Bodies and Identities

1st National  Phd Conference in Social Sciences  

Padua, 23rd-25th June 2016

As regards the current Social Sciences discourse, the role of the body and its possible relationship with the identity construction process seems to be central. Consistent with this perspective, this session welcomes contributions that emphasize the key role of the body in various research areas. Within such a diverse scene, identity becomes the means through which bodies can regain their subjectivity, breaking the boundaries that define them as mere objects.

The purpose of this session is to give voice to the possible variations of this debate, taking into account the different perspectives in the related thematic areas.

Three main themes will guide the authors in presenting the abstracts within this session: Gender and Sexuality, Normalisation of the Body and Body Practices.

These areas are only indicative and not exhaustive, therefore abstracts about related topics will be accepted. To the same extent, intersectional studies and works concerning more than one area will be welcomed.

We welcome contributions that explore contemporary developments and empirical research, as well as those that offer theoretical and critical examinations.

The three areas were defined as follows:


The main topics this line of research concern gender, sex and sexuality in a multidimensional perspective, aiming to highlight aspects of complexity, diversity and change. Laid across these issues we will welcome essays related to the role of the body in the social construction processes of:

  • Gender identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender roles and stereotypes
  • Sexual practices

Abstracts taking into account the implications on interpersonal dynamics will be also be appreciate and evaluated.


Within this area of research, we will welcome all the contributions focused on normalisation processes put in place for the management and regulation of a body defined as deviant. In line with the overall purpose of the session, the aim is to emphasise labels, norms, corrections, proscriptions and prescriptions that pathologize the body in making it invisible and depriving it of its individuality. In addition to the practice of medicalization and hospitalization, we include in this area considerations on the disabled and institutionalized body.


This line of research takes into account all the processes of body practice in everyday life, underlining the body ability of expression and its central role in the processes of identity construction. The communicative dimension of corporeality is to be intended here both as bodies in activity and as practices of modification, maintenance and exhibition of the body, associated with aesthetic categories and with individual and collective narratives. In sports, in particular, we intend to refer to bodies both as disciplined sites and as situations of individual and collective agency where groups considered socially disadvantaged resist and challenge the hegemonic ideas in sport and in society. The not exhaustive topics that will be welcomed are:

  • Sports practices
  • Artistic performances
  • Beauty and obscenity
  • Body care
  • Aesthetic rituals and practices (cosmetics, surgery, tattoos etc.)


Abstracts should be up to 300 words (bibliography not included), and be written either in Italian or in English and must be sent by February 20, 2016 via email to: adding the title of the session in the subject of the email: Bodies and Identities”.

Abstracts must have the following structure:

title, author(s)*, text, keywords.

* author’s contact details and a short biography (up to 100 words).

The result of the evaluation will be notified to authors by 20 March 2016. Please note that to participate to the conference you need to sign up (free) which will be available on the appropriate form on the website from March 20, 2015 until 30 April, 2015. For organizational reasons we invite applicants to register by the deadline[1].

Authors of selected abstracts have to send a paper up to 35,000 characters (including spaces and bibliography) by 31 May 2016 to the same e-mail address.

At the end, contribution may be collected for scientific publications cured by the referee of the session together with the author(s).


Fabio Bertoni, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

Dany Carnassale, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

Sandra Kyeremeh, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

Jessica Neri, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

Marta Prandelli, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

David Primo, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova


[1] Coffee breaks and spritz-time are included.

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