Strand 8

Intersectional Perspectives on Health, Care, Vulnerabilities and Violence 

Coordinators: Kateřina Kolářová, Charles University in Prague; Sveva Magaraggia, University of Milano-Bicocca; Marianne Schmidbaur, Frankfurt University; Ksenia Meshkova, Humboldt University Berlin; Annalisa Dordoni, University of Milano-Bicocca.

→ abstracts to be sent to:, 

This strand aims to promote a transdisciplinary space of dialogue and debate in which the relationships between gender and care, health, disability and violence can be explored, in particular within intersectional feminist and queer approaches.  

We move from the awareness that the latest pandemic has once again accentuated the emphases feminist scholars have been putting on care and solidaristic visions of health. The Covid-19 pandemic shed a sharp light on the consequences of structural and institutionalised neglect, abandonment and uncaring — both on the macro- and on the micro- levels–and thus presents us with the urgent need for novel ways of envisioning and practicing care, solidarity, and equity. This stream wants to explore the impact of institutionalised neglect and of uncaring institutions, as well as practices that communities and marginalised populations developed to care for each other and in recognition of mutual dependence and interconnected vulnerabilities. We would like to explore how intimate and solidarity relationships are reorganized in the direction of a caring society. 

First we look at the concept of immunity: 

The pandemic experience has highlighted the limitations in the ways societies approach viral agency and viral threat. While the notion of a “herd immunity” was spotlighted and tried out as an epidemiological strategy, visions of immunity that would grow out of conceptualisations of  collective immunities and be based in recognition of shared vulnerability were neglected. Thus, we want to ask, what inspiration does the pandemic bring in relation to rethinking caring and solidaristic immunity? Further, the parlance of “the vulnerable population” not only often resulted in marginalisation but even in targeted blaming rather than targeted protection of the people most acutely susceptible to the virus. What specific forms of institutional abandonment, new and old, acute and chronic did the pandemic bring to light and how do race, gender, seuxality, disability and economic precarity play into those? How were the concepts of collective immunities bound to exclusion of “foreign bodies”, how were “migrant workers” (in particular domestic workers, care workers) caught up between borders? 

Secondly, we would like to address contemporary challenges of pregnancy and birth, motherhood and fatherhood, childrens’ rights and everyday practices of intimacy that go beyond coupledom and heterosexuality. Attention is paid also to the variability, but also the persistence of kinship, sexual relations, family practices and intimacies across time and space. How are feminist social sciences mapping the pluralization of family configurations and experiences, the ‘life experiments’ (Weeks, Heaphy and Donovan, 2001) that are performed through generations, genders and cultures? 

Further, we aim to explore new forms of rethinking work, private life, family and care in order to overcome the binary idea of two ontologically separated spheres of life and dichotomies of domesticity. We are interested in investigating the permeability between private-family-work life and care practices, before, during and after the Covid-19 outbreak and home-confinement, and in observing possible new ways of boundary work and time work processes, beyond the private and the public domain.

Finally, we are interested in discussing country-specific intervening practices against Gender-based violence (GBV) as well as prevention activities conducive to post-traumatic healing. Moreover, we invite reflections that analyse and discuss tools for developing and representing inclusive masculinities and for promoting the appeal of non-dominant, non-violent and non-hegemonic masculinity practices. Reflections about the porous boundaries between online and offline GBV can also be addressed. 

You are welcome to present, problematize and discuss your ideas, thoughts and research on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Global pandemic vulnerabilities: New contradictions and weaknesses, resistance ties, and global solidarities

  • Global inequalities and outsourcing of care and domestic labour: domestic workers caught up in the pandemic;  care-workers and the “fantasies” of life/work balance

  • Rethinking work-care-private-family life: work-care-family-life processes and practices; boundary work, time work and gender inequalities; beyond separated spheres and dichotomies of domesticity; outsourcing domestic labour

  • Intimacies Crossing Borders: beyond heteronormativity; beyond nation states; beyond couple-norm; across policies; intimacies of care

  • Family Images: Visual representations of Gender, Parenthood, Family Practices

  • Transformative Care Practices: care as critical, empowering practice and critical social theory concept; care policies 

  • Caring masculinities: how to represent them, how to promote them

  • Healing from violence: interventions, prevention, representations, statistical accounts of GBV

  • Online and offline GBV: trends, new conceptions and theorisations