Conference: Morality, Austerity and Welfare State Futures: Young People, Wellbeing and Inequality

I thought this might interest some – not strictly (or only ‘disability’), but relevant to young disabled people none-the-less!

Morality, Austerity and Welfare State Futures: Young People, Wellbeing and Inequality

16 April 2015 : Lyddon Terrace SR 1.06, University of Leeds

Following the Global Financial Crisis children and young people face the prospect of growing up with greater levels of risk and uncertainty brought about by political instability, conflict, climate change and technological and cultural change.  Reflecting some of these concerns, researchers have sought to engage with the ways in which locally produced cultures of childhood and youth are shaped by global forces, highlighting the absence of considerations of childhood and youth from discussions related to the global financial crisis (Morrow, 2011).  This lack of   attention to children and young people is also evident in the health related disciplines where the widely acknowledged view that ‘austerity kills’ (Stuckler and Basu, 2013) is a central tenet of research examining widening health inequalities, decreased investment in health care systems and health promotion, and the impact of precarity and unemployment on mental and emotional health, food   insecurity and the life choices, chances and courses of individuals and communities. This conference draws upon work by Hall, Massey and Rustin (2013) to explore how growing up After Neoliberalism affects young people’s wellbeing. It brings together international researchers from disciplines such as sociology, youth studies, health and education but will be of interest to academics, postgraduates and researchers working in childhood, youth and health.

The conference will be followed by a wine reception and book launch introduced by Peter Kraftl, Professor of Human Geography, University of Leicester

For abstracts and registration please click on the link below.

Morality, austerity and welfare state futures: Young people, wellbeing and inequality. One day conference 16th April

For further details please email Jo Pike,  j.pike@leeds.ac.uk


Reminder – Disability Research Forum – Weds 25th March – Disability, Sex, Posthumanism and Parenting!

All Welcome!

Wednesday 25th March, 1-3, Arundel Building Room 10111, Sheffield Hallam University (more venue information here)

Slot 1: Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield: “I’m a lie-back-and-think-of-England type of man”: Imagining the Posthuman Dis/sexual Subject.

Abstract:  In this talk, I critically imagine the possibilities of a posthuman disabled sexual subject (Braidotti 2013). In rejecting the routine linear interconnectedness of sex/uality and “humanness” in Western, dis/ableist, neoliberal, capitalist cultures, I suggest that disabled/Crip sexualities – which can be unquestionably non-normative, inter/dependent, radically relational (e.g. sexual support), collaborative, collective, queered, unpredictable, leaky, and technologised and/or cyborg  – are already resolutely and transgressively posthuman.

Yet, I purposefully complicate this transformative imagining by positioning it within the context of disabled people’s lived experiences of sexual and intimate life. Telling their own intimate and intricate sexual stories, disabled people forcefully asserted a (naturalised) sexual subjectivity and made claims only for normative sexual citizenship, locating their rights, access, agency and embodied experiences of sex/uality as central to their humanness (Liddiard 2012, 2013). Desiring (and labouring towards) a normalised, autonomous, independent, and bounded sexual reality was a viable (but precarious) means through which to humanise the self and served, for some, to gain entry into mainstream sexual cultures. Such labours were purposeful, then, towards feeling and enacting “human” in the context of lives and selves consistently devalued and dehumanised.

Utilising Goodley and Runswick-Cole’s (forthcoming: pagination unknown) recent articulation of the dis/human position, through which it becomes possible to ‘recognise the norm, the pragmatic and political value of claiming the norm’ while always seeking to disrupt and contest it, I conclude by calling for what I call the Dis/sexual. To do so, I locate the very dis/human moments in disabled people’s sexual stories, sketching out the dis/sexual as a transformative space through which disabled/Crip subjects can claim their humanness through conventional modes of sex/uality and gender, yet simultaneously defy, crip and exceed such boundaries.

Slot 2: Nick Hodge, Sheffield Hallam University and Katherine Runswick-Cole, Manchester Metropolitan University: “You say… I hear…”: Epistemic gaps in practitioner-parent/carer talk
Abstract: The development of practitioner-parent/carer partnerships has been a focus of Government policy in England for over 20 years. However, parents and carers continue to report that they often feel marginalised and excluded within these relationships. This paper explores practitioner-parent/carer talk to explain why and how these partnerships break down. In doing so we employ MacKenzie and Scully’s (2007) concept of the occupation of different epistemic positions to provide a theoretical exploration of the emergence of practitioner-parent/carer divides. We argue here that practitioners need to develop more informed understandings from parents and carers of what it might mean to parent a disabled child. This will then enable practitioners to employ ‘sympathetic moral imagination’ to avoid the alienation of parents and carers through their talk.


Seminar arranged by the Science, Techology & Society research cluster, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield:


Ellen Annandale, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of York

Date: Thursday, 19 March 2015; Time: 4-5pm; Where: Room 109, Elmfield Building, University of Sheffield


The rapidly expanding field of ‘gender-specific medicine’ (GSM) heralds a new biopolitics of health. By dividing and stratifying and seeking out ever more ‘specific’ parts of the sex-differentiated body GSM advocates are fashioning a new ‘gender-specific ethos’ for medical practice. In this paper I will trace the development of this ethos and explore some of the consequences for healthcare of its fragmented and reductivist approach to the body. It will be suggested that GSM draws the long, intertwined and problematic history of gender and the medicalization of health together in new ways through the pharmaceuticalisation and commercialisation of the body. I will also speculate on the contradictions facing GSM. On first glance the ascendancy of the socially atomised molecular vision of life exemplified by the present rush towards personalised or precision medicine seems to support and advance the biologically reductivist ‘gender-specific’ ethos’. Yet, equally, it raises the question of whether, with personalised medicine, diagnosis and treatment could be so individualised that the ‘specificity’ of ‘gender’ (read binary sex difference) as an independent risk factor is rendered redundant and, if so, how GSM may respond.

If you would like to attend, please follow the link and complete the registration form – Registration form <http://goo.gl/forms/1cLckG7DnY>.