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Situating Austerity: The impact of locality on lived experience in austere times

A BSA Early Career Event

1 July 2021
University of Gloucestershire, via Zoom

About the Event

Lived experience of poverty in a time of economic austerity and downturn is hugely impacted by locality. This unique event aims to bring to the fore how locality and place are entangled in the everyday struggles of populations hit hardest by severe cuts to public spending and economic decline. Across different localities, we can see the impact of austerity measures play out in different ways, especially within the current context of Coronavirus restrictions. Whether it be research situated in London, where extreme wealth and poverty coexist side-by-side; seaside towns around the country with high levels of deprivation; ex-industrial towns and cities that have struggled in a changing economy; or areas that have seen regeneration and gentrification- the specificities of locality will shape the narratives of those hardest hit by restricted public spending and economic decline.

This event aims to open up discussion about the relationship between experiences of austerity and locality, whilst also reflecting upon the host university’s place identity- an affluent spa town where austerity still bites hard in certain communities. The event aims to draw together academics, third sector representatives and community organisations to discuss how locality shapes experiences of austerity and consider potential policy recommendations and ways forward which can improve the lives of people living on the margins. This is particularly important now more than ever as we see the disparate impact of Coronavirus restrictions across localities in the UK.

Call for Papers

The event aims to be an engaging and interactive day, inviting Early Career Researchers to discuss and reflect on their own research, examining how locality intersects within everyday experiences of living on the breadline. Presentations will be 15 minutes long, with time at the end of each session for collective questions. Although there will inevitably be discussions about the impact of Coronavirus, please do not feel that your presentation has to focus solely on this. Expressions of interest to present should relate to one of the key themes in this area, including but not restricted to:

Work and employment; urban/rural experiences of austerity; impact on family life; the role of social class & stigma; housing; food security; social and economic isolation; the impact of Coronavirus on the before topics.

Priority will be given to ECRs when allocating presentation slots. Please send abstracts of up to 300 words to Louise Folkes by 30 April 2021.


The event fees are a follows:

  • FREE for BSA members
  • £10 for non-members

It may also be possible to provide subsidies for ECRs, PhD students, those on low-incomes or without institutional affiliation. Please enquire to Louise Folkes if required.

A Zoom link will be sent to you beforehand, along with instructions on how to join for those of you new to Zoom. We hope you can join us.