CFP: Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilisation.

This conference focuses the social pathologies of contemporary civilisation, i.e. on the ways in which contemporary malaises, diseases, illnesses and psycho-somatic syndromes are related to cultural pathologies of the social body and disorders of the collective esprit de corps of contemporary society manifest at the level of individual patients’ bodies, and how the social & bodies politic are related to the hegemony of reductive biomedical and individual-psychologistic perspectives. The central research hypothesis guiding the conference is that many contemporary problems of health & well-being are to be understood in the light of radical changes of social structures & institutions, extending to deep crises in our civilisation as a whole. Problems of health and well-being have hitherto been considered in isolation; both in isolation from one another, and in isolation from broader contexts. The human person is an indivisible whole, the functioning of the body as an organism is intrinsically linked to the functioning of its mind, and even its ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’. Health and well-being are not just located at the level of the individual body, the integral human person, or even collective social bodies, but encompass the health of humanity as a whole and our relationship with Nature. Recovery of our individual and collective health & well-being needs to be conceived of with such a holistic context, encompassing the importance of grace, beauty and meaningfulness to human flourishing. A particular focus of the conference is the role of humanities and social sciences, particularly sociology, philosophy and anthropology, in helping to understand the connection between individual & collective experiences of social transformations and of health & well-being.

We invite abstracts of not more than 300 words related to any of the above themes to be submitted not later than April 29th 2011 to the email address below. All abstracts will be subject to peer-review and should be sent to the conference organisers at

More details after the jump:

Key Themes

  • Social pathologies; experiences of social change and structural transformation; social inequalities and the social gradient of health; Schismogenesis and pathogenesis.
  • Contemporary civilization and its discontents; neuroses, psychoses and the symptoms of our zeitgeist; hyper-individuation, narcissism, and the mass-psychology of neo-liberalism; principled relations to excess.
  • Medicalization and the hegemony of biomedical and psychiatric perspectives; Care, the caring professions, and caring for carers; managerialism in health care, molecular biopolitics, and the socio-technics of governance.
  • Beauty, grace and human flourishing; Art and music therapies; pathways to recovery and experiences of transformation; spirituality, meaningfulness, and well-being; Asian, traditional and non-western formulations of health & well-being.
  • Social constructions of pathology; disabling society (dis)abilities, and difference.Holism, Ecology, Nature and sustainability; the normal and the pathological; ‘grey zones’ and equilibrium; Integrity and corruption in social and bodies politic; Healthy communities, cities & societies; exemplary models of good health and the good life.

eynote Speakers:

The conference brings together a panel of international scholars to address these themes. Amongst our keynote speakers are:

  • Kieran Bonner, Professor of Sociology, Waterloo,        Co-Principle Investigator ‘The Grey Zone of Health & Illness’.
  • Jane Edwards, Professor of Music Therapy, University of Limerick.
  • Dan Goodley, Professor of Psychology and Disability. Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • Mark Patrick Hederman, Abbott, Glenstal Abbey.
  • Ruth Levitas, Professor of Sociology, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. University of Bristol.
  • Graham Parkes, Professor and Head of School of Sociology & Philosophy, UCC.
  • Gerda Reith, Professor of Social Science, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Arpad Szakolczai, Professor of Sociology, University College Cork, Ireland.

Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham.


2 Replies to “CFP: Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilisation.”

  1. Hello maestrojon,

    I was just looking for a philosophy themed blog on and I happened to find your site.

    How interested are you in mystical-based theories of interaction?

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