www.sgs-kongress2013.unibe.ch www.sgs-kongress2013.unibe.ch
Organizing Committee
Members of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Bern
• Prof. Dr. Axel Franzen
• Prof. Dr. Ben Jann
• Prof. Dr. Christian Joppke
and the executive committee of the Swiss Sociological Association.
Contact and Administration
Sabrina Schüpbach
Assistant Conference Manager
Institute of Sociology
SSA Congress 2013
Lerchenweg 36
CH-3012 Bern
Congress of the
Swiss Sociological Association
June 26 – 28, 2013
University of Bern

Inequality and Integration in Times of Crisis

SSA Congress 2013

Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association
June 26 – 28, 2013 at the University of Bern
Inequality and Integration in Times of Crisis
Since Karl Marx first described the enormous social inequalities and their potential
for social change at the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century, the origins,
extent, and consequences of social inequality, as well the level of inequality which a
society is willing to tolerate, have been major themes in sociology. Our discipline has
taken on the theme of inequality in multiple areas ranging from research on unequal
educational and labor market opportunities, unequal income distributions, gender
and health inequality, and inequality in life expectancy, to mention only a few. There
are innumerable national and international conferences devoted to these themes.
Do we need yet another one? Is inequality still a problem in our society?
The answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. In particular, the economic crisis
at the start of the 21st century underlines the fact that the theme of inequality has
not lost its relevance. Above all, the European debt crisis inclines us to suspect that
social inequality is growing. In comparison with economic boom times, almost all
the European countries feel the pressure of stabilizing their economies and cutting
back on public expenditures. This will also impact redistributional policies to reduce
inequality and bring about new challenges for integration policies addressing the
emerging disparities. At the same time as inequalities within European societies
are exacerbated, disparities between states are also rising, which will likely have
adverse effects on European unification, not to mention creating new challenges for
Switzerland as well.
The European debt crisis came at a point in time when global environmental
and demographic problems worsened simultaneously – the aging of industrialized
countries and population explosion in developing countries. The inequality effects
of climate change and the unequal distribution of population growth will lead to
an increase in migration and elevate the immigration pressure on the European
Union and Switzerland. For this reason, Switzerland, as well as the other European
countries, grapple with questions of managing migration and integration.
Inequalities – as problematic they may be – are also in some sense an opportunity.
They increase the diversity of society and can bring about new ideas, innovation,
and growth. Our desire and ability for social integration depends, above all, on
the ultimate balance between these advantages and disadvantages. Within the
framework of the various foci of the research committees, the conference will
concentrate on the opportunities as well as the risks associated with these social
Call for Organizers
If you would like to organize a plenary session, please submit the title of the plenary
as well as the designated contributions (including titles, abstracts, and the names of
the contributors) to the organizing committee by January 15, 2013 (by e-mail to sgskongress2013@
soz.unibe.ch). A plenary session usually includes three contributions.
If you would like to organize a workshop (parallel session), please submit the
theme proposal and call for papers for the workshop to the organizing committee
by November 30, 2012 (by e-mail to sgs-kongress2013@soz.unibe.ch). After the
organizing committee accepts the proposal, the call for papers will be published.
The organizers of the workshop are responsible for collecting the submissions and
selecting the contributions to be included in the workshop. The final program of
the workshop (including titles, abstracts, and the names of the contributors) has
to be submitted to the organizing committee by March 15, 2013 (by e-mail to sgskongress2013@soz.unibe.ch).
Further information about the conference can be found on our homepage: