23-25 August 2009, Inequality, Inclusion and the Sense of Belonging, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Published at: 22 January 2011

Conference of the International Sociological Association - Research Committee 21 - Sociology of Urban and Regional Development
Cities have experienced considerable cultural, political and economic change during the past few decades. The roles performed by social actors and by the state have diversified rather than weakened, as was predicted by some in academic debates. Spatial segregation has changed less than was forecast in the literature but the social meaning of segregation varies depending upon demographic and social structure. The idea of polarization remains strong but it is now clear that this is too simple a concept to grasp the diversity of urban situations. Nevertheless, inequality remains a central feature of societies, although inequality is now more fragmented, and more associated with specific groups. Class identities have also changed, and in a broader sense, so too has the way people understand their participation in society. Social inclusion remains a key material, symbolic and political issue in a variety of national situations, although also marked by local features in each case. In countries where the issue of inclusion was considered to be resolved, at least politically, some social groups have experienced a declining sense of involvement in society, reposing the problem of social belongingness. Social configurations have become significantly more heterogeneous, combining local historical, spatial and political factors with economic and political elements of broader amplitude. This Conference intends to address these issues in a transdisciplinary way, focusing mainly on their association with social inequalities and with the identities that mark contemporary cities.
Submission deadline: 15th May 2009
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