3rd International Conference: Doing Transitions – Relational Perspectives on the Life Course

Date 10 - 12 May 2023
Venue Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Organisation Doing Transitions Research Training Group

The doing transitions perspective understands transitions as constituted by social practices. The research training group “Doing Transitions” aims to further develop this perspective while exploring not only on established wide-spread transitions, such as entering school, working life or retirement, divorce or widowhood, but also less frequent transitions, such as the transition away from the gender assigned at birth, children's placing out of home, transitions of women released from prison, the staging of one's own growing up on the internet or entering the end of life phase.

The 3rd International Conference of the Research Training Group “Doing Transitions” will address “Relational Perspectives on the Life Course” and aims at bringing together the Doing Transitions research group with other researchers concerned with conducting research on life course transitions in a reflexive and relational perspective. The concept of relationality will be discussed in terms of different theoretical dimensions and methodological aspects of transitions across the life course.

Moving away from taken for granted assumptions of transitions, recent transition research has focussed on the following questions: How do transitions in the life course emerge and how are they interlinked? What are (relational) dimensions of transitions? How do we do transition research reflexively? And what is the role of research in (re-)producing transitions? The concept Doing Transitions understands life course transitions as constituted by social practices. New dimensions of the production of transitions are now added to the analysis of the interrelation between discursive, institutional and individually ascribed modes of shaping transitions: interpersonal relationships, temporalities and materialities (i.e. physical, spatial and material dimensions). Studying how transitions are done, thus, implies a relational approach extending the ‘doing’ perspective to multiple agents, processes and practices.

Presentations may address the following questions and thematic dimensions, but are also welcome to go beyond:

  • relational concepts and theories on transition research, e.g., focusing on interpersonal relationships and institutions
  • methodologies and methods of transition research incl. reflexive methodologies and plurality of methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods)
  • doing transfer: transitions from research to practice, e.g., how transition research may facilitate social change
  • doing difference: social class and intersectional inequalities, (trans)migration, new professional fields among others
  • critical life events, e.g., end of life, loss, grief
  • linked transitions – linked lives, e.g., linkage between different or the same recurring transitions
  • bodies and emotions, i.e. corporeal and affective dimensions of transitions
  • entangled temporalities between linked transitions, relative times, or the interplay of historical time and life time
  • materialities in transitions, e.g., how infrastructures, artefacts and objects contribute and regulate transitions

The conference will bring together research fellows of the Doing Transitions group with other transition researchers to present and discuss key findings of their studies in panels with discussants. Interested applicants are asked to submit abstracts of not more than 300 words until November 1st, 2022 to doingtransitions(at)uni-frankfurt.de in pdf-format (file name should contain your second name and one key notion of your abstract title). We aim to select and inform presenters by the beginning of January 2023.

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