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ASA Sociology of Development Presents Disparities in Development: Global, Regional, and Local

Posted: 2/27/2017 (Conference)

The processes of development generate a broad range of disparities across populations, cities, economies and geographies at the global, regional and local levels. A central theme of this conference will be to identify and explore these disparities, with an emphasis on labor, health, race, gender, urban life, and the economy. Explorations of other areas of disparity along with other topics in the sociology of development are welcome.

Disparities take on many forms, from environmental degradation to the increasingly precarious nature of work, from growing hunger in both more advanced and developing regions to a growing crisis of an adequate supply of fresh water. The consequences of uneven development are manifest in the dislocation of people seeking a better life by moving from countryside to cities, from the poor countries of the Global South to wealthier countries of the Global North. Migration puts pressure on limited resources while neoliberal policies shred the social safety net. Diseases once on the verge of eradication are beginning to return, increasing numbers of children live in poverty, and nationalism and xenophobia create barriers to migrants in search of a better life.

This is the first annual Sociology of Development Conference to be held in the Midwest. The City of Detroit and surrounding communities are microcosms of many development issues traditionally explored within the Global North-Global South framework. Flint has become emblematic of what happens when extracting revenues dominates local political actions resulting in lead poisoning of a vulnerable population. Dearborn contains a large Muslim community and still draws immigrants looking to flee the ravages of war and poverty. Detroit represents both the potential of a strong industrial economy and the consequences of capital flight. This conference seeks to provide scholars with a venue to exchange ideas and to explore the nature of these disparities from a wide range of perspectives, disciplines, and geographies. Practitioners outside the Academy are encouraged to participate.

The conference will include keynote plenary talks or panels on the following disparities:

  • Health
  • Economic
  • Gender and Race
  • Environmental
  • Urban
  • Labor

In addition to these conference themes, we look forward to exploring a wide range of development-related topics, whether considered at the global, regional, or local levels, including (but not limited to):

  • Religion
  • Migration
  • Social Movements
  • Agriculture
  • Poverty
  • War and Conflict
  • Developmental Idealism
  • Education
  • Public policy
  • Trade and Investment
  • Law

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2017. Notifications will be sent out mid-March 2017.

Individuals should submit the title of their talk and an abstract (one page maximum), and include their affiliation and email address. Session organizers should submit proposals (three page maximum) with the session title, a summary of its scope, a list of participants with their affiliations and email addresses, and titles of the papers with brief abstracts. For more information, and to submit your paper or session proposals, contact Prof. Jeffrey Kentor,

Detailed information about the program, including the venue, accommodations, and registration information, is available below. There is no fee for registration. Travel/hospitality grants will be provided to some participants, but they are limited. Please specify whether you would like to be considered for partial funding. Some meals will be provided for participants during the conference.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Rina Agarwala, Arthur Alderson, Thomas Dietz, Saskia Sassen, Moshe Semyonov, and Howard Waitzkin

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Date: 10/05/2017

Deadline: 02/28/2017

Location: Detroit, MI