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Social justice in times of uncertainty

La justice sociale en temps d'incertitude

The 2021 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA)

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Published on Friday, December 18, 2020 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

Social Justice in Times of Uncertainty takes as a starting point the health pandemic that erupted in 2020, which led societies across the world to cope with disruptions in the provisioning of goods and services, means of livelihood, and fundamental freedom – not least, that of movement. The crisis also revealed global and local inequalities, translated into who has the right to live or not, and raised new questions around (in)justice in the contemporary world. In light of the turmoil experienced, as a globalized society and within our communities, this congress emphasizes the relevance of social and environmental justice in the making of a fair society, asking the question: in times of uncertainty, what does it mean to live a good life in a just society?

Announcement

The 2021 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA)

June 28—30 2021 GENEVA

University of Geneva  |  UNIGE School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland — Geneva  |  HETS // HES-SO

With the participation of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Introducing the congress

The health pandemic that erupted in 2020 led societies across the world – including in Switzerland –to cope with disruptions in the provisioning of goods and services, means of livelihood, and fundamental freedom – not least, that of movement. The crisis also revealed global and localinequalities, translated into who has the right to live or not, and raised new questions around(un)justices in the contemporary world. With attention focused on attenuating its spread, the virus also served to temporary render other crises less visible, including rising populism, and the compounded issues of climate change and migration. More profoundly, the pandemic resulted in State-led interventions that placed a primacy on human life, health services and economic support,putting aside the usual panacea for social ails: economy-wide growth.

As human activities grinded to a halt, the natural environment flourished and various forms of community-based solidarity emerged. Individual and collective wellbeing was brought into question, reflecting different scales ofbelongings and interests, and uncovering oft-implicit assumptions about how ‘the good life’ isdefined and by whom. At the same time, borders closed, jobs were lost, the digital divide widened,and the gap between privileged and precarious groups deepened. In light of the turmoil experienced,as a globalized society and within our communities, this congress emphasizes the relevance of social and environmental justice in the making of a fair society, asking the question: in times of uncertainty,what does it mean to live a good life in a just society?

We welcome contributions that address theoretically and empirically this issue, forging new concepts and using appropriate empirical data relevant to understanding uncertainty and social justice, but also demonstrating how and in what way social change can be supported or imagined in the future.The scientific and public discourse about ‘injustice’ is contested and conceptually diverse. While social justice can be apprehended in different ways, procedural justice relates to how people come to be involved in decision-making processes, for example decisions around health and education, access to the city and public spaces therein, or work and social protection. Underpinning this notion of justice is the question of (in)adequate access to information, lack of participation, or restricted access to legal rights.

Distributional justice, however, involves the unequal access to services and resources, including economic and cultural capital, that reflects other inequalities, in relation togender, for example, or across life courses. In relation to environmental justice, the right to a ‘goodlife’ for future generations is central, in that it relies on the sustainability of ecological systems allliving beings, including non-humans. Injustice in recognition relates to the lack of respect for differences, vulnerabilities or diverse needs, bearing the mark of unequal social and power relationsthat permeate our contemporary societies. A perspective of justice ‘from below’ also reveals the various forms in which questions of (in)justice are mobilized explicitly or implicitly in daily social relations established at the level of the family, the neighborhood, the school, the world of work, associations or social institutions.

The congress theme is proposed as a starting point for reflections by the 13 different research networks of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA), including: Economic sociology; Gender studies;Health and medicine sociology; Interpretive sociologies; Life course; Migration and minorities;Religion and society; Social problems; Sociology of the arts and culture; Sociology of education;Sociology of law; Sociological theory; and Urban sociology.

Keynotes speakers

Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017 and she chaired the Council for European Studies from 2006-2009. She is also the recipient of a 1996 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2014 Gutenberg research award and the 2017 Erasmus prize (for her contributions to the social sciences in Europe and the rest of the world). She is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from five countries (Canada, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK).

Amita Baviskar is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology & Anthropology at Ashoka University and Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.  Her research addresses the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. Currently, she is working on food and changing agrarian environments in central India and studying the social experience of air pollution and heat in Delhi.

Ota de Leonardis is retired Professor of Sociology of Culture at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca. She is president of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Advanced Studies of Nantes (France), and member of scientific board of the Research Centre CSM in Rome (Centro Studi per la Riforma dello Stato), of COPERSAMM (Conferenza Permanente per la Salute Mentale nel Mondo) in Trieste, and of the Research Centre for Urban Policies URBAN@IT in Bologna.

Peter Wagner is Research Professor of Social Sciences at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and at the University of Barcelona as well as temporarily project director at Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg. His main research areas are in historical-comparative sociology and in social and political theory.

Submission guidelines

Please find below the Book of sessions proposals and Call for abstracts regarding the Swiss sociological association’s congress Social Justice in Times of Uncertainty, taking place from June 28-30, 2021 in Geneva.

In this book you will find 43 paper sessions’ calls, most proposals are in English, some in French and German (we kept the original language of each submitted proposal). We feel that Switzerland is well represented with propositions from Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences and with some international guests.

We invite now paper proposals to the sessions collected in this book.

To submit an abstract proposal (max 500 words, without references) to a paper session, please use the email of the organizers of the session indicated at the bottom of the proposal and send a word document with your abstract and contact details (name, email, address and institutional affiliation).

Deadline for abstract submissions: 29th January 2021.

Your abstract proposal will be evaluated by the organizers of the paper session. You will receive the acceptance letters and finalized program in March 2021. Online registrations to the congress will start at this date.

Once again given the organizational challenges posed by the current pandemic, we must prepare for the possibility of adapting the modalities for this conference. If the situation still requires so, respect for distances will be ensured, as well as wearing masks during any events where this is not the case.

Moreover, a hybrid, semi-virtual solution may be needed to enable as many people as possible to participate in and enrich the congress in the best possible conditions.

Should you have any question, please feel free to contact us using this online form

Places

  • Geneva, Switzerland

Date(s)

  • Friday, January 29, 2021

Keywords

  • sociologie, justice, justice sociale, santé, développement, incertitude, covid19

Contact(s)

  • Irène Courtin
    courriel : irene [dot] courtin [at] unige [dot] ch

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Irène Courtin
    courriel : irene [dot] courtin [at] unige [dot] ch

To cite this announcement

« Social justice in times of uncertainty », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, December 18, 2020, https://calenda.org/813726

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