Submit your work to the CUSS preconference

Call for Papers

Inequalities and Social Justice in the 21st Century City

ASA pre-conference hosted by the Community and Urban Sociology Section

The ASA Community and Urban Sociology Section is pleased to announce a one-day conference on Inequalities and Social Justice in the 21st Century City to be held on Friday, August 9, 2019 at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Researchers will present projects in different thematic panels throughout the day and the conference will also host graduate student roundtables, where graduate students get the chance to meet and receive feedback from more senior scholars.

Throughout the world, cities have become sites of the most extreme manifestations of social and economic polarization. In the United States, for example, as cities are experiencing “revitalization” in the forms of increased in-migration and investment, they are simultaneously setting records for unaffordability and homelessness, while racial segregation has remained stubbornly persistent. Similar dynamics are present in large cities throughout Europe. In some cities in the Global South, spectacular forms of wealth have come to coexist with stark poverty. In many cities, new and old inequalities have combined with vulnerability to climate events to produce new forms of environmental injustice. The mechanisms driving these new inequalities are myriad– from the growing interconnectedness of the global economy to the financialization of urban economies— even if their consequences are not well understood.  Even less-well understood are the ways that cities can provide the staging grounds for alternatives that reduce or mitigate these inequalities, or produce social justice.  Yet, across the political spectrum, city-based alternatives have captured the imagination as providing a meaningful sites for connection, integration, and democracy. Whether we are speaking of progressive administrations, social movements, innovative policies, pragmatic leadership, or action on climate change, cities have emerged for many authors as a privileged site for innovative action and emergent social justice. 

In keeping with the 2019 ASA Theme, Engaging Social Justice, we invite urban scholars to critically reflect on new and old urban inequalities and also on their alternatives.  Seldom does the scholarship on inequalities interact with the literature on alternatives, and here we invite that dialogue.  Is a socially-just city possible?  We welcome scholars engaging mainly with research on inequality as well as those principally focused on alternatives, with the aim of developing conversation across and within these scholarly communities. This one-day conference will bring together members of the ASA Community and Urban Sociology Section as well as other scholars studying these—and many other—compounding urban issues. New York City is a particularly interesting context in which to have these conversations, given its diversity, inequality, and history of social justice politics. We encourage papers that focus on:

·         Spatial segregation

·         Gentrification and neighborhood change

·         Markets and urban inequality

·         Race, class, gender, and intersecting inequalities in urban areas

·         Housing access and affordability

·         Climate change and environmental justice

·         Urban resilience

·         Crime, policing and alternatives

·         Participation and urban inequalities

·         Municipalism and its limits

·         Urban social movements and new urban inequalities

·         Policy alternatives to emergent forms of urban inequality

While we pose our agenda relative to the idea of the city, we welcome intersecting research on suburban, rural, and online communities, in recognition that inequalities do, and social justice must, cross all boundaries.

Extended abstracts should be submitted to by March 30, 2019, with the subject line “Abstract submissions.”  Participants will be asked to register and pay an onsite registration fee of $20 for faculty and $10 for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Lunch will be provided.

Organizing Committee:  Gianpaolo Baiocchi (NYU), Kiara Douds (NYU), Rachel Dwyer (OSU), Jacob Faber (NYU), Davon Norris (OSU), and Gerard Torrats-Espinosa (NYU).

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