Institute of Education


Intersections of intimacies and inequalities

9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 18 September 2018

Romantic padlocks

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Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Whether intimacy acts as an equalising force across social inequalities, or serves to further entrench such inequalities has been hotly debated. This workshop aims to explore the myriad ways in which intimacies and inequalities intersect, in a global perspective.

As argued across the disciplinary spectrum, experiences of intimacy are shaped profoundly by material and other inequalities. Poverty severely restricts the kinds of intimate practices which can be enacted, while disparities of power shape interactions at both micro and macro levels.

Social, cultural and legal frameworks govern the kinds of relationships that are possible, with uneven access across the globe. For example, while some countries are introducing same-sex marriage, others are further entrenching legal barriers against same-sex relationships.

This workshop examines both persistent and diminishing inequalities in the experience of intimacy and access to intimate citizenship.

Given the growing attention to spiralling global and local inequalities, as well as to the gendered and intersectional dynamics which shape intimate relations, the workshop will address contemporary social movements, including, for example, #metoo and #timesup.

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The workshop is co-organised by the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.