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4th International Conference

Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity Network

Differences, Solidarities and Digital Technologies

Hosted by

Middle East Technical University

Northern Cyprus Campus

Tuesday, 1 July through Friday, 4 July, 2014

The 4th International Conference of the Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity Network aims to examine the influence of the spread and growth of digital technology on constructions, concepts, and perceptions of difference and solidarity. By “digital technology” we mean any combination of electronic devices and digital communication including the devices themselves (from smart phones to servers), software and applications, and communication networks. Approximately two thirds of the world’s population (according to the World Bank) has limited access to digital technologies, yet the remaining one third of the population who use these technologies are arguably reshaping concepts of difference and solidarity that have broad implications for all people, their social and cultural institutions, the environment, economic systems, etc. As an example of an area of contested solidarity and difference within that one third of global users, are the broad claims from academia, the market, and digital technology proponents regarding the use of digital technology and devices to promote solidarities, virtual and real, and create an easing of difference through democratizing constructs such as increased access to the internet and communication devices. Contrary arguments assert that solidarities in a virtual world are not possible; that the democratizing effect of the internet, or even wireless service, is an illusion constructed by large corporations that control many of the on-ramps and consumer interfaces of the web in neoliberal societies; and that the growth of use of digital technologies creates new differences and increasingly solidifies existing ones.

This conference seeks to provide a space for scholars to take stock of the present global context and share knowledge – specific or general, empirical or theoretical, with a view to develop and explore the possible ways of understanding the impact of digital technologies on differences and solidarities. The conference is intended to be interdisciplinary and welcomes papers from scholars whose research crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. Papers and panels are sought for presentation at parallel sessions where each paper will have a strict maximum of 20 minutes presentation time on panels of 2 papers with 25 minutes per paper discussion time.

Initial starting points for paper topics on the 2014 conference theme are listed below. We will also consider papers on themes from previous conferences and/or previous participants who have on-going research on broader areas of difference and solidarity. All papers/presentations should in some way connect to, or address, Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity:

Social media:












Technology and hegemonies


Academia and technology:

New disciplines e.g. Digital humanities

Academic freedom




Inclusive/exclusive methodologies


Electronic production:

Mining, manufacture, distribution, retail


Passive and active digital media

Ethics and digital technology

Art and Culture

Digital geography

Digital nativism

New media subjectivity


Digital literacy




These themes are not exhaustive and the organizers will consider other papers relevant to the conference subject of Digital Technologies and Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity. We expect to publish a post-conference edited book, derived from the papers presented and organized around themes that reveal themselves during the conference.

There will be two keynote plenary sessions with speakers to be announced. Reflecting the conference theme in the context of the conference venue, one of these sessions will focus on aspects of these themes in Cyprus.

Abstracts may be submitted anytime until March 31, 2014

Notification of abstract acceptances and rejections is on a rolling basis (within 3 weeks of submission)

Online conference registration open from March 17, 2014 to May 30, 2014

Conference Fees to be paid by May 30, 2014

The conference language is English and all papers and presentations should be in English.

The conference fee is 395 Euros (295 Euros for post-grad students and non-participants).

This fee includes:


Transfers to and from ErcanAirport in the TurkishRepublic of Northern Cyprus to METU-NCC Campus

4 nights at Campus Guest House with breakfast

4 lunches

2 Sunset Dinners (all drinks included)

1 Dinner Banquet (non-alcoholic drinks included)

Guided Historic/Cultural Excursion

Abstracts of no more than 350 words may be submitted online only, to:

For any questions or concerns please see our website, including the FAQ page, or contact the conference organizers at the email address below.

Conference Organisers:

Scott H. Boyd

Middle EastTechnicalUniversity – Northern Cyprus Campus

Paul Reynolds


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A one-day symposium at the University of Brighton
Friday 20th January 2012

Correspondence to:

It is now well established that Adam Smith’s purloining by the Neo-liberal Thatcherites in the 1980s represented a partial and superficial interpretation of his work, based on a particular reading of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This initiative, forming the intellectual basis for a concerted political and intellectual attack on social democracy and welfare politics, used Smith as the foundation for a return to free-market economic thinking and the construction of a neo-liberal hegemony over the terms of economic growth and development that privileged low labour costs and high investment opportunities for capital.

Despite a recognition of the inherent dangers of this economic policy – short term speculative gain against longer term economic stability; vulnerability to the ebbs and flows of finance capital and global economic trends; the impoverishment of working people and conflictual approach to their representation in parties, unions and protest movements; the construction of a market instrumentalist culture that sees moral and social worth primarily in economic utility – it remains a dominant discourse. From Margaret Thatcher’s free-market/strong state approach to political economy to Gordon Brown’s ‘Smithian sympathy’ in economic policy, Smith is part of an intellectual parlance that sustains a consensus within mainstream politics that binds mainstream debate into a notion of the market economy that is minimally and residually social; and in particular, that is conditional on the performance of the market rather than on moral principles and democratic political goals for state, economy and society.

Adam Smith’s work is so much richer, however, than this partial articulation suggests, and Smith remains a potent source for discussion and debate, particularly on the Left. This symposium seeks to explore what the Left might learn and take from Smith in articulating new forms of critical political economy and of moral and political criticism and resistance.

The day will comprise of four sessions led by academics developing recent and current work on Adam Smith and what the Left can learn from him:
David Cassasas Marques (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain)
Mark Thomas (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Anita Rupprecht (University of Brighton, UK)
Paul Reynolds (Edge Hill University, UK)

This symposium is organised on behalf of CAPPE
( by Paul Reynolds, Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy, Edge Hill University with Professor Bob Brecher, Director of CAPPE.

The cost of the symposium is £25 (and £10 Unwaged/students) which includes lunch. Cheques should be made out to Paul Reynolds (Adam Smith Symposium) and posted to17 Lea Crescent, Ormskirk,Lancashire L39 1PG.

All correspondence should be directed to Paul Reynolds at

Paul Reynolds
Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy
Programme Leader in Sociology
Social Sciences
Edge Hill University
St Helens Road
Lancs L39 4QP
Tel: 01695 584370


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