Beyond the conference

by Michael Toze

Final day of Undisciplining today, and it’s been good. I didn’t book onto the conference dinner last night, so walked back to where I’m staying in Gateshead, thinking through papers in my head.

This is the first specifically ‘sociological’ conference I’ve been to. I’ve done health conferences and LGBT conferences and trans conferences, and in those spaces I’ve tended to see myself firmly in the sociological camp. At a sociological conference, I do feel a bit conscious of being somewhat on the fringes of sociology, so it’s nice to be at an event that’s dedicated to recognising and including those edges.

It’s been useful. There’s definitely some more sociological perspectives I can take away and apply to a half-written paper I was originally thinking was going to be a fairly technical critique of healthcare structures. There’s also the germs of a new paper about health activism and neoliberal values. We also had a really good discussion in the session I was involved in running yesterday, and that’s also given me some food for thought, both regarding research but also regarding activism. So for me, that’s what I’ll be taking forward from the conference.

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