ESA Conference 2019

The next ESA Conference will take place in Manchester from the 20th to the 23d of August 2019. The Call for papers will be out soon. Check the Conference website for news.  We will keep you posted about the main events and all RN37 activities.

The order I live in

Friday, 29th June, 9:30-11:00

Cinema Session and Debate: The order I live in. An indoor urban symphony

directed by Francisco Cruces & Jorge Moreno Andrés. An ethnographic film.

Session Chief: Emilio Luque (UNED)

Debate with Francisco Cruces.


Daniell thought he was going to have “a wife, three kids and all that”, but his life did not went this way. Toghether with the other 20 voices that compound this documentary, he pauses to reflect upon little things that give meaning to our everyday life. The silent company of objects. Loneliness. Order and disorder. The image of ourselves, reflected in mirrors. The challenge to become oneself. The place for children. Travels and moves with no way back. The family legacy, that falls down on you as an unforseen burden.

Why an indoor urban symphony?

Cities have been narrated from manifold perspectives. Scarcely from the inside.

This is an ethnograhic documentary on contemporary living in three cities: Madrid, México and Montevideo. It is a counterpoint of the classic genre of urban symphonies (with its esthetics of crowds, machines and rush in public places). Our wish is rather to tell from the inside how do we live. Twenty persons share reflections about the spaces they live in, little objects they love, things that concern them or happened to them. In every one of these micro-stories the whole life of those doing the storytelling can be glanced.

Urban poetics is, then, of a different kind. The big city does not appear as anonimous locus of commodities, industry and mass human relations. It is also a ground for personal assertion: quest, surprise, self-discovering. Something beautiful and enigmatic emerges at our homes: an order of our own. A universe.

To put in words a universe is not easy. And yet, the ethnography provides a glance of the iceberg existing below. These voices plait corally with the ambiances and objects that render them possible, commenting on uncertitudes, affects and troubles.

Intimacy can be conjugated only in the singular: in particular, in the first person. Notwithstanding this, -in times of hiperinflation of the Self and its industries- these testimonies invite to wonder to what extent the individual subject is the starring character here. Such seemingly unrepeatable stories, do they have some degree of universality? Are we, indeed, the authors of our order? Intimate life seems in the end forced by circumstances that transcend us. We will never manage to fully understand them. Modern living implies as much continuity as ruptures; as much invention as repetition; as much planning as astonishment. It pends on a very thin and breakable thread. In the context of everday life, the sense of things is undoing and redoing itself, non stop.

This film is a collective dialogue having to do with this poetic thread. Of course, we do not pretend to speak for all the city dwellers -a funny idea, when you consider the more than 30 millions inhabitants of our three cities toghether. The petty confidences of a few people does not luck relevance, though. Such is the great mistery on which this movie is built. Stories of this kind may appear singular, unrepeatable. But -precisely for that reason-, they do belong to anyone and all.

Technical data

Running time: 63 min

Format: HD

Date: 2017. Filmed in Madrid, Montevideo & México City

Directed by Jorge Moreno Andrés & Francisco Cruces

Research: Francisco Cruces, Jorge Moreno Andrés

Photography and Edition: Jorge Moreno Andrés

Music: Francisco Cruces

Sound: Alexander Melczer

Coloring: Rocío Ortiz

Master: Marco Hernández Calvo

Production assistance: Gloria G. Durán, Karina Boggio, Antonio Zirión, Nancy Flores, Valeria Cuevas, Enedina Ortega

Research assistance: Romina Colombo, Nuria Esteban

Translation: Alexander Melczer, Francisco Cruces

Subtitles: Aimée Ther

Timetable (Last Review: 13/06/2018) Mid-Term Conference Madrid 2018, ESA-RN37 Urban Sociology

WEDNESDAY, 27.06 THURSDAY, 28.06 FRIDAY, 29.06

Registration in

Escuelas Pías Building, C/ Tribulete nº 14 (28012 – Madrid (Spain))



Film Session and Discussion

The Order I Live In. An indoor urban symphony”, ethnographic film by Francisco Cruces & Jorge Moreno Andrés

10.15: Welcome Coffe 11.00: Coffee break 11.00: Coffee break

Conference Opening and

Keynote speech with Jesús Leal:

“Understanding spatial segregation in European cities”


Sessions 10 to 14


Sessions 25 to 28

13.00: Lunch break 13.00: Lunch break 13.00: Lunch break
14.30: Sessions 1 to 4
14.30: Sessions 15 to 19
14.30: Sessions 29 to 32
16.00: Coffee break 16.00: Coffee break 16.00: Coffee Break

Sessions 5 to 9


Sessions 20 to 24


Keynote speech with Suzanne Hall

“Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and street exchange”

18.00: Break 18.00: Break 18.00: Closing session

Session with Madrid City Council

Territorial rebalance in Madrid


ESA RN37 Business Meeting

Place:Associated Centre Madrid-UNED

Escuelas Pías Building, C/ Tribulete nº 14 (28012 – Madrid (Spain))

Territorial rebalance in Madrid: debate with Madrid City Council

Eloy Cuéllar – City executive Manager. Madrid Municipality

Wednesday, 27th June, 18.15 – 19.30 

Madrid has historically been characterized by a high level of territorial unbalance from the point of view of social cohesion. This is because social vulnerability has been concentrating in some districts from the 1960s onwards, due to a dynamic consolidated along the following decades by the lack of policy attention, making Madrid the most segregated European capital according to academic studies (Leal y Sorando, 2015; Musterd, 2016). In 2015, the Municipality of Madrid set the achievement of social cohesion as a policy priority in its agenda, building on a territorial solidarity approach.  To achieve this, a new urban policy instrument was created: Territorial Rebalance Fund (TRF), based on a solid scientific methodology (AHP, Analytic Hierarchy Process) that is able to map social vulnerability with a relevant level of detail, taking into account the complex and changing nature of social vulnerability.

Social segregation and urban vulnerability are common problems in contemporary cities, especially in Southern Europe countries and Latin America, but that also is present in all the OECD sphere, as in North and Central European and North American cities. Increasing urban segregation is correlated with a reduction of social cohesion. In this context, the TRF tackles a widespread and potentially conflictive challenge of urban societies all over the world.

The AHP scientific methodology used by TRF for the budget allocation is quite objective and uses a relatively simple set of statistical data which is easy to replicate; AHP has allowed a quick, non-contested distribution of the financial resources of the TRF, which is commonly a main obstacle in complex initiatives.

The implementation of consecutive concertation and participative processes enables the adaptability of the instrument to very different contexts and local characteristics.

Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and street exchange

Keynote speech by Suzanne Hall

Friday, 29th June, 16.30-18.00

The ‘migrant margins’ emerges in the intersection of global migration and urban marginalisation. Focusing on livelihoods forged by migrants on four peripheral streets in Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester, I draw on face-to-face surveys with self-employed proprietors. Despite significant variables amongst proprietors, these individuals had all become traders on streets in marginalised parts of UK cities, and I address whether ‘race’ matters more than class for how certain groups become emplaced in the city. Narratives of inequality and racism feature prominently in the proprietors’ accounts of where they settled in the city and what limited forms of work are available in the urban margins. Yet as significant to proprietors’ experiences of trade are repertoires of entrepreneurial agility and cross-cultural exchange. Through the concept of the ‘migrant margins’ I explore the overlap of human capacities and structural discrimination that spans global and urban space. I combine urban sociological understandings of ‘race’ and inequality with fluid understandings of makeshift city-making that have emerged in post-colonial urban studies. Such combinations encourage connections between the histories and geographies of how people and places become bordered, together with city-making practices that are both marginal and transgressive.

Understanding spatial segregation in European cities

Keynote speech by Jesús Leal

Thur., 28th June, 9.30-11.00

News about European cities show an increasingly concern with inequality in urban societies. This concern is related to the raise of urban inequalities in a period of crisis where there has been a political demand of austerity and stagnation of wages at the same time that benefits and salaries of managers and directors were increasing considerably, marking a clear distance with the rest of society. This increasing gap is only an example of the distance between social groups, among which social, ethnical, gender and educational categories that produce the raise of segregation in most European cities should also be considered, as some researches have shown recently.

The presentation will analyze these social inequalities in relation to the simple analyzes of economic inequality, showing that there are more explanatory causes of the segregation and gentrification processes than the differences in wages or income that are always referred to. To get a deeper knowledge of these process we will accurately compare two Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona trying to understand the difference between them in segregation processes and spatial patterns.

Refiguration of Spaces: current challenges for cities

Keynote speech by Martina Löw

Wednesday, 27th June, 9.30-11.00

In her talk Martina Löw is going to show that spatial construction, at both the global and urban scale, will be transformed fundamentally. Space is the medium in which the transformation of society is taking place. Planning and architecture face the interesting challenge of designing spaces for people whose spatial knowledge has become more complex. If smart cities are merely seen as an opportunity to homogenize spaces anew, these aspirations won’t be met.

Martina Löw shows that uncertainty means welcoming different spatial logics alongside and overlaying one another. The challenge for cities is to provide opportunities for experiencing and understanding spatial and social interrelations (including contradictions, inequality, and linkages).




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