Call for papers

3rd “Equal is not Enough” conference
“Exploring novel theoretical and empirical approaches to study the shaping of (in)equalities” 
4-6 February 2015, Antwerp (Belgium) 

How people’s social identities relate to inequality and exclusion has led to extensive political and academic debates on the relation between differences and inequalities, and how best to design equality policies. These debates have been characterised by growing attention to the multiple, and possibly inter-related, axes of social identities, such as (trans)gender, ethnicity, age, (dis)ability, sexual preference, class, age, citizenship status and educational training, and the varying ways these axes structure social exclusions and inequalities. Increasingly the issue of the permeability of national boundaries and its challenge to local efforts to institutionalise and promote equality has become a topic of interest. Within the current global context, growing attention is paid to supra-national and inter-state (coordination of) equality policies. Such attention needs, however, to be underpinned by novel theoretical insights and needs to be fueled by up-to-date empirical research. This 3rd ‘Equal is Not Enough’ conference aims to inspire innovative thinking on and approaches to the study of (in)equalities.

Central to the conference is the notion that equality remains highly complex. A product of social interaction and structures, the grounds of inequality and exclusion are neither static nor unchanging. Rather, they evolve in relation to political and societal changes. Factors such as the economic crisis, migration, political pacification, and cultural confrontation give different shapes and meanings to inequalities in place and time.

The socially construed character of (in)equalities poses important challenges to the implementation of policies promoting equality. It demonstrates that the elimination of inequalities cannot be realised by any single action. It requires on-going attention to the actors, institutions and structures that help shape and induce social (in)equalities. In this light, it needs to be recognised that policy makers’ attempts to foster equality may – somewhat paradoxically – contribute to the very shaping or strengthening of (in)equalities.

The part of science in shaping (in)equalities equally needs to be recognised. Equality policies often build upon scientific understandings of inequalities. As these insights are invariably limited, equality policies built upon such insights may not always lead to the creation of equality. In trying to attain text-book ‘equality’, such policies may solidify existing inter and intra-group relations, reinforce existing stereotypes and reify groups’ marginalised status within society. In a similar vein, the creative part of science in the (re)shaping of inequalities indicates the importance of scholarly reflexivity. Equality scholars need to consider their own social, cultural and ideological situatedness and its potential impact on the measures of inequality and equality which they advance.

The 3rd ‘Equal is not Enough’ conference offers a venue for reconsidering societal, political as well as scholarly considerations on differences and (in)equalities. The conference aims to further our understanding of the causes, consequences and the underlying dynamics of inequalities, and wants to generate innovative insights into the contemporary challenges and opportunities for combating inequalities. By questioning how (in)equalities are shaped and maintained, the conference considers different grounds of inequality such as (trans)gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, disability, class, and age, as well as their intersections.

For this conference, we invite papers dealing with (in)equality in various public and private life domains (such as education, the labour market and economy, politics, justice, the media, healthcare, social networks, family and relationship formation, identity formation, etc.), and the challenges and opportunities to combating inequalities within these domains. This list is by no means restrictive. Papers that investigate other domains of inequality are also welcomed. Papers may have a theoretical, methodological and/or empirical approach, and may consider issues of inequality at the local, national or international level. 

The conference is structured in four sections:

Section 1: The relation between law and social policy

Section 2: (Re)shaping (in)equalities in and through politics and policies

Section 3: Diversity and (in)equality in work and organisations

Section 4: Equality, policy and the life course

Key note speeches will be given by: 

Submit paper/panel proposals :

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Information on deadlines and on how to submit paper or panel proposals to the 3rd “Equal is not enough’ conference may be found [Archived].

Download Call for Papers [Archived]