Book your place for ‘New Perspectives on Researching Social Inequality: a one-day multidisciplinary conference’ by visiting Eventbrite

WHEN: Friday, 5 February 2016 from 09:30 to 17:00 (GMT) – Add to Calendar

WHERE: Rose Theatre – 24-26 High Street Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL GB – View Map


Conference Programme:


Dr Heidi Seetzen and Dr Carlie Goldsmith

Challenges of researching social inequality

Professor Ruth Lupton (University of Manchester)

Factors influencing uptake of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in site-dwelling Gypsies and Travellers: A qualitative study of GRT parents’ beliefs and experiences.

Dr David Smith and Dr Paul Newton (University of Greenwich)


Refreshments and Coffee

 Mass Observation and the everyday: Intimate practices of social inequality

Dr Emma Casey (Kingston University) and Dr Nick Hubble (Brunel University)

Reflections on using Visual Research Methods to map experiences of social inequality in a divided neighbourhood

Dr Heidi Seetzen (Kingston University), Dr Mark Ramsden (University of Cambridge) and Dr Carlie Goldsmith (North RTD and St Mary’s University, London)


Introduction to the afternoon

Dr Mark Ramsden

Inversion/reflection: Turning Balfron Tower inside out

Dr Rab Harling (UCL and contemporary artist)

The Polyhedron of social inequality, social change and media events

Dr Hager Weslati (Kingston University)

Social inequality and social change reflected through black British film making and Sound system culture (Title TBC)

Freddie Osborne (Film Maker)


Climate change and gender inequality in Tanzania

Paschal Arsein Mugabe (University of Ghana)

Research Politics and Integrity

Professor Peter Squires (University of Brighton)

Final discussion

5th February 2016, Rose Theatre in Kingston

Conference Date: Friday, 5th of February 2016

Conference Venue: The Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 1HL

The data is clear, the UK has a very high level of economic inequality compared to other developed countries. There are also significant gaps between the the poorest and the wealthiest in a range of other policy areas including health (mental and physical), education, and involvement with the criminal justice system, criminal victimisation and political participation.

It is also the case that the attention of academics and researchers is increasingly concerned with the issue of social inequality. This is perhaps a consequence of the publication of a range of influential work on the subject by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Thomas in Britain, Thomas Picketty in France and Joseph E Stiglitz in the USA that has made a compelling case that social inequality should matter to everyone. Or because academics and researchers are looking for new ways to understand and explain the complexities of lived experiences, social action, identities and cultures that characterise life in the UK today.

Whatever its cause, researching social inequality does present a number of methodological and ethical challenges to academics and researchers in the field. For example:

  • Who are the ‘hard to reach’ in research on inequality?
  • Should research only focus on those most disadvantaged by current patterns of inequality? What about those in the middle? Or those who are most advantaged by the current situation?
  • Are traditional methodologies fit for purpose when researching inequality?
  • Does the challenge of inequality require a different kind of approach to social research?
  • How can we map the everyday experience of social inequality or its effect on social practices?

This one-day conference will focus on new ways to investigate and understand social inequality. We are particularly interested in receiving abstracts on the following:

  • The use of interesting/unusual methodological approaches to investigate social inequality
  • The use of multi-methodological approaches to investigate social inequality
  • Views on the ethics of researching social inequality
  • Views of research impact, and what this is in social inequality research
  • The use of methodologies designed to explore the impact of social inequality on perceptions of community, environment or the self

Abstracts should be no more than 350 words and sent to by the 30th of November 2015.

If you have any questions please contact one of the conference organisers:

Heidi Seetzen

Carlie Goldsmith

Mark Ramsden

5th February 2016, Rose Theatre in Kingston