Extended Abstract Deadline for ‘Sense of Belonging’ Workshop: 16th May

Academic Workshop Call for Abstracts:
Sense of belonging in a diverse Britain
Coventry University 
Extended Abstract Deadline: 16th May 2014
Workshop date: 20th – 21st November 2014
Dialogue Society, Birmingham Branch
Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University
The Dialogue Society, Birmingham Branch in partnership with Coventry University’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies invites abstracts from scholars and relevant practitioners who wish to share and explore ideas and research findings concerning the sense of belonging in contemporary Britain’s diverse society.

‘Sense of belonging’ is a phrase often heard in discussions of the cohesion of our society and, particularly, instances of its breakdown, including urban disturbances, ‘home-grown’ terrorism and gang membership. In this workshop, we invite contributors to shed light on the nature, causes and effects of sense of belonging and of its absence both in minority communities and majority communities. We seek to examine the impact of a lack of sense of belonging outside dramatic cases of crime and anti-social behavior as well as in those cases. We have a particular interest in contributions exploring how the absence of a sense of belonging might be addressed.

In general, participants will need to cover travel and accommodation costs.
Workshop proceedings will be published in advance of the Workshop to allow contributors to read one another’s papers and engage with them more deeply and to disseminate the papers more widely to relevant scholars, researchers and libraries. See here for an example of our workshop proceedings’ publications.

Edited versions of some papers may be selected for either of the two Journals published by the organizers. Authors of selected papers will be notified in due course.

In addition, an edited version of all or some of the papers presented may also be published by an independent reputable publishing house. See here and here for edited publications of Dialogue Society conferences.

Call for Papers
Authors are invited to send abstracts (maximum 400 words) of their proposed papers addressing questions such as the following:

  • Do we need more clarity about British values in order to promote a sense of belonging in British society? If so, who identifies those values, and how?
  • Has ‘state multiculturalism’ encouraged or undermined a sense of belonging?
  • Where in British society are we seeing a lack of sense of belonging?
  • Is the cultivation of a sense of belonging best served by paying more (affirmative) attention to cultural difference, or less?
  • Does a strong sense of belonging to a particular cultural group tend to enhance or undermine people’s relationships with the wider community?
  • How do we achieve a healthy balance between celebrating diverse identities and cultivating a sense of common belonging to Britain? How can families and communities keep their distinctive heritage alive while cultivating a sense of belonging where they are?
  • What factors – social, political, economic and/or cultural – encourage a sense of belonging in British society?
  • What are the most significant barriers to feeling a sense of belonging in Britain?
  • How far does immigration status (including citizenship) affect people’s sense of belonging?
  • What is the role of sense of belonging, and/or the lack of it, in:
    • Gangs
    • Urban disturbances
    • ‘Home-grown’ terrorism

in the UK?

  • How does a lack of sense of belonging impact people’s lives, aside from the cases of those involved in crime or antisocial behaviour?
  • How do traditional British symbols such as the Union Jack function in British society (to encourage and express belonging and/or to exclude from belonging)?
  • ‘United’ Kingdom? In an age of devolution, and as Scotland debates an independent future, is it to ‘Britain’ that British citizens feel they belong?
  • How far does Britain’s foreign policy affect the sense of belonging of British citizens with roots abroad?
  • What role can/should the British education system play in instilling a sense of belonging?
  • What effect, if any, do faith schools have on pupils’ sense of belonging to the wider community?
  • What is the role of the third sector in encouraging a sense of belonging among diverse communities?
  • The controversy of citizenship tests: what must a person know in order to belong in Britain?
  • How far is the lack of a sense of belonging a (neglected) problem within majority communities? How can the problem be addressed?
  • What can be done, by parents, schools, or voluntary organisations, to help young people negotiating complex identities to grow up with a secure sense of belonging?
  • How far does faith shape where, and to whom, British citizens feel they belong?
  • Does nationalism necessarily involve placing limits on who can belong?
Editorial Board
Prof Eddie Halpin, Leeds Metropolitan University
Prof Alan Hunter, Coventry University
Dr Karim Murji, The Open University
Prof Alpaslan Ozerdem, Coventry University
Dr Richard Race, University of Roehampton
Prof Simon Robinson Leeds Metropolitan University
Submission Procedure
Abstracts and CVs should be submitted, in English only, as MS Word documents attached to an email to Mustafa Demir, mdemir@dialoguesociety.org, no later than 17:00 UK time,16th May 2014.

For further information, including full submission schedule and style guide, please click here


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