Researching Social Justice: Challenges and Innovations on the Path towards Social Change

Conference at the University of Nottingham

Keynote Address
Janice McLaughlin (Professor of Sociology, University of Newcastle)
Kevin Bales (Professor of Contemporary Slavery, University of Nottingham)

Keynote Panel
Remi Joseph-Salisbury (Presidential Fellow, University of Manchester)
Amal Treacher Kabesh (Associate Professor, University of Nottingham)
Chantelle Lewis (Surviving Society; Leading Routes)

Research on social (in)justice has to be as wide-ranging and varied as its manifestations in society. Inter and intragroup dynamics based on a range of social formations weights on individuals lives and its effects are noticeable across local, national, and international contexts. The resulting and interconnected push-and-pull of unequal governance creates condition that limit a certain individuals and groups from accessing resources relative to the rest of society. The resulting conditions of living, prospects of life, and everyday subjectivities are the centre focus of much social scientific research.

Social change is undoubtably at the centre of most social scientific research, with the focus being the production of knowledge that will help us reach a more equal and fair society. Yet, when the social realities we study change, so must our approach to social justice and its counterpart. As social sciences attempt to keep up with the discourses and policies that attempt to stifle progress and further entrench social inequality and divisions, we must strive for more decisive political action by social scientific researchers. What can researchers do to further these claims of emancipation? How can the academe better reflect everyday epistemologies of social change?

The 12th edition of ENQUIRE is shining a light on research which engages with social justice, both as an object of research and a political duty of academics in their intellectual and civic role toward social justice. We are interested in proposals that focus on the concept of justice, and consider both how in justice is undertaken and how it takes place in social research.