boundaries

RS12 - Simmel and beyond by Katy Barbier-Greenland

There will be over 800 presentations at ESA 2019 in Manchester, with a whole range of them coordinated through the various research networks (there are 37 of those - I’m part of the research network 13 which focuses on the sociology of families and relationships).

Each research stream has been put together specifically for this conference and there are only four papers to be given at each one - I’ve listed them below in case you’re interested - sociology today covers so many areas of life, it’s almost impossible to wrap your head around it. I’m presenting alongside my supervisor A/Prof Deb Dempsey in RS12 - Simmel and beyond.

RS01 - Gaming at the Boundaries: Imagining Inclusive Futures

RS02 - Gestational Surrogacy. A Global Phenomenon in Europe

RS03 - Maritime Sociology 

RS04 - Men and Masculinities in a Changing Europe

RS05 - Multi-locality and Family Life 

RS06 - Patterns of Non-Resident Fatherhood 

RS07 - Platform Work: Needs, Activation and Representativeness in the Era of Digital Labour

RS08 - Politics of Engagement

RS09 - Practicing Borders

RS10 - Practicing the Future: Social, Material and Affective Futures

RS11 - Questioning Precariousness: Labour, Collective Organising and Everyday Life 

RS12 - Simmel and Beyond

RS13 - Sociology of Celebration

RS14 - Sociology of Knowledge 

RS15 - Sociology of Law 

RS16 - Sociology of Spatial Mobilities

RS17 - Transformative Rural-Urban Connections

RS18 - Urban Futures: Visions for Social Inclusion

RS19 - Visual and Filmic Sociology

RS20 - Education and Political Participation in Eastern Europe

Simmel, sex and secrecy by Katy Barbier-Greenland

I’ll be submitting an abstract to present at the European Sociological Association’s 2019 conference to be held in Manchester, UK, in late August. The theme of the conference is ‘EUROPE AND BEYOND: BOUNDARIES, BARRIERS AND BELONGING’.

There are a large number of different research areas people will be speaking on, and the Research Network 13 called Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives is doing a really interesting joint session with the Network that focuses on the Sociology of Children and Childhood called ““In the child’s best interests?”: Global perspectives on parenting culture, family policy and child well-being’. I thought I could present on perspectives from around the world about the ways in which some parents and others keep secrets from children, often considering this to be in the child’s best interests.

BUT…..I think though that I would really like to present on Simmel, who is one of my key scholars. There’s a session called ‘Simmel and Beyond’ as it’s the 100 year anniversary of his death for which papers can be submitted by those “challenged by Simmel’s thinking and who use his concepts and methodology to present here the results of their investigations”. He’s the ‘original gangster’ as far as the sociology of secrets is concerned, and has a lot of really interesting things to say around secrecy and privacy in families and society, in terms of how these things function and what the impacts can be. He talks about knowledge and boundaries (in terms of who knows and who doesn’t know), power, truth and lies…pretty fascinating stuff and all absolutely relevant to draw from to help me understand the experience and impacts of contemporary family secrets.