Call for Papers – Reimagining Voices and Identities in Uncertain Times: Social Transformation, Fragmentation and Post-Pandemic Futures

Call for Papers – Reimagining Voices and Identities in Uncertain Times: Social Transformation, Fragmentation and Post-Pandemic Futures

The Biographic, Narrative and Lifecourse Research Group (BNLR) of the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) was established in 2019 as a forum for critical discussion and debate among Irish, European and international social scientists on the multidimensionality of narrative, biographic and lifecourse inquiry, to address methodological questions and challenges and advance scholarship in these interlinking fields. Our first biennial conference engages critically with national and international biographic, narrative and lifecourse scholarship on voicesin uncertain times; how voice is conceptualised, why and how some voices are accorded greater or lesser social legitimacy depending on context and how the voices of some social groups that have traditionally been marginalised from social debates, might be given more primacy in contemporary social and political debates. We are also interested in the interplay between voice and visibility, i.e. how voices may become noticeable and seize public spaces.

The Covid-19 pandemic has wrought unprecedented changes in global societies, irrevocably transforming governance and social relationships, everyday interactions, touch practices, and emotional displays. At the same time, international debates rage about climate justice, inequitable impacts of environmental degradation in majority and minority world contexts, while major transformations take place globally and locally in how society is organised and governed. The social and cultural effects of these events on people’s lived experiences are long-lasting affecting how we talk, touch, move, and interact in private and public spaces.In contemporary society, voices are continually repositioned and their legitimacy is reimagined due to profound cultural transformation with regards to rights, freedoms, membership of online communities, political protests and the impact of non-human actors (e.g. viruses, animals) on human worlds (andvice versa).

For this first biennial online conference, we invite abstracts for papers and proposed conference roundtables and panels from narrative, lifecourseand biographical researchers which engage with one or more of the themes/topics below relating to voice and social transformation. Please note that we actively seek interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary work that invites methodological innovation.

  • The meaning of voice in contemporary societies; positionalities, legitimation and de-legitimation of particular voices;
  • Methodological innovations, challenges and novel solutions to capturing, analysing and interpreting voices and lived experiences in times of unprecedented social and cultural transformation;
  • Research with groups often considered to be ‘marginalised’ and/or ‘hard to reach’;
  • Effects of recent social transformations on lived lives and everyday social experiences, including concealed and unspoken aspects of daily living;
  • Interdisciplinary or Transdisciplinary research which incorporates distinctively biographic, narrative or lifecourse research focus;
  • Research on socially fragmented professional and working lives (e.g. working arrangements, emotions, social isolation, innovative technological responses; ‘blurred’ boundaries of professional and personal living arrangements, impacts on particular professional groups;
  • Voices of young people in contemporary education systems and novel challenges of learning and teaching online;
  • Societal perceptions of Covid-19, risk, trust and governance;
  • Research on built space, urban/rural environments and our relationships with non-humans;
  • Reflexivity and research impacts upon individual researchers and/or research teams.

Submission of AbstractsAbstracts for papers should be 200-250 words approximately and must also contain an indicative title, list of authors’names, institutional affiliation and 2-3 keywords. Proposals for individual panels, roundtables or workshops should be approximately 700 words in length and must contain a title, list of convenors, outline of the key focus, and description of workshop/panel activities (if appropriate).
Please submit all abstracts and panel/workshop proposals to
Deadline for submissions: 10thDecember 2021. Authors will be notified of the outcome of their submission by email on/by 8th February 2021.

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