This research theme is concerned with the social imagination of pasts and futures.
Memories of the past are shaped by visions of the future as well as conditions and contexts of the present, just as visions of the future are related to understandings of the past whilst also shaping actions in the present.
Staff interests related to this theme include:
- the imagination of alternatives within and beyond capitalist democracies and environmentally sustainable futures
- the complex interrelations between communist pasts and post-socialist futures in Europe
- the study of the recent past from a historical sociology and anthropology perspective
- the social importance of utopias and future-directed action in a post-political age
Our staff are interested in social and individual memory-work, in particular its significance for:
- identity and personhood
- older age
- the moral significance of remembering and memorialisation
- the bio-technological modification of memory
Other research interests include the intersection of pasts and futures in relation to urban and social regeneration, social transformation and nationhood. Staff further use temporality to think through and respond to the latest paradigm shifts in the discipline itself.
Professor Elaine Campbell
Professor of Criminology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5030
Dr Cathrine Degnen
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8467
Dr Dariusz Gafijczuk
Lecturer in Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5610
Dr Anselma Gallinat
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8483
Dr Lisa Garforth
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7487
Dr Ruth Graham
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6987
Professor Robert Hollands
Professor of Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7501
Professor Jackie Leach Scully
Executive Director, PEALS
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7502
Professor Janice McLaughlin
Professor of Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7511
Professor Geoff Payne
|Conceptions of democracy in secular and religious feminism in contemporary Iran. An empirical exploration|
|James Cummings||A Study of Emergent Non-Normative Sexual Identities in Hainan Province, China|
|Matthew Hanchard||Towards a digital sociology of map use|
|Diana Kopbayeva||Building the Kazakh nation: an exploration of the discourse of nation building in Kazakhstan|
|Yang Li||Screening Tibet from Three Perspectives: An Exploration of Representations of Tibet in Western, Tibetan and Han Chinese Films|
|Lauren Powell||NE1 Using This Space? A Study of Inchoate Open Spaces in an Urban Setting|
Merit or Meritocracy? 60 Years and Counting... will be held on 9th April 2018 at Newcastle University. It is organised by the Imagining Pasts and Futures research cluster in Sociology at Newcastle, with the support of the BSA Sociology of Education Study Group.
You can register for Merit or Meritocracy here
Nicola Ingram (Lancaster, BSA Sociology of Education Study Group)
Jo Littler (City University)
Daniel Smith (Anglia Ruskin)
This one-day conference marks the 60th anniversary of Michael Young’s The Rise of the Meritocracy, exploring the history of the concept and the contemporary relevance of Young’s ideas. The welfare state he helped to design, and the education system that he speculated would promote talented, hard-working individuals into high status jobs, are much changed. Political values of collectivity and equality have given way to expectations of enterprise, self-actualisation and individualism. Nevertheless, ideas about merit and the notion of meritocracy continue to circulate in political, media, social and academic realms, expressing social critiques and encapsulating hopes for better futures.
Using Young’s classic contribution as a springboard, the conference will explore meritocracy in relation to topics including education, social class, and social mobility; and in relation to broader ways of thinking about social change and social justice in the social and political sciences.
The conference will take place in the Barbara Strang Teaching Centre (BSTC) on the main campus of Newcastle University. The venue is location 21 on the university's Campus Map.
There is very limited parking on campus at Newcastle University. We are easily accessible on foot and by Metro from the city and the rail station. Full details about getting to Newcastle here.
The university has some (very limited) self-catering staff and guest accommodation for around £60 per night at Carlton Lodge. You can book here
The nearest hotels to campus (15 minutes’ walk) are:
Hotels close to Newcastle central rail station (5-10 minutes by Metro – Haymarket - and on foot from the venue):
Low-cost bed and breakfast places/small hotels near the university campus in the Osborne Road area of Jesmond (10-20 minutes easy walk from the venue) include
the Jesmond Hotel
The following booking sites may also be useful:
09:30 Registration opens, followed by two keynote speakers and one panel session.
14:00 Programme resumes after a late lunch with two more keynote speakers and one panel session.
17:45 Programme closes at the end of a round table discussion.
Lunch and refreshments provided.
19:00 Optional dinner (not included in registration).
The full programme will be uploaded in the coming weeks.