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BSA Annual Conference 2015

Page history last edited by Hannah Miller 8 years ago

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BSA Annual Conference 2015


'Rights, Violence and Crime





The study group was delighted to receive such a high number of submissions, following the 2014 call for papers.  April 2015 will accordingly be our 5th year of co-hosting a sub-stream at the annual BSA conference.  


This page will be updated nearer the event, but in the meantime, details of the original call were as follows:




Call for Papers Rights, Violence and Crime Stream Submissions


This stream welcomes papers related to any of the following four broad themes:

1) The Sociology of Rights

2) Violence Against Women

3) Violence in Society

4) Law and Crime


Theme One: The Sociology of Rights and Human Rights

Rights are deeply involved in the public interventions, social mobilisations and political struggles that characterise any ‘societies in transition’. In fact, this is a challenging moment for societies but also one from which new ideas about rights can emerge, which support a transition towards a ‘better society’. While many societies in the socalled Western world are becoming more individualist, precarious and polarised, the need and claim for a more intense democracy as well as new forms of redistribution and recognition have not disappeared. As the more repressive and disciplinary uses of technologies and social media by governments have become apparent, these continue to offer opportunities for communication and coordination at societal level. Old conflicts and new wars along ethnic and religious cleavages are displacing people and reinvigorating state security agendas but also make the case for fairer international relations and a just world order. All rights and human rights are, to different extents, implied and implicated in these transformations, as they continue to offer a privileged arena of discussion and negotiation of the moral tensions and political conflicts of societies in transitions. Ongoing debates in the UK on the role and place of human rights in the country illustrate well this situation. It is therefore important that a sociology of rights and human rights remains connected to how rights are justified, mobilised, pursued, interpreted and implemented, and that it remains conscious of the direction into which rights (are) move(d). We are particularly seeking theoretical and empirical contributions that take up the challenge of developing critical analyses of how societies and rights change while remaining deeply interconnected.


Of particular interest are papers which:

 emphasise the distinctive contribution of professional, critical, public and policy sociologies to the study of rights and human rights;

 address the relationship of human rights practitioners and activists to research in sociology;

 engage sociological perspectives, theories and methodologies in the analysis of the interplay between societies and rights in transition;

 critically challenge mainstream human rights discourses and policies, and how these are used to frame and justify patterns of transition in societies;

 explore how rights and human rights are mobilised and acted by activists, and the strategies associated to these processes;

 focus on processes of negotiation and implementation of rights and human rights in different venues, inside and outside institutions;

 address disciplinary and emancipatory uses of the discourse and law of rights and human rights;

 analyse emerging rights and human rights and how this new vocabulary supports or resists different patterns of transition in societies;

 address a broad range of themes and issues including (but not limited to): poverty, employment and living wage, health care, equality and discrimination, asylum-seeking and refugees, slavery, genocide, war and conflict, social media and new technologies, climate change, women’s rights, transitional justice, sexuality, indigenous peoples, children’s rights, and cities;

 emphasise the importance of context and space for a sociological understanding and analysis of practices of rights and human rights;

 address current struggles around rights and human rights in the UK, e.g. the government plan to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, prisoner and voting rights, the privatisation of NHS, basic and citizen’s income…



Theme Two: Violence against Women

Violence against women and children (VAW) is a global problem within contemporary society defying social, geographical and liminal boundaries. This VAW study group call for papers seeks contributions that will demonstrate the value of engaging with sociological theory, combined with rigorous methodological approaches, in illuminating how topical issues affecting contemporary society interact with VAW across the globe. In particular, papers are sought, which advance ongoing sociological research and reflection by examining how theorisations of gender violence are located within, and impacted by, current social issues and trends including, but not limited to, the following:

 The intersection of VAW with major national and international events

 The relationship between VAW and issues surrounding climate change

 How technological advances - such as health care technologies, reproductive technologies and developments in online communication – help alleviate or continue to sustain VAW.

 VAW and catastrophic events – natural disasters, acts of terrorism, conflict, genocide.

 The impact of the financial crisis, lack of unemployment opportunities and challenges to social mobility on VAW

 Discussions exploring the representation and understanding of VAW in public and / or private spheres

 The role of business and local communities in addressing VAW

 VAW and leisure or recreational time

 Ending VAW: who and how?

 VAW and activism including the relationships between activism and academic research.

 VAW and institutions –work, education, religion, politics, the state Papers that emphasise the distinctive and valuable contribution that sociological research can make to the study of VAW

 Discussions which explore methodologies for sociological research in VAW

 Teaching VAW in sociology and interdisciplinary contexts. Offers of individual papers and workshops are welcome, whether in the traditional format or something more ‘experimental’.


We are also interested in symposia and round table proposals around particular themes or projects which are newly started, are ongoing or have recently finished.


 Theme Three: Violence and Society

The Violence and society sub-section of the stream “Rights, Violence and Crime’ provides space for exploring sociological approaches to the study of violence from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. In line with this year’s BSA theme we welcome in particular contributions that address both sociological transitions of violence within society and sociological analysis of violence.

We call especially for papers which:

 examine various definitions, conceptions, modes and patterns of violence

 engage with classical and contemporary social theories relevant to the understanding of violence

 explore violence at personal, social, and political levels  discuss routine violence of everyday life, extraordinary violence, state violence, and organized criminal violence

 examine the continuum between violent and non-violent social relations

 explore new methodologies for researching violence and society;

 address a broad range of themes- and their relations and continuities - including (but not limited to): violence in intimate relationships, gendered violence, social unrest, resistance movements, conquest and colonialism, wars, genocide and ethnic conflicts, violence and crime and violence in the context of human rights abuses.


 Theme Four: Law and Crime: Centralising Sociology

This sub-section of the ‘Law, Crime and Rights’ stream calls for co-operation from practitioners, policy makers and researchers in the fields of Law and Crime. Central to this theme is the application and implementation of knowledge produced by and within Sociology with regard to law and crime, to explore which avenues exist for engaging Sociology publicly and practically in this area, and the challenges thereof. Applications from a spectrum of areas related to law and crime will be considered.


However, this call is particularly interested in critical perspectives and approaches to subjects such as;

 crimes of the powerful;

 violations of international law;

 state crime;

 perspectives on harm;

 exclusionary processes of criminalisation; law and the ‘War on Terror’;

 media responses to, and representations of, crime. Criminal justice responses to marginalised groups, such as young people, Black and Minority ethnic groups, and immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees, are very welcome. 


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