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The dehumanisation of our communities

19 July 2016


Cardiff University and Cardiff Business School will host the 19th International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) Annual Conference on Dehumanisation in Society from Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 July 2016.

The inter-disciplinary conference will explore the de-humanisation of contemporary societies in economic, sociological, urban, religious and public policy terms. Human need is often undermined and ignored by economic factors - in business, in politics and in everyday life. The conference will explore how we can rehumanise society and institutions to put people back at the heart of decision-making.

In the UK, and abroad, we are witnessing a sustained period of dehumanised social relations in many spheres of society. Whether it is profitability being placed above human well-being or public policy and government agendas leaving many sections of society isolated and disenchanted, human need and development is often discounted.

An international cohort of speakers and delegates will be in attendance while the keynote speakers are renowned social scientists.

Professor Margaret Archer is the Director of the Centre for Social Ontology at Warwick University and a founding figure of critical realism. She was elected as the first woman President of the International Sociological Association and in March 2014 was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis as President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The second keynote address will be delivered by Professor Douglas Porpora, Professor of Sociology at Drexel University in Philadelphia and editor in chief of the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.

Cardiff Business School’s Dr Ismael Al-Almoudi is organising the conference. He said: “It will be a great pleasure to welcome our distinguished guests and delegates, some of whom will have travelled thousands of miles to attend this conference on de/humanisation.

“However strange it may seem, talking about what makes us deeply human is no easy task for social scientists. Our conceptual models make it difficult to speak about the significance of relationships, about love, about morality. And yet, we must do so if we want to rehumanise society and stop producing and reproducing social relations that impede our flourishing.”

During the conference a significant publishing launch will also be held with 10 new books on critical realism unveiled from three major publishing houses (Cambridge University Press, Routledge and Springer). Participants at this event on Thursday 21 July include eminent sociologists Philip Gorski (Yale University) and Andrew Sayer (Lancaster University) as well as IACR President, Alan Norrie (Warwick University).