Adam Smith Research Foundation Research Programme 2014-16 - Social Precarity


We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Adam Smith Research Foundation’s Research Programme for 2014-16, which concerns the theme of Social Precarity. The Principal Investigator is Dr Barbara Read, School of Education, College of Social Sciences together with Professor Annette Hastings, School of Political and Social Sciences, and Dr Andrea Williamson, School of Medicine. The programme’s key aims include the establishment of the Social Precarity Network  to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and discussion in this area. Hosted by the College of Social Sciences (CoSS), we are keen for the Programme to also be of interest and benefit to colleagues across other Colleges as well as within the CoSS and beyond

Precarity has rapidly grown as a proposed focus of enquiry in social science circles. Focusing on both living and working conditions of groups seen as economically and/or socially vulnerable or excluded, it is often associated with conditions in the West such as the increasing casualization of labour, the recent economic crisis, and political activism mobilized in response to multiple, heightened conditions of social inequality. The concept of precarity has also been used in relation to discourses of vulnerability and risk that have been proliferating in the modern West in reaction to cultural fears around austerity, climate change, and the threat of terrorism after 9/11. The theme lends itself to a cross- and interdisciplinary focus on precarity from multiple angles – for example in relation to education, employment, health, housing and the social environment; for both quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, and for a focus on the local, national or international.

The Social Precarity Network will comprise two strands – a ‘university’ strand of colleagues within Glasgow University, and an ‘open’ strand which will also include community practitioners, activists and academics from a range of disciplines at other national and international universities.

Regular Open Network events will run alongside more informal University Network workshops, which will be hosted regularly on identified themes and oriented towards particular funding opportunities. The Programme will be also maintaining an online presence via Twitter and disseminating relevant news and information.

The team would very much like to invite interested colleagues to join the network. If you are interested please contact Dr Barbara Read: [email protected].


Warm wishes,

The Programme Team

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