Annual RC21 Conference 2011

The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research – Urban Studies
University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands

28. Living with Difference

The capacity to live with difference has become a key issue in the 21st century (cf. Stuart Hall 1993). This session invites papers from a range of disciplinary and national backgrounds that explore the extent and nature of everyday urban encounters with ‘difference’. In particular, papers will be welcomed that attempt to understand how, where, when and why positive and negative attitudes towards others are developed, transmitted or interrupted. We are also interested in the usefulness of notions such as cosmopolitanism and hybridity in understanding new forms of urban belonging. Does hybridization generate an ability to be ‘at home’ in different settings, a Hegelian ‘Zuhausesein in der Welt’?  Does it open up a space where ‘traditional’ ‘fixed’ identities and ‘essential’ concepts can be transformed and renegotiated?
Questions that might be explored in this session include, but are not limited to:

  • Do urban encounters with difference challenge or harden prejudices towards ‘others’?
  • How does the recognition and acknowledgment of ‘differences’ relate to social cohesion?
  • How do generational, gendered, and class divisions affect opportunities for, and types of encounter with, difference?
  • What processes of hybridization are discernable in urban settings, and what new forms of belonging do they enable?
  • How useful are theories of cosmopolitanism and ‘new urban citizenship’ in explaining and understanding how people live with ‘difference’?

Session Organizers:
Nichola Wood, School of Geography, University of Leeds

Els Vanderwaeren,  University of Antwerp, Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies

Christiane Timmerman, University of Antwerp, Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies

« back



21 December 2011
Deadline for abstract submission

10 January 2011
Notification of selected abstracts

1 March 2011
Registration open

15 May 2011
Deadline for early bird registration and for (some) hotel options

15 May 2011
Deadline for paper submission

15 June 2011
Papers online

7-9 July 2011