I Midterm (Lisbon, 2014)

Public space and private lives in contemporary city

Urban Sociology’s history is as old as Sociology itself. Urban Sociology can be found on classic literature: Durkheim’s concepts of social morphology and organic solidarity; Weber and the genesis of the city; Simmel and the representations of the metropolis; Engels and the working class’ ways to inhabit the city; and, last but not least, the school of Chicago with authors such as Robert E. Park or Louis Wirth.

Today, there is a renewed interest in urban issues and urban questions have gained a new focus in public policies and public debate. Themes such as public spaces, suburbs, urban security, urban violence, ways of inhabiting, transitions from rural to urban, neighborhood and proximity, urban inequalities, etc.; returned to the sociological debate with an unexpected force in globalization times. Research is also debating the impact of current economic crisis on urban life, and how to re-think cities on the aftermath. Being an area with a cumulative critical thought, Urban Sociology’s contribution is key for the development of the discipline as a whole, and for the understanding of our multiple and unachieved modernities.

For this Midterm Conference, which inaugurated ESA’s Research Network in Urban Sociology, we invite submissions addressing a wide variety of issues, as suggested in the four conference tracks. We accept both theoretical and empirical papers contributing to the development of Urban Sociology, and we welcome interdisciplinarity, as a requisite for broadening the scope of scientific research.