Tackling inequalities: learning from the past, looking to the future

Call for papers and contributions for one day conference on: Tackling inequalities: learning from the past, looking to the future

To be held at Keele University on Thursday June 13, 2019

  • Deadline for abstract submissions: 14 March 2019
  • Deadline for paper submissions: 1 June 2019

What does it mean to ‘tackle inequalities’? What are the root causes of inequality? What are the solutions? What lessons can we draw from the past to inform the present – and the future? These are some of the key questions that this inaugural conference of the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion’s (KISI) Tackling Inequalities group seeks to address.

Confronted with huge extremes in income distribution across most countries, a widening wealth gap between the superrich and the poor, wide disparities in the health status of different social groups both within and between countries, and the rise of right-wing popular authoritarianism, this conference provides an opportunity to bring together researchers and academics from a range of sectors to reflect on challenging and timely questions about such global inequalities and their intersection with issues of identity and political positioning. Locally too, within the UK, increasing numbers of people are relying on food banks to support their families. Rising levels of poverty since 2010, have left many people struggling to afford food, heating, rent or keep up with mortgage payments. The introduction of zero-hours contracts and internships is also producing new levels of job precarity and insecurity while longstanding inequalities of educational opportunity and outcomes remain intact. A growing proportion of young people are being squeezed out of the housing market and forced to pay rent privately. While homelessness and child poverty have risen significantly in the last decade, so too have open expressions of intolerance, racism and xenophobia.

Where does responsibility lie for addressing inequalities? How can historical perspectives help us interpret and address inequalities in our contemporary times? How can cultural and creative representations of local and global inequalities contribute to this debate? Are inequalities best tackled through top-down polices such as redistribution of resource and ‘rights’? To what extent do governments combat or exacerbate the rising tide of hate and intolerance towards the ‘other’? What is the role for communities and the public sector? And education? What difference has grassroots activism played in tackling inequalities in the past and is there a role for it in the future? To what extent does ‘giving’ to causes make a difference in tackling inequalities long term? Can the deep political and cultural divisions that have emerged or resurfaced over the last decade be overcome? If so, how?

Submission Guidance

We welcome contributions in the form of academic papers, symposia, posters, panel discussions, performances, screenings and readings. Submissions from all research fields are welcome. Contributions will address (but will not be not limited to) the following topics or themes:

  • poverty and economic exclusion
  • gender and sexuality
  • migration, race and diaspora
  • social vulnerability
  • health inequalities
  • housing
  • dignity through life stages
  • educational inequalities
  • youth
  • housing
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • religion, race and identity
  • safeguarding
  • digital exclusion

Abstracts of between 600- 1,000 words should be submitted via this link by 5 pm on 1st March, 2019. Abstracts will be reviewed by the KISI Inequalities Conference Steering Group and decisions will be communicated in the second week of March 2019.

We encourage contributions from non-academic colleagues and organisations, early career researchers and established academics. Contributions which bring together academics and non-academic professionals/practitioners are particularly welcome. If accepted, full papers of the contribution (3-7,000) will need to be submitted by 1st June.

Participants and attendees will not be charged a fee, since the conference is being funded by KISI Inequalities. However, we are unable to cover travel and associated expenses.

KISI Tackling Inequalities

This theme brings together researchers working across all three faculties at Keele to examine and explore the intersections of global, national and local change and the lives of individuals and communities. How and why are people’s lives unequally patterned? What drives and sustains these inequalities and what is being/can be done to address them? What resources do people and communities draw on to maintain their advantages or to deal with and challenge disadvantage? These are just some of the questions that we seek to address drawing from our disciplinary and interdisciplinary research strengths in criminology, education, human geography, international relations, health, psychology, literature, media and communications, law, politics, sociology and social work. There is a shared interest in developing innovative theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and policy-relevant approaches that recognise the complex dynamics between multiple forms of subordination that can negatively (and positively) impact individuals’ identities, life-chances and social mobility.

Tackling Inequalities Tackling Inequalities Tackling Inequalities Tackling Inequalities  


Event date
Event Time
Keele Hall
Nicola Nixon
Contact email
Contact telephone
01782 734278

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