Department of Sociology

Sociology conferences

We regularly host conferences which focus on sociological research interests. These conferences are aimed at researchers and academics at every stage of their career from both UK and international universities.

Past events 

New Practices for New Publics: Spaces to Care 

In April 2016, the first event in the New Practices for New Publics seminar series, ‘Spaces to Care’, captured the work that civil society organisations – community and voluntary groups – do, including:

  • their practices in relation to care, ‘peopling’ (volunteering and peer support) and learning;
  • how complex they are, what is visible, what is often invisible and even overlooked;
  • what seems to be intractable problem.

The seminar sought to provoke dialogue between different organisations about points of connection and difference in their work and in the challenges they face. 

As a whole, the New Practices for New Publics seminar series looks at the work of voluntary and community sector organisations, their practices and the challenges they face as the state ‘shrinks’ and local services are under pressure. 

Researching Sex and Sexualities Conference

In May 2015, various researchers came together for the Researching Sex and Sexualities Conference, responding to key notes from international scholars. Researchers at the conference explored the problems, possibilities and questions that arise from the lived experience of sexual practices, lives and subjectivities.

Organised by the Centre for Gender Studies, hosted by the School of Global Studies and supported and sponsored by the School of Law, Politics and SociologySchool of Media, Film and Music, and the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, the two-day conference helped to open up new conversations about carrying out research and being a researcher on this intimate area of social life.

Speakers included Professor Ken Plummer (University of Essex), Professor Rachel Spronk (University of Amsterdam), Professor Rachel Thomson, Dr Laura Harvey and Professor Andrea Cornwall (University of Sussex).

Researching Sex and Intimacy Symposium

In July 2014, the School of Law, Politics and Sociology hosted the Researching Sex and Intimacy Symposium, a one-day event bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers interested in the seldom-explored topics of sexual intimacy and the interrelationships between sex and other types of intimacy.

The symposium was attended by 50 doctoral researchers and academics from disciplines including Sociology, Gender Studies, Psychology, Anthropology, International Development, Environment and English Literature and at all career stages.

Topics discussed at the event included:

  • current practices of sex and intimacy
  • the (in)significance of sex in intimate relationships
  • sexual communities and identities
  • negotiations
  • emotion work
  • strategies for managing sexual identities and intimacies
  • resisting and upholding heteronormativity
  • challenges around capturing intimacies in social research.
Spaces of Evidence

The Spaces of Evidence Early Career Research Seminar, Evidence in Action: New Perspectives on Evidence Production in Contemporary Society, was held at the University of Sussex in March 2015.

As part of the event. researchers with an interest in exploring the motivations for ,and consequences of, taking the approach to policy that aims to ensure that decision-making is well-informed by the best available evidence. 

Evidence-based policy, which is increasingly commonplace in the UK, US and Europe, raises a range of issues – including the implementation of evidence hierarchies, the specification of methodological ‘gold standards’, and the potentially exclusionary nature of top-down control over acceptable forms of evidence – which were examined at the event. 

Speakers included Richi Higham (University of York), Kevin Donovan (University of Michigan), Sarah Willis (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Fadhila Mazanderani (University of Edinburgh), and Nele Jensen (Goldsmiths).