“Multi-locality and social inequalities”

“Multi-locality and social inequalities”
Third meeting of the European Network of Multi-locality Studies

27-28 May 2019, University of Louvain (UCLouvain), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Please submit a paper proposal of 500 words (including references) + author’s name, affiliation and contact details to: sandrine.leveque@uclouvain.be.
Deadline for submission: 15/01/2019.
Note: There is no conference fee

For this conference, we invite papers addressing the theme of multi-locality defined as living in more than one usual dwelling, and social inequalities, with a particular focus on a) the intersections between social inequalities and multi-locality; b) the impact of multi-locality on social mobility; c) social inequalities in children’s experiences of multi-locality; and d) methodological and ethical challenges of studying multi-locality through the lens of social inequalities.

  • How do various types of social inequalities intersect with multi-locality?

As a social phenomenon, multi-locality is deeply intertwined with age, gender, class (expressed in terms of symbolic, economic, cultural and social capital), and ethnic inequalities. People’s lived experiences of multi-locality vary, depending on their gender, age, stage in the life-cycle, occupational status, ethnic and/or cultural background. These factors influence people’s access to multi-local living and working arrangements, the characteristics of such arrangements, and the level of agency they can exercise to accommodate to, appropriate, or resist, multi-locality. The policy design surrounding multi-locality, from urban to social policies, also plays a role in supporting multi-local living and working arrangements or, on the opposite, in making them more difficult to put in practice. We are thus interested here in papers that address these questions, based on empirical data.

  • How are social mobility and multi-locality related?

Occupationally induced multi-locality has increased in many countries. There are several reasons for this. In addition to structural changes in the labor market, there are also profound social changes within partnerships and families. Against this background, the question arises as to the connection between multi-local living arrangements and social mobility. Is work-related multi-locality (still) a vehicle for social upward mobility, or is the avoidance of unpleasant spatial mobility/multi-locality rather a proof of high social positions? Who must be spatially mobile/multi-local under what conditions – and who can, in this sense, use spatial mobility/multi-locality as an opportunity? Papers drawing on international comparisons would be highly welcome.

  • How are social inequalities played out in children and young people’s experience of multi-locality?

Here, we are particularly interested in the practices children and youth develop in multi-local contexts (including situations where they directly or indirectly experience multi-local living), tensions between children’s agency and power relations with adults, the micro-practices of resistance children and youth might engage in to influence their living conditions and family relationships, and how children and youth promote social bonds and identity in multi-local family arrangements. We would welcome in particular papers that analyze these issues through the lens of age, gender, class and/or ethnicity.

  • How can researchers deal with the methodological and ethical challenges of studying multi-locality and social inequalities?

What particular ethical and methodological challenges do researchers face when trying to involve participants placed in a vulnerable situation or that may be difficult to recruit, such as low income/low educated participants, children and youth, irregular and economic migrants, or families experiencing a high degree of tensions and conflicts? What are the strengths and limits of qualitative and/or quantitative methods that are multi-sited and/or involve several family members? How do researchers deal with ethical considerations regarding the use of (audio)visual material produced by vulnerable participants, including mental maps, photos, videos and drawings? How far should researchers go in anonymizing the results of their research with vulnerable participants?

Local organizing committee: Laura Merla (UCLouvain), Sarah Murru (UCLouvain) & Pierre Lannoy (ULB)

Scientific committee: Marco Alberio (UQAR), Matteo Colleoni (UNIMIB), Cédric Duchêne-Lacroix (University of Basel), Lenka Formánková (Czech Academy of Science), Pierre Lannoy (ULB), Laura Merla (UCLouvain), Tino Schlinzig (Technical University Dresden), and Heiko Rüger (Federal Institute for Population Research)