Prestigious postgraduate conference to address issues of precarity

Precarity and insecurity will be debated at a special conference at Teesside University aimed at those interested in studying sociology at postgraduate level.

The University has received funding from the British Sociological Association to host one of six regional postgraduate days.

Titled ‘Precarious Places, Precarious Lives’, the high profile conference will explore the history of Teesside and it’s possible futures, focusing on the longstanding sociological research carried out by Teesside University into the conditions of the area and the lives of the people.

It will feature presentations from postgraduate students, as well as keynote speakers Dr Tom Slater, from Edinburgh University, Professor Rob MacDonald from Teesside University and Dr Tracey Jenson from Lancaster University.

Precarious Places, Precarious Lives will be held at Teesside University on Thursday 19 May. A blog has been set up in advance of the conference where people are encouraged to write and debate about various issues relating to precarity. The blog is Uncertain Futures and people can send contributions to You can also join the debate on twitter using the hashtag #PrecarityTees.

Katy McEwan, a part-time lecturer and PhD research student at Teesside University, is one of the organisers of the conference.

She said: 'Precarity and insecurity seem to be emblematic of the current social condition. Places have themselves become precarious, with questions asked about their function and future.

'One example of this is the recent closure of the Teesside SSI plant that triggered the loss of thousands of well-paid, skilled, stable, working class jobs.

'Insecure employment with unclear rewards and multiple applicants for every basic job vacancy have become characteristic of the contemporary labour market. This conference seeks to explore the contemporary dynamics and meanings of precarious places and precarious lives, wherever they may be found.'

07 March 2016