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All done and dusted.  Head and notebook full of a thousand thoughts.  Boost to networks, new friends and new appreciation for passion, radicalism and disruption: ‘Immiseration, Capitalism and Class war from Above’ (Dave Hill).  Maybe this is not everyone’s sociology, but it certainly draws both my attention and my passions.

The conference theme– Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities  – is designed to encourage presentations on social, cultural and political change as it occurs locally, nationally and globally, as well as critical reflections on the power of social groupings in facilitating or resisting these directions.

Interestingly, this theme was enacted (I felt), in the ‘power of social groupings’ who attended the conference itself.  Certainly not unusual at conference gatherings, but the ‘challenge’ aspect, I suggest, was certainly most evident in the types of tough and passionate stances alluded to above.  But there was a broad range of themes and streams, and one can only manage to see/hear or pay attention to, a minute part of that.

Our Sociology of Education stream could also be broken down into some generally neat(ish) topical streams (links are to full papers or abstracts):

with some wonderful stand out papers amongst them (in terms of topics/content and/or presentation/engagement), but each grouping found some common ground and was appreciated by audience members and presenters alike.

One thing I notice, in common with other meetings of those interested in education, is a division of interests however, and this can sometimes feel like certain topics and/or speakers will be far more well attended than others.  This is inevitable in such a forum where so much interesting work is going on in all areas of sociology, but it does make it hard to feel as if this particular group ‘Sociology of Education’, is necessarily one of encouragement, debate or mutual support.  As someone interested in school education and (particularly) issues that impact on youth/young people, I often find that anyone speaking on these issues (unless they already have an established name) attract the smallest audiences. …  However this may well be a conversation to be continued in another space…

Sociology of Education Stream Full Papers – linked (refereed, published in proceedings):

Sociology of Education Cannizzo Exposing Moral Practices within Academic Governance
Sociology of Education Mallman_Lee What it means to be a young mature-age university student
Sociology of Education Marchant_Taylor A Rural PhD Candidate and the Grace of Community
Sociology of Education Robinson My life, my future; stuck in the cloud�: Challenging institutional surveillance of high school students
Sociology of Education Robinson_Carnes Stories from high school and prisons rattle institutional cages
Sociology of Education Toll Discerning Knowers: Exploring University Student�s Perceptions of Knowledge Claims

Much thanks to those who kindly took on chairing duties as well as presenting their own fabulous work, including Sue North,, Fiona McDonaldJillian Marchant and Katie Hughes (and me as a fill-in).  And to all of those who presented papers in this stream – there was a great range and some really interesting conversations that evolved, particularly out of some of the groupings that found connections in places they may not have expected.  Overall I thought that the questions, feedback and interest evoked from each presentation resulted in a very successful meeting of minds and sharing of research and ideas.

I will post again soon about the fabulous Neoliberalism & Education plenary.  Other fascinating plenaries were held, and a number of book launches, and I’d be very grateful to anyone who could contribute something from/about these.

Cheers to all,  Annabelle

Please engage – go on, disagree, comment, contradict, agree, add your own, this is not meant to be a site about ME!

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