Friday, 24 February 2017

CFP - Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy - An International Symposium

Organized by
Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt
Centre for Political Youth Culture and Communication, Department of Sociology, University of York
21-22 September 2017 - Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

Public Lecture
W. Lance Bennett, Department of Political Science, University of Washington
21 September 2017, 18:00
ORF – The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation

Keynote Speakers
Michael X. Delli-Carpini, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Jörg Matthes, Department of Communication, University of Vienna
Barbara Pfetsch, Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Free University of Berlin

Call for Papers
The forms of communication through which politics is conducted by states and citizens have been, and will continue to be, subject to a constant process of change, which is accelerated by technological innovations. With the rapid rise of digital media, this development has reached a new level. For centuries, processes of political communication used to be primarily linear, with messages transferred from politicians, governments and parties to the media and from the media to the citizens at large. The question here is to what extent and with which societal and political consequences digital media disrupt this linear form.

This question is fueled by growing political distrust, confusion, and conflict throughout the Western world, which seem to shake the democratic system to its foundations. Even those who would not go as far as Colin Crouch when he speaks of the dawning of a “post-democratic” age cannot deny that in many European countries as well as in the United States there is growing criticism of the form of democracy that has emerged in the majority of constitutions and of its leading institutions and methods of procedure. Among young people, turnout at elections is below average for the population as a whole, and it continues to fall. Traditional loyalties are getting weaker, and party membership is in steady decline. Trust in democratic organizations and regulatory mechanisms is on the wane. While traditional center-left and center-right parties are losing ground and are thus struggling for a clear profile, new nationalist movements on the one side, and anti-austerity protests on the other, are emerging. Political polarization becomes a defining feature of society and politics.

The Viennese conference wants to shed light on these developments by exploring the changes to politics triggered, or at least accelerated, by changing media structures and media habits on the one hand, and on the other hand by discussing the challenges to democracy brought about by those changes, as well as the role media might play in responding to these challenges. Thus, the symposium aims at discussing not only the causes and Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy: An International Symposium Vienna, 21-22 September 2017 developments that led to the current state of society, but also proposals for citizens, journalists, media organizations, and politicians for how to manage the current move away from the established structures of representative democracy - with their group-based identities and mainstream issues - towards a wider repertoire of personalized political experience and individually motivated concerns in a digitally networked society.

Submission and selection of papers. The call is open to all social sciences. The conference would like to bring together researchers from different backgrounds, including theoretically, methodologically, and practically oriented researchers. Submissions are for 20-minute presentations. The extended abstract may not be longer than 8,000 characters (including spaces). Please add a title page to the abstract containing the name(s) and address(es) of the author(s) and the title of the presentation. Please send your proposal to no later than 7 April 2017 (as a PDF). All submissions will undergo blind peer review and acceptance notifications will be sent out on 28 April 2017.

Conference attendance. The conference is open both to presenters and non-presenters, but authors of accepted abstracts are expected to attend the conference and present their work. The conference dinner is scheduled for Friday evening. The participation fee (including welcome reception, lunches, coffee breaks and conference dinner) is EUR 100 / GBP 90 / USD 110. Registration opens on 28 April 2017. Please register at

Conference organizers
Maren Beaufort, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Brian D. Loader, University of York
Josef Seethaler, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Admin: Ingrid Serini,
See for more information:

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Traversing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Social Research - Call for Papers

The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, The University of York

25 May 2017, 9:15am – 5:30pm

Keynote speakers: 
Dr Mark Coté, Kings College London

Professor Felicity Callard, Durham University
Dr Des Fitzgerald, Cardiff University

Deadline for abstracts: 31st March 2017

We are pleased to announce our conference for postgraduate students and researchers interested in Interdisciplinary Social Research. There is increasing interest in interdisciplinary research within the Social Sciences due to its ability to create impactful new knowledge and insights. But, what does this mean in practice? 

What kinds of interdisciplinary research are taking place?
How can we use theoretical approaches across disciplines?
What methodologies are employed?
How are methods implemented in or adapted for interdisciplinary research?

What impact can be made?
What are the challenges?
Who sets the research agenda?

We welcome abstracts for 20-minute paper presentations from postgraduate students within the following areas:  

Interdisciplinary research between the social sciences
Including work across disciplines such as sociology, politics, criminology, social policy, health sciences, economics, social psychology, STS, gender studies, law, management, business

Interdisciplinary research beyond the social sciences
Including research between the social sciences and arts, humanities and/or the natural sciences

Interdisciplinary social research beyond academia
Including research that may be funded by or in partnership with non-academic organisations such as NGOs, public services and commercial partners/sponsors

To register, follow this link: 

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a 100-word biography to by 31st March 2017.

Applicants will be notified of our decision by 14th April.

More information about conference registration and attendance will be released in April 2017.

Further questions can be sent to:

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

CURB Seminar: Grasping the Everyday Rhythms and Atmospheres of a Fish Market

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 3.00pm to 4pm

Speaker: Dr Dawn Lyon, University of Kent
This presentation takes two fish markets as sites to explore urban social life. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis (2004) and the embodied experience of moving through and sensing market space, I consider the value of using different audio-visual approaches as a mode of documentation and a medium of inquiry to analyse rhythm and atmosphere. The first example, a study of Billingsgate, London’s wholesale fish market, takes the form of an audio-visual montage of the market hall through the night based on time-lapse photography and sound recordings (with Kevin Reynolds, 2013). The resultant ‘film’ renders the elusive quality of the market and the work that takes place within it to make it happen, and allows viewers to perceive rhythm. The second example is a short ethnographic film about the everyday life of a wholesale fish market in Sardinia, Italy. The Passage of Fish (with Francesco Bachis, Felice Tiragallo and Antonio Pusceddu, 2015) shows sellers’ and buyers’ techniques of communication, evaluation, exchange, and care, and how social relations are animated by the market space, the material dimensions of market life and the alluring presence of the fish itself. Both films immerse the viewer in the material, sensory and affective atmosphere of the market. This talk critically considers the documentation, evocation and analysis of time and space in these ways, and the extent to which these approaches provide a means of showing social life and an analytic tool for making sense of it.  

Dawn Lyon is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent where she has worked since 2006. She was previously employed at the University of Essex, and at the European University Institute where she completed her PhD. She has published in the fields of the sociology of work, gender, migration, community, young people’s imagined futures, and visual and sensory sociology. Her current research interests include skill, value, the organisation and rhythms of work, affective relations across the human and non-human, and sensory and embodied labour in the fish industry. She is currently writing a short methods book on rhythmanalysis in Bloomsbury’s What is…? series. @dawnlyon65
Donna Lyon (large)
Location: W/222 Wentworth College
Admission: FREE - Eventbrite ticket

CrimNet in conjunction with Sociology: Deaths in the Criminal Justice System: A North East and Yorkshire Conference

Thursday 23 February 2017, 10.30am to 16:00 Kings Manor, University of York
Speaker: Paul Foweather, Tim Allen, Juliet Lyon, Nigel Newcomen, Fiona Sweeney, Carol Robinson
The 2016 national suicide rate in prison was the highest recorded and the number of deaths in other supervision settings and in the community after release continue to cause concern. This event will examine the incidence of and issues arising from such deaths and consider ways they can be addressed.
The event will be of interest to policy and service practitioners in Criminal Justice and health services and to researchers and other investigators.
10:30 Registration, refreshments and welcome
11:00 The Policy and Practice Setting - 1
Paul Foweather (Director NE & Y Public Sector Prisons) Or Tim Allen (Governor HMP Durham)
Juliet Lyon (Chair, Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody)
12:15 Research and service developments - suicides
13:10 lunch
14:00 The Policy and Practice Setting -2 Nigel Newcomen (Prisons and Probation Ombudsman)
14:40-16:00 Research and service developments  - impacts of deaths in custody
16:00 Close: what we know and what we don’t but need to
This PORSCH event is provided free of charge to support the launch of CrimNet at the University of York.
To book use the following link to eventbrite
Location: Kings Manor, University of York
Admission: FREE

After Prison: Can we leave Imprisonment Behind?

The UK prison system is under unparalleled strain, and for many, is simply not working. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice (2016) show that in 2014 approximately 56,000 adult offenders were released, of whom 45.5% re-offended within one year. 

This symposium is a direct response to these challenges. It offers researchers and academics a space to collaborate and reflect on current issues with incarceration in the UK and to consider a future system of punishment that is effective and humane for both the individual and society. We will discuss a diverse range of ideas including alternatives to imprisonment, re-offending rates, desistance, and even abolition.

This interdisciplinary event is provided free of charge to support the launch of CrimNet at the University of York.

Thursday, 11 May 2017 from 14:00 to 17:00

University of York
ReCCS Training Suite
Room YH/001B
YO10 5ZF Heslington
United Kingdom

BSA Postgraduate Forum Event: The Promise and Perils of Researching Sensitive Issues

20 November 2018 (09:00-17:00) Call for papers Research concerning sensitive and emotionally demanding issues is vital but challenging...