Rethinking Urban Inequality In Contemporary Times, With Loїc Wacquant

Rethinking Urban Inequality In Contemporary Times, With Loїc Wacquant

International Conference
The Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, UK
Tuesday June 7th, 2016

Co-conveners: Ryan Powell (Sheffield Hallam University), Rowland Atkinson and John Flint (both University of Sheffield)
Numerous studies now highlight the changing and deepening nature of urban inequalities. In the context of continued efforts to profile these issues by Sheffield urbanists we are delighted to host a meeting that will bring the noted scholar, Loїc Wacquant, to the city to deliberate on these issues with colleagues. Wacquant has of course been influential in numerous domains, including urban sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, criminology, planning and urban and housing studies. A key strength of this body of work is the way in which it combines detailed empirical research, theoretical insight, comparative research, policy analyses and historical perspectives within a broader project of detailing and understanding the particularities of urban inequality in contemporary societies. His dynamic theoretical framework is increasingly called upon in analyses of urban marginality and critiques of contemporary modes of governance. In a period of declining policy attention or investment in core urban problems this symposium offers an exciting opportunity to connect empirical, theoretical and practically oriented work that falls within the broad purview scoped by Wacquant’s work.
This international one-day conference seeks to engage with Wacquant’s ongoing project of ‘disentangl[ing] the triangular nexus of class fragmentation, ethnic division and state-crafting in the polarizing city’ (Wacquant, 2014). The conference will promote reflections on three broad themes: (i) social class; (ii) ethnicity; and (iii) state and space. Confirmed speakers include:

Loїc Wacquant, University of Berkeley California and Centre de Sociologie Européenne, Paris
Matt Clement, University of Winchester
Adam Elliott-Cooper, University of Oxford
John Flint, University of Sheffield
Emma Jackson, Goldsmith’s
Isabella Clough Marinaro, John Cabot University
Kirsteen Paton, University of Leeds
David Robinson, Sheffield Hallam University
Fabien Truong, Paris 8
Justus Uitermark, University of Amsterdam

The conference will provide an opportunity to engage with Wacquant’s recent work and assess its continued relevance in rethinking urban inequality in the present period. It also
seeks to explore the potential for the refinement and development of Wacquant’s framework
and theoretical syntheses with other perspectives in application to dynamic urban and social
processes, across Europe and beyond, namely:

  • How can Wacquant’s work aid the empirical understanding of today’s complex urban
  • And how can empirical investigation and theoretical synthesis aid the refinement and
    development of Wacquant’s important work?

The conference seeks to engage scholars interested in the changing nature of urban
relations in developing an empirically and theoretically informed understanding of
contemporary urban inequalities.

How to book
The event is part funded by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
(CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University; the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and
the Urban Institute at the University of Sheffield. A fee of £50 will be payable by all
delegates to cover the remaining running costs of the conference.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To book a place
please visit:

Conference website

The full programme, speaker biographies, papers and other relevant supporting materials
will be uploaded to the conference website in the run up to the event. Please check for

Contact details
Emma Smith – / Ryan Powell –
Wacquant, L. (2014) ‘Marginality, ethnicity and penality in the neo-liberal city: an analytic
cartography’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(10), pp.1687-1711.