal lives around the world. Whether we consider peak oil, rising sea levels, climate change, sustainability or environmental pollution at local level, a focus on personal lives illustrates the often complex and contradictory phenomena that come together to exacerbate, rather than challenge, existing inequalities.

Health and caring: inequalities and relationships
Stream leaders: Julie Seymour and Amy Chandler
Inequalities in health and caring have been identified as arising from gendered, life course and classed social processes. From the standpoint of families and personal relationships, we are inviting papers which address the inequalities and social divisions that emerge from a focus on family diversity, interpersonal dynamic and family practices. How are these divisions recognised, exacerbated or ameliorated by the involvement of health professionals? Are new understandings of inequalities in health and caring, or the value of care, arising from research in a time of fluid and changing family forms?

Generation and lifecourse inequalities: childhood, older age, intergenerational relations
Stream leaders: Ros Edwards and Lorraine van Blerk
We invite papers which conduct in-depth explorations or broader overviews addressing a range of issues and debates, including: the implications of inter- and intra-generational relations and relationships for the embedding or challenging of inequalities; and the process and consequences of lifecourse transitions and pathways for social divisions. Papers on other issues related to generation and lifecourse inequalities are also welcome.

Technologies and inequalities: work, family and relationships in a digital age
Stream leaders: Natasha Mauthner and Karolina Kazimierczak
Writing about the history of technology Kranzburg (1986) famously put forward the contention that ‘Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral’. As digital technologies embed themselves in our everyday practices, and are increasingly what make work, family, relationships and community possible, we are interested in exploring the non-neutral ways in which they do so. What specific forms of work, family, relationships and communities do new technologies make possible? And which do they exclude? What possibilities and limitaions are presented by the design characteristic of specific technological devices and applications? More generally, we are interested in papers which provide commentary of the ways in which emerging technology practice is helping to generate, reinforce or diffuse social, economic and political inequalities.

Personal life and social divisions: disability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social class
Stream leaders: Ann Phoenix and Philomena de Lima
We are looking for papers that examine the intersections of disability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and social class in people’s everyday lives. We ask that authors contextualise these identities within discussions of inequalities, institutions and social relationships looking at the wider impact of social divisions. The personal is still political.

Researching and understanding unequal families and relationships: methodological and theoretical debates
Stream leaders: Stevi Jackson and Sarah Wilson
We are inviting papers that consider the methodological issues that arise when researching unequal families and relationships. How do we explore inequalities in families and relationships? What are the methodological and ethical challenges and how do we address these? We are also keen to include papers that address theoretical debates relating to the study of inequalities in families. This may relate to primary research or be a position paper discussing how  theories / concepts relate to the study of unequal families.

Work, institutions and civic society: inequalities of work and un/under-employment
Stream leaders: Kimberly Jamie and Margaret Arnott
We are inviting papers that address inequalities in the workplace and in access to work. We are keen for submissions in the areas of diverse inequalities (including, for example, but not limited to, class, disability, ethnicity and gender) at work; uneven access to work-related education, skills and training, and experiences of work and practice in an unequal world. We are also keen for research that address unemployment or under-employment and the inequalities and experiences which typify and permeate those out of paid employment.

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