17th March 2009

ESRC Seminar Series Interrogating ‘harm’ and ‘abuse’: protection and citizenship across the lifespan   Symposium 2: Vulnerability and risk: ‘the subtle authorisation of harm’   13th May 2009, Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling Department of Applied Social Science University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA   Convenors: Alison Bowes, Brigid Daniel; Kathryn Mackay   In Symposium 2, The discussion develops to contextualise interpersonal relationships and individual experiences, to explore different types of abuse and their construction (or non-construction) as social problems; and to examine ‘cultural orders’ (Boddy 1998)  and cultural contexts pertaining to ‘victims’, their recognition and construction. Concepts of vulnerability and risk will be critically interrogated to identify the extent to which they advance understanding or form part of the problem.   Key questions:

  • How and under what conditions does ‘harm’ to a category of people move from a private concern to a social problem?
  • In what ways are ‘victims’ constructed, recognised and ‘authorised’?
  • What are the impacts of discourses of vulnerability? Are any social groups intrinsically vulnerable?
  • How far does a focus on ‘risk’ impede or advance responses to issues of ‘harm’?

  Speakers will include: Interrogator: Professor Cherry Rowlings Alison Bowes (University of Stirling): Mistreatment of older people in black and minority ethnic groups: an emerging social problem? Alys Young (University of Manchester): Deafness as risk or resilience?  Created vulnerabilities and ignored strengths Catherine Donovan (University of Sunderland): “I hate the word ‘victim”: an exploration of recognition of domestic violence in same sex relationships Khatidja Chantler (University of Manchester): Independence, risk and vulnerability: do notions of ‘independence’ work to protect service users from ‘harm’? Martin Stevens (Kings College London): Synthesising unsuitable people: exploring approaches to barring people from working in social care services   Invitation to attend You are invited to attend the seminar. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with a number reserved for participants from policy and practice contexts. Places will be confirmed during April 2009.   If you would like to attend the Seminar, please register electronically by following this weblink: http://www.dass.stir.ac.uk/old-site/lifespan/