The symposium is organised by the three research clusters of the Sociology unit at Newcastle University. Below you can find some further information on each of the three clusters.

Identities, embodiments and selves

The focus of this research cluster is to theoretically and empirically explore the complexities embedded in the production, maintenance and transgressions of social identities and modes of embodiment.

Sociology here has had a long term interest – in both research and teaching – in specific areas of identity formation and politics. For example, several of us are well known for our work on gendered and sexual identities. Reflecting shifts in broader social theory (and making a contribution to it) we are increasingly interested in bodies and embodiment, in some aspects connected to gender and sexualities, but also linked to other aspects of lived experience and social regulation and resistance.

For more details visit the cluster's website.

Imagining pasts and futures

This research theme is concerned with the social imagination of pasts and futures.

Memories of the past are shaped by visions of the future as well as conditions and contexts of the present, just as visions of the future are related to understandings of the past whilst also shaping actions in the present.

Staff interests related to this theme include:

  • the imagination of alternatives within and beyond capitalist democracies and environmentally sustainable futures
  • the complex interrelations between communist pasts and post-socialist futures in Europe
  • the study of the recent past from a historical sociology and anthropology perspective
  • the social importance of utopias and future-directed action in a post-political age

For more details, please visit the cluster's website.

Power, inequalities and citizenship

We are interested in understanding how social inequalities emerge, change, shift their premises, are reproduced, perpetuated and entrenched within relations of power.

Research on power, inequalities and citizenship is a crucial component of our work at Newcastle. Informed and contributing to advances in contemporary social theory, our research is wide ranging, looking at both long term macro-sociological trends, and micro-level analyses of inequalities of social class, ethnicity, sexualities, and health, and their practical manifestations in education, employment, and other forms of social exclusion.

Our work critically engages with different conceptions of citizenship, democracy, and power, and their interrelation.