UK Riots: Sociological Perspectives and Civic Responses

Saturday 15th October, 2011, Birmingham Midland Institute
£10 waged, £5 unwaged

The recent civil disturbances across a number of English cities have provoked much commentary and debate. However, there has been little sustained analysis of the events, their causes and likely consequences. This symposium is one in a series of unrelated endeavours to bring public understandings and sociological perspectives to bear upon the events of last month. To this end we have invited a diverse range of speakers to open up the discussion, and combine academics and members of the community on the stage and in the audience.  We combine speakers who will present sociological perspectives on the civil disturbances with a discussion of civic responses.

The event is organized by the British Sociological Association’s Theory Study Group in collaboration with the Department of Sociology, University of Leicester and the Social Theory Centre, University of Warwick.


10.30-11.00 – Registration

11.00-12.30 – Panel 1: Institutional Contexts

  • Karim Murji, Continuities and Contradictions: Race and Policing, Then and Now
  • Ajmal Hussain, ‘Presenting’ the Riots in Birmingham: New Times for ‘Community’, Policing and Leadership?
  • Alana Lentin,

12.30-2.00 – Lunch

2.00-3.30 – Panel 2: Civic Responses

  • Malcolm James, The UK Riots and the Criminalisation of Young People in Public Space
  • Nina Power,
  • John Solomos,

3.30-4.00 – Break

4.00-5.30 – Roundtable: Learning from the past, looking to the future: What now?

  • Rob Berkeley
  • Sam Farooq
  • Maxie Hayles
  • Heidi Mirza

£10 waged; £5 unwaged/students/concessionary to be paid by cash or cheque on the day. There are also a number of free places for those unable to pay.

Please note, places are limited and you will need to register to attend. To register for a place, please email: birmingham15october2011 AT

Confirmed speakers
Rob Berkeley, The Runnymede Trust

Sam Farooq, University of Gloucester

Maxie Hayles, Maxie Hayles International Consultancy

Ajmal Hussain, London School of Economics
Ajmal Hussain is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics. His research is an ethnography exploring new Muslim identity formation in inner-city Birmingham, where he grew up and now lives. Ajmal also works as a Research Associate within the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Languages & Diversity (InterLanD) at Aston University.

Malcolm James, London School of Economics
Malcolm James is a social researcher and PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics. His PhD research is based around three East London youth clubs. The themes for the research are racism, youth culture and how young people live publicly. Over the last decade Malcolm has published work on young people, ‘race’ and racism, migration and xenophobia and structural inequality. Malcolm is also Editor of the online journal Critical Contemporary Culture.

Alana Lentin, University of Sussex

Heidi Mirza, Institute of Education

Karim Murji, The Open University
Dr Karim Murji is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, where he has written distance learning materials for courses in Sociology, Social Policy, Politics, Geography and social research methods. His research interests are culture, ethnicity and racism and these are applied to fields such as race and policing, race equality and social policy, and diaspora and identity. Recent publications on these themes appear in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies (2009), the Journal of Social Policy (2010) and Policy Studies (2011). With John Solomos, he is the co-editor of Racialization: Studies in theory and practice (Oxford University Press, 2005). He is a former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and is currently a member for the General Teaching Council and a local Safeguarding Children Board. He is also on the Equality and Diversity Forum and has recently served in many advisory roles including the BME Trust and Confidence Group, the Transformative Justice Forum, the UK Drug Policy Commission Equalities review and the Home Office Drugs Equality Strategy group.

Nina Power, University of Roehampton

John Solomos, City University London

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