11th Annual Conference – Globalizing cultures, identities and lifestyles

The conference will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University – where the GSA was first established in 2000 – in conjunction with the Department of Sociology.

Two of our keynote speakers have already been arranged. They are:
Professor Richard Giulianotti, Durham University who has written extensively on globalization and sport, especially football, and Professor Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College, Boston, USA, who has published extensively on transnational migrants.

In addition we invite scholars, postgraduates and other interested and informed lay-persons to submit abstracts by May 31st, 2011. We also hope to publish one or more books consisting of the most interesting readings drawn from the conference.

Outline of themes. Recent research and theory have expanded our understanding of globalizing and global practices that increasingly shape the way we conduct our lives, construct our identities and affiliations and pursue our hopes and aspirations. Nowhere is this more evident than in the fields of leisure and the construction of our everyday personas and lifestyles. Here, innumerable fragments of other people’s cultures flow into our lives through the Internet, films, music, art genres, travel and holidays, health and sport practices, TV, magazines and newspapers, advertising, branding and consumerism, fashion, foods and gastronomic repertoires – among others. Sometimes they empower individuals to seek other worlds and identities. At others, they generate resources with which to construct our preferred individual life biographies. The possibilities for transforming the lives of individuals, groups or entire communities in these ways are endless.

Sometimes, too, people move far beyond assembling a bricolage of elements and instead break free from their original embeddedness within particular ethnic/national boundaries to form global allegiances and lifestyles for which there is no precedent. In contrast, the circumstances that engender indifference and/or resistance to globalizing cultures are equally valid as themes. We are also interested in papers that explore the limits to, and possibilities for, developing a global consciousness or varieties of cosmopolitanism as outcomes of global cultural and lifestyle experiences and/or which critique concepts in this field. Although the primary emphasis here is on cultural experiences linked to the construction of leisure and lifestyles, we also welcome papers which explore how exposure to globalizing work, religious or political practices are changing people’s identities.

Possible directions and themes: guidelines.

  • The migration and /or cross fertilization of sport practices, institutions and celebrities across cultural and national boundaries and their impact on the socio-cultural life of groups for whom The diffusion, role and take-up of globalizing health practices on the everyday lives of ordinary people and the mechanisms through which this occurs;
  • How different kinds of skilled transnational migrants – working in the arts, film, TV, theatre, popular entertainment and music etc – are influenced by and in turn shape the dominant cultural, political and other forms evident in the host society;
  • How poor economic migrants, who retain strong ties to their societies and cultures of birth, nevertheless forge multiple identities through various engagements with migrants from societies different from their own or with members of the host society via participation in leisure activities and lifestyle activities;
  • The borrowing, mixing and/or hybridization of genres, styles or practices across ethnic/national borders in any field of the arts, film, music, literature, theatre, dance etc – and the origins, vehicles and outcomes of and for such cultural mobilities;
  • Becoming or being cosmopolitan through engaging in globalizing leisure or lifestyle practices;
    Travel and tourism as paths into global lifestyles and the encountering the cultural other;
  • Global or globalizing lifestyles and identities and their possible links to the expression of varying forms of political protest.

Please send your abstracts to Paul Kennedy:

To register and pay for the conference visit MMU’s ‘On-line store’ , click here.

Registration and Payment.
Please note the following:

  1. Paid up GSA members receive a discount.
  2. Accommodation is only available if taken for at least two nights. Extended accommodation is possible on request. Please provide details.
  3. Non-GSA members are invited to join the association separately on arrival at Reception – and at special first-year discount rates depending on seniority and whether you wish to receive one of the academic journals to which we are linked. Full details available on arrival and on our website.
  4. Special rates for postgraduates are available.
  5. A daily rate for participants is available with or without attendance at the conference dinner on the second evening (*).

What is included in your conference fee:

  • Conference fee and pack.
  • Two nights campus accommodation with breakfast (if needed),
  • Two lunches,
  • Coffees/teas/juice and biscuits at regular intervals,
  • The conference dinner on the second evening,
  • Wine/juice introduction on first evening,
  • We hope to also arrange a visit to a local place of interest on the first evening.

About: Robert Grimm

All over Europe, cities are faced with the challenge of using cultural resources to re-position their city in an increasingly culturally and economically diversified European space. Related to this is a clear recognition of the growing importance of cultural resources for economic and community development. This produces new opportunities and challenges for local cultural planning and management. In order to fully exploit the innovative and supportive role of culture in European urban development, it will be necessary to develop a new socially and culturally sensitive professionalism, able to cross the boundaries between the arts, design, urban and spatial planning, public policy and the market, artistic creativity and cultural management. The MA in European Urban Cultures offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.