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School of Social Sciences

The role of space, place and context in social research

22 February 2018

A conference organised by research students: “The place I call research: localizing sociological inquiry” is calling for abstracts from researchers from a range of disciplines.

The deadline for abstracts is 26 March, with the conference taking place at The University of Manchester on 15 June.

The conference will discuss the role of space, place, and context in social research, and how different contexts affect our research and methodologies. The organisers encourage an interdisciplinary approach, and welcome presentations from a range of fields. The conference will take research impact into account, hosting a round table discussion with Manchester's three largest sexual health charities (LGBT Foundation, George House Trust, and BHA for Equality). Chaired by Dr. Maurice Nagington, the charities will talk about how their activities and outreach are influenced by different contexts. Delegates can expect to explore the development of new technologies and how they affect outreach, as well as the divide between populations, ages, and ethnicities.

There will be a screening of a film by Dr. Patrick Baxter, an alumnus of the University’s MA in Visual Anthropology. His documentary, "A Place Where Ghosts Dwell" explores the relationship between a marginalised place and its vacant spaces in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. There will be a Q and A with Dr Baxter after the screening.

After the conference there will be a wine reception at nearby Kro Bar.

Abstracts are encouraged from MA, PhD and early career researchers. The conference aims for an interdisciplinary approach and organisers are interested in particular in the ways in which methodologies are contextualised to tackle new and old spaces in the flux of change. Despite the recent focus in social sciences on situating our research, the process of selecting and navigating particular community contexts remains a difficult task. The reconfiguring of local spaces into sites of research is particularly relevant as the internet and new media blur boundaries and processes of localisation. There will also be a focus on the interaction between researchers and the larger community regarding those spaces, such as public policy development and the impact of business models in the alteration and creation of places.

Find out more and submit your abstract on the conference website.

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