PhD Preconference

Pre-Conference for Ph.D.-students:

Theoretical and methological challenges to the study of rising inequalities


Time: Tuesday 7th August 2018, 10.00 to 17.00

Venue: Aalborg University, Kroghstræde 3, room 2.126, 9220 Aalborg East.

Keynote: Professor Mike Savage, London School of Economics

ECTS: 1 ECTS point for participation and submitting an abstract


Course description:

For Ph.D-students attending the 29th Nordic Sociological Association Conference, we arrange a one-day pre-conference as a PhD course, with the support of The Nordic Sociological Association and the Doctoral School of Social Sciences at Aalborg University.

The pre-conference features Professor Mike Savage, London School of Economics, as the keynote speaker. Savage will reflect on the theoretical and methodological challenges to the study of rising inequalities in current societies.

Professor Savage will open the discussions with presentations on both theoretical and methodological challenges followed by commentaries from Professors Annick Prieur, Sune Qvotrup Jensen, Ann-Dorte Christensen and Lars Skov Henriksen, Aalborg University.

The format will be an open dialogue with room for engaging discussions based on Ph.D.-students’ projects and reflections. Upon registration, Ph.D.-students will be asked to submit a short abstract of their project and how, if possible, it relates to the question of current inequalities. Selected Ph.D.-projects may be invited for presentation.

The pre-conference is open for all Ph.D.-students and we especially invite participants from the Nordic universities. It is not a requirement for participation in the pre-conference that the Ph.D.-project directly engages with the question of inequality. Rather the aim will be to invite all participants to reflect on the perspective of inequalities, which can be more or less related to the main topic of the PhD project.

Professor Savage is the Martin White Professor of Sociology at London School of Economics. He has long standing interests in analyzing social stratification and inequality and has been one of the most influential figures in the revival of the sociology of social class in recent decades in Europe. Professor Savage is also co-Director of the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute, where he is initial Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows programme, the largest global programme in the world devoted to challenging inequalities. In recent years Professor Savage has also been a leading figure in debates around methods and the uses of big data in sociology, for instance with the two co-authored articles ‘The Coming Crisis of Empirical Sociology’ (2007) and ‘After the crisis? Big Data and the methodological challenges of empirical sociology’ (2014). Perhaps most famously he was a leading figure in the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, which has been the most popular piece of digital sociology ever (with 9 million hits on the BBC’s ‘class calculator’).

Mike Savage is a keynote speaker at the Nordic Sociological Association Conference. On August 8th he will lecture on Escalating inequality & global geo-politics.

Pre-conference program:

10.00 – 10.15: Welcome and introduction

10.15 – 11.00: Mike Savage: Theoretical challenges to the study of rising inequalities

11.00-11.20: Commentary

11.20-11.35: Short break for coffee

11.35-12.45: Open floor. Selected Ph.D.-projects may be invited for presentation.

12.45-13.45: Lunch

13.45-14.30: Mike Savage: Methodological challenges to the study of rising inequalities

14.30-14.50: Commentary

15.50-15.15: Coffee

15.15-16.30: Open floor. Selected Ph.D.-projects may be invited for presentation.

16.30- 17.00: Concluding remarks


Registration and fee.

The pre-conference is free of charge for Ph.D.-students. Lunch and coffee will also be provided. On the night of August 7th a dinner will be arranged at the participants’ own expense.

Participants should register separately for the pre-conference, click here to register

Remember to submit a short abstract of maximum 250 words describing your Ph.D.-project and how it possibly relates to the problem of inequalities.

Deadline for registration 12th June, 2018.

As we aim for a dialogical form, we have a maximum of 25 participants. PhD students who are attending the Nordic Sociological Association Conference will be given priority.

Further information, list of participants, final program as well as a reading list with a number articles by Mike Savage will be circulated late June.

Further information about the course can be directed to the two organizers: Professor Lars Skov Henriksen, or Professor Ann-Dorte Christensen

For practical information please contract secretary Johanne K. Berg,,