Urban Inequalities: Ethnographic Insights

Organized byInternational Urban Symposium; Commission on Urban Anthropology; University of the Peloponnese: Department of Social and Educational Policy, Postgraduate Program of Social Policy.
Endorsed byCity, University of London.
Sponsored by: Corinth Municipality; Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Welfare.
Corinth 20-22 June 2019

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This conference aimed to promote an urgently needed in-depth understanding of entrenched forms of social and economic inequality that have come to the fore, and in many cases have become exacerbated, as a direct consequence of urbanization without (or with weak) growth. Urban sustainability and a transparent, responsible and efficient governance are the obvious casualties. Unemployment, informal employment, homelessness, intolerance, conflict, suicide, crime and citizens’ loss of trust in the democratic process are among the disastrous consequences. This Conference brought together a strong field of ethnographically-committed international scholars to address comparatively this cogent problematic in Western and non-Western settings in the context of the global economic crisis and the expanding gap between a privileged few and the rest of the population that mar contemporary society, jeopardising democratic life as they foster social and economic forms of inequality and conflict.

Huge, mostly uncontrolled, migration from poorer countries and from rural areas to cities adds to the problem, as newcomers experience exploitation, little or no improvement in their lives and often modern forms of slavery. Large internal and international migration flows in conjunction with weak policy, double standards in the treatment of individuals and groups and inefficient or slanted governance have engendered new challenges to urban life.

This conference was organized by the International Urban Symposium in collaboration with the IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology and the University of the Peloponnese and was endorsed by City, University of London. The event was sponsored by the Municipality of Corinth and the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Welfare.

Selected revised papers have been published in the volume Urban Inequalities. Ethnographically Informed Reflections (edited by Italo Pardo & Giuliana B. Prato), Palgrave Macmillan, PSUA Series, 2021  (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-51724-3), and in the special issue Greek Crisis and Inequalities: Anthropological Views (edited by Manos Spyridakis), special issue of Urbanities-Journal of Urban Ethnography, Vol.12 (Suppl.6), 2022  (https://www.anthrojournal-urbanities.com/vol-12-suppl-5-january-2022/). A further special issue of Urbanities is in preparation.

Conference Scientific Committe:
Italo Pardo: i.pardo@kent.ac.uk
Giuliana B. Prato: g.b.prato@kent.ac.uk
Manos Spyridakis: maspyridakis@gmail.com