Author Archives: Juan José Villalón Ogáyar

About Juan José Villalón Ogáyar

Profesor en Sociología en la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)



Jesús Leal

The Complutense University (Madrid, Spain)

Jesús Leal is an Emeritus professor of sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid. His teaching activity has mainly focused on Urban Sociology, Urbanism and Population topics, having conducted many research projects on these issues. Coordinator of the committee of experts in housing and editor of the white book on housing in Spain, he has been Visiting Professor at several foreign universities (Berkeley, Paris) and has participated in various international research networks related to urban sociology and housing issues.
Among his publications: “El espacio colectivo de la ciudad” (The collective space in the city), “Para una nueva política de vivienda” (For a new housing policy), “La vivienda en Madrid” (Housing in Madrid), “Comportamientos residenciales y necesidades de vivienda” (Residential behaviour and housing needs); “Crecimiento económico, empleo y desigualdad social en Madrid” (Economic growth, employment and social inequality in Madrid), “Housing and Welfare in Southern Europe”, “La reestructuración social de Madrid” (The social restructuring of Madrid).



Suzanne Hall

London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK)

Suzanne Hall is Director of the Cities Programme and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research explores the intersection of global migration and urban marginalisation. Through an ESRC award she has focused on migrant economies and spaces on urban high streets across the UK. Suzi is author of City, Street and Citizen: The measure of the ordinary and is a recipient of a 2017 Philip Leverhulme Prize.


Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and street exchange

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.




Martina Löw

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Martina Löw is professor of sociology at the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Her areas of specialization and research are sociological theory, urban sociology, space theory and cultural sociology. She was visiting professor and held fellowships at universities in Gothenburg (Sweden), Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), St. Gallen (Switzerland), Paris (France) and Vienna (Austria). From 2011 until 2013 she was president of the German Sociological Association. Currently she is head of the Collaborative Research Centre “Re-Figuration of Spaces” (DFG).


Refiguration of Spaces: current challenges for cities

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).

Keynote Speakers

Dear Colleagues!

Good end-of-year news concerning our mid-term conference in Madrid… We are very happy to announce that confirmed keynote speakers are: Suzi Hall (London School of Economics), Jesús Leal (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Martina Löw (Technische Universität Berlin).

We would like to remind you also about the deadline for abstracts submission. Please submit your proposals not later than January, 28th by the abstract submission link at: and share the info.

We wish you a happy 2018 year! And let’s meet in Madrid!


Call for Papers                                                       (before January, 28th, 2018)

Inequality and uncertainty: 

current challenges for cities

III Midterm Conference

Madrid (Spain), UNED, 27-29th  June, 2018

European Sociological Association – Research Network 37 (Urban Sociology)

Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Abstract Submission

Dear Colleagues,

We kindly invite you to contribute to our third mid-term conference that will take place in Madrid in June 2018.

For the third mid-term conference we propose inequality and uncertainty as terms to guide our reflections about urban realities. Both inequalities and uncertainties impact everyday practices, individual and communal identities, fears and (im)possibilities, as well as visions of the future. Both are clearly evident in today’s urban contexts.

It is not possible to ignore the fact that cities are not only moving, vibrant and flourishing spaces, promising hope for better quality of life, but also accumulate and reflect significant problems. We need to recognise the complexity of economic, political, social, cultural and environmental mechanisms, which strengthen existing inequalities and add a great deal of uncertainty to life in cities and urban spaces of the globalised world. We want to gain a better understanding of the impact and consequences of inequality and uncertainty on the urban arena as much as the responses to current challenges in terms of both informal and institutional practices.

Inequalities and uncertainty as the key-questions of the conference can be discussed in the relation to the following topics:

  1. Visibility and invisibility of urban inequalities and uncertainty
  2. Individual and collective strategies of coping with contemporary urban challenges at the neighbourhood level
  3. Class, gender, age and ethnicity as factors of inequalities and uncertainty
  4. Urban policies and institutional effectiveness in times of crisis
  5. Social responses to crisis – from everyday life practices to contemporary urban social movements
  6. Spatiality and the new geographies of inequalities and uncertainty
  7. (Im)mobility of urban inequalities – urban inequalities of (im)mobility
  8. Urban sustainability and global environmental crisis
  9. Innovative methodological contributions of urban sociology for studies on social inequalities and uncertainty

In this conference we also wish to celebrate and bring into the discussion the works of two social scientists who greatly contributed to Urban Sociology and Urban Studies in general: Lefebvre and Simmel. In that sense, we propose two additional topics:

  1. Reading Henri Lefebvre’s “The Right to the City”, 50 years later.
  2. Georg Simmel (1858-1918): reflecting on his multiple contributions for Urban Sociology

We welcome proposals exploring theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues. An abstract in English of maximum 300 words should be submitted by this form from December, 4th to January, 28th. Papers will be grouped thematically by the programme committee.

Abstract Submission

We look forward to welcoming you at the RN 37 mid-term conference. Check our blog and facebook: @esarn37  for updates.

With best regards

The Programme Committee

Marta Smagacz-Poziemska (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Maria Victoria Gómez (UC3M, Spain)

Patrícia Pereira (CICS.NOVA, FCSH-UNL, Portugal)

Laura Guarino (DISPO-UNIGE, Italy)

Sebastian Kurtenbach (Bielefeld University, Germany)

Juan Jose Villalon (UNED, Spain)


Next meeting of RN-37 Urban Sociology will be in Madrid, from Jun, 27 to 29, in 2018. It will be the III Mid-Term Conference.

The call for papers will begin soon.

A good place of demostrations

Write down the dates and check this webpage or the facebook page soon!




We are glad to announce that during the ESA RN37 (Urban Sociology) business meeting in Athens the new board for 2-years period has been elected.

The board members are:

Marta Smagacz-Poziemska (coordinator), Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Poland
M. Victoria Gómez (co-coordinator), Departamento de Análisis Social, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Patrícia Pereira (co-coordinator), CICS-NOVA, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Laura Guarino (member), Department of Political Sciences, University of Genova, Italy
Sebastian Kurtenbach (member), Institute of interdisciplinary research on conflict and violence (IKG), Bielefeld University, Germany
Juan Jose Villalon Ogayar (member), UNED, Spain

We just started working on the mid-term conference in Madrid 2018. Stay tuned!

The board members from September, 2017


Call for papers, RN37- Urban Sociology, ESA, Athens, 2017


(ESA, Conference in Athens, August, 2017)

RN37 – Urban Sociology

Coordinators: Lígia Ferro, University of Porto, ISCTE-IUL, Porto, Portugal Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland M. Victoria Gómez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

(Un)making the city: Urban exclusions, solidarities and sociabilities.

Cities and urbanites have been facing many challenges generated by the global economic crisis. The crisis has been taken by power elites as an opportunity to implement auster-ity measures. Consequently, struggles in the access to employment, housing and social protection increased. Precariousness and social inequalities in the city worsened. Sev-eral levels of analysis are needed to understand these new social realities. Social struc-tures, collectives and actors are articulated and contribute to the (un)making of the city.

We seek submission of contributions that discuss processes of segregation and exclusion and their consequences as well as the dynamics of urban creativity, solidarity and socia-bilities. Submissions should help deepen the social, political, cultural, economic or cul-tural analysis of the city and urban life. From the level of urban policy to the one of the people who make the city in their everyday lives, individually or collectively organised, from macro-analysis to neighbourhood approaches, the main challenge will be to discuss how the city is changing and how we, urban specialists, can contribute to understand and (re)make and (re)claim the city.

The ESA Research Network 37 Urban Sociology aims to continue the work developed at the last ESA conference in Prague and at the Midterm Conferences held in Lisbon, Portu-gal and Krakow, Poland, by continuing to stimulate the cross-disciplinary debate on ur-ban life in the contemporary city. At the Athens ESA Conference we are interested in re-ceiving both theoretical and methodological proposals from colleagues working on pro-jects in the field of urban studies. Empirical contributions based on innovative methodological approaches, applying qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods, or using broader methodological strategies such as urban ethnography will be welcome. RN37_a: Urban Sociology (General Session) Specific sessions will be created from the general RN pool of abstracts.

RN37_KS: Urban public spaces: How can conflict make society? (Arranged RN Keynote Session) How do urban spaces create specific patterns of social relations and are constantly changed and recreated by the social relations they frame? Keynote speaker: João Teixeira Lopes (University of Porto) Commenters: Lígia Ferro (University of Porto, RN37 Coordinator), Sebastian Kurtenbach (University of Bielefield) and Patrícia Pereira (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

New ESA Conference

We have some news concerning the next ESA conference “(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities,Subjectivities”. The meeting will take place from 29 August to 1 September, 2017, in Athens, Greece (Panteion University and Harokopio University).


(ESA) (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association 29 August – 1 September 2017 Athens, Greece

Abstract deadline: 1st February 2017

A short review of the Midterm Conference in Krakow, 2016

Moving Cities, Moving Europe: a review of the Research Network 37, Urban Sociology, European Sociological Association, 2016 Midterm Conference in Krakow

auditoriumDuring three and a half days, the city of Krakow and the Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University, hosted a group of 172 urban researchers, gathered to share and debate recent and ongoing investigations. Their presentations composed a very eclectic and interesting scientific program – organised by the ESA Research Network 37 team – invocating, describing, analysing and questioning many cities in Europe and beyond.
We would like to share with you, our view – as participants and members of the organising team – of some of the highlights of this conference, focusing on the moments we all shared, rather than on the more contained parallel/thematic sessions, organised in five tracks and open sessions.
On the first morning, just after the opening session, Andrzej Bukowski, director of the Institute of Sociology, introduced the first keynote speaker: Ayo Mansaray. (University of East London). His words added warmth to the solemnity of the conference’s inaugural moment at the Auditorium Maximum. Ayo Mansaray then presented theoretical and empirical considerations inspired by his in-depth work in schools in gentrifying areas of London. His analysis showed that urban schools can be crucial arenas in the struggle for the right to the city.
The afternoon was filled with stimulating presentations and the first work day ended with the RN’s business meeting were we had well deserved canapés and refreshments and discussed strategic actions to strengthen the network. Many ideas and proposals came out of this discussion, like creating platforms to find research partners with similar interests or organising informative sessions to help urban researchers improve crucial skills. Finally, a committee to organise the next RN coordination election was appointed.
After the meeting, some of us walked to the nº 28 of Paulinska Street, had a drink at the inviting bar of the cultural coop “Spółdzielnia OGNIWO” and then watched the documentary “Warsaw Frankenstein” in their projection room. It was a relaxing and a rich moment to watch this documentary film directed by Christiane Büchner, focused on the work of the German artist Boris Sieverts through the city of Warsaw.
The next morning, we welcomed Talja Blokland (Humboldt University of Berlin) in the beautiful main aula at the Institute of History. In her talk, she reaffirmed the importance of the concept of community for social sciences, because “people place high value on what they call communities”. Rejecting the idea that anonymity and community are in opposition and reaffirming the relevance of the notion of public familiarity, she boldly stated: “Simmel was wrong”. This discussion must be continued in our further research and activities!
In the afternoon, after another round of thematic sessions, we returned to the Auditorium Maximum to hear Saskia Sassen (Columbia University in the City of New York) speak about, among other things, her pre-method stance of working within “the fuzzy edges of the paradigmatic knowledge”. The Auditorium Maximum was full of conference participants, but also of other colleagues that joined us to hear Sassen’s speech proudly wearing a Migrating Kitchen T-shirt (; you can find her presentation slides in our blog:
This second day was demanding from a physical point of view, because it entailed some walking between venues, but it was also an excuse to explore the city. At the end of the day, we enjoyed a wonderful Garden Party hosted by the Institute of Sociology, where we had dinner while listening to the Concert of Christina Eshak and Wassim Ibrahim, Syrian musicians studying in Krakow. After the end of the concert, researchers started to spread around the city centre, some looking for a place to watch the Poland-Portugal football match.
In the last morning of the conference, again in the auditorium of the Institute of History, we had the keynote speech about Smart Cities by Jacek Gądecki (University of Science and Technology in Krakow). In his talk, he combined theoretical aspects with na empirical focus on how local authorities in Poland  have been adopting the smart-city idea. Despite some tiredness due to the frenetic two days of the conference, the participants fostered a dynamic debate before starting another set of thematic sessions.
Friday was more relaxed than the other days, with less parallel activities, and ended with a very productive closing session with four invited speakers among the most experienced participants in our conference: Laura Bovone (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Milano, Italy), Carlos Fortuna (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal), Krzysztof Frysztacki (Jagiellonian University, Poland) and Ray Hutchison (University of Wisconsin Green Bay, USA). From their comments on the conference, we highlight the suggestion to focus on the topic of austerity and the city in upcoming meetings and the idea that these scientific meetings can also be occasions to establish and re-establish ties with friends and colleagues. We are now working on the results of this wonderful meeting, built by all the engaged participants and we will try to reflect their suggestions in our further activities.
Thank you to the participants and to the local organising team that have developed a great work along with the RN 37, Urban Sociology, Coordination and Board team.
We hope to have an even more astonishing participation in the ESA 2017 conference, in Athens, Greece!

Patrícia Pereira (ESA RN37 board member; Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
Lígia Ferro (ESA RN37 Coordinator; Universidade do Porto; ISCTE-IUL, Portugal)
Juan Jose Villalon (ESA RN37 board member; Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)

Saskia Sassen’s presentation

Saskia Sassen, Columbia University in the City of New York

Title: Expulsions: Beyond Inequality
Thursday, 30.06.2016     14:00 to 15:30 h.
Jagiellonian University’s Auditorium Maximum on Krupnicza Street, 33

Licencia de Creative Commons
Expulsions: Beyond inequality by Sasskia Sassen is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional License.

Wednesday Morning

… The first Keynote lecture

Ayo Mansaray, University of East London

Title: The right to the city and struggles for community
Wednesday, 29.06.2016   11:30 to 13:00
Jagiellonian University’s Auditorium Maximum on Krupnicza Street, 33

A few information before welcoming

Before welcoming…

We are now less than a day from the beginning of our conference. We would like to give you a few information before welcoming you to Kraków.

1. Registration opens tomorrow (29.06) morning at 9:00 in Institute of Sociology, Grodzka 52 Street, first floor. We encourage you to register before the first event of the conference (opening and first keynote lecture) to avoid queues later.

2. We are sending the conference programme once again. It is slightly different than the last one as we had to make a few late corrections. However, times and rooms of sessions and presentations in great majority of cases are the same. Limited number of printed copies of the programme will be available on request only, you are encouraged to use it on electronic devices.

3. Our rooms are equipped with PC computers (not Macs) and projectors. Please have a copy of your presentation ready on USB stick. Just in case, you should also have a PDF version of the presentation.

4. All presenters are asked to be in the room at least 5 minutes before the start of their sessions.

5. There are still places available in both Saturday workshop and Thursday morning jogging. Please register if you want to join.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Kraków.
All the best,

Social Programme


WEDNESDAY 29.06 (20:00)

Movie session “WARSAW FRANKENSTEIN” (Spółdzielnia OGNIWO, 28 Paulinska St) (96 min, English Subtitles, 2012) a documentary by Christiane Büchner.

We invite you to watch the film and enjoy the evening in the club Spółdzielnia OGNIWO (Cooperative ‘Ogniwo’) located in the Kazimierz quarter. We will meet at 19.30 (7.30 PM) at the main entrance of the Institute of Sociology, Grodzka 52 and have a group walk to the movie.


 “Jogging Moving Cities” (7:30-8:15)

Do you like jogging? Bring your running gear to Krakow and get to know the city in a different way than tourists usually do. We propose a gentle jog around some of central Krakow’s most pleasant paths with other conference participants. Your guide and the group leader will be Ben Koschalka.

(more information on the first day of the conference).

 Garden Party & Concert: Trip to the East (18:00)

Institute of Sociology (in the yard), 52 Grodzka St

We have a pleasure to invite you to the Garden Party and the Concert of Christina Eshak and Wassim Ibrahim, Syrian musicians studying in Krakow. During the concert they will take us on a musical journey through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt to finally reach the distant Andalusia, showing the richness of Arab sounds and the diversity of the Middle Eastern culture.


9:30-12:30 – The workshop “Future on my Mind – Communication and Participation in the Local Community

(Institute of Sociology, 52 Grodzka St)

If you plan to stay in Krakow for the weekend, you can take part in the workshop “Future on my Mind – Communication and Participation in the Local Community” on Saturday, 2nd July (morning). The workshop call is available on the page (on-line registration – first-come, first-served rule applies). Please note that the number of places is only 15.