Crisis: effects, consequences and representations

1st National  Phd Conference in Social Sciences  

Padova, 23rd – 25th June 2016

The economic crisis that has raged since 2008 is a global event that generated countless effects involving many aspects of our society. Started originally as a financial turbulence in the US, it has quickly turned into an economic and social crisis as well, absorbing vital aspects of individuals such as employment, housing, social benefits and education.

Even though the causes which generated the economic crisis are not clear, it appears more and more as the outcome of long term changes and transformations (economic, political and social): the liberalization of the financial market, the intensification of the de-industrialization process in the late-industrial countries, the crisis of Keynesian policies, the continued weakening of work and its representations, the exacerbation of social inequalities and adherence to the neoliberal economic model.

The trait d’union between the different interpretations of this crisis is the emphasis put on the relationship between finance and real economy. This relationship is often referred as dialectical and conflictual. The so-called “fictitious economy” are attributed both the cause of the crisis and the responsability for “the real economy” corruption. The certainty, nourished by media and some public debate, is that the policies aimed to control the financial mechanism could re-establish the proper relationship between two dimensions (finance and real economy) and restore the  natural supremacy of the “real” sphere .

Many researchers rejected this interpretation (Marazzi, 1998; 2009; Fumagalli, 2009; Harvey, 2011; Gallino, 2011) putting an emphasis on the degree of consubstantiality and interdependence between the two dimensions and their mutual support.

Nowadays finance is all-encompassing and permeates many aspects of life as individuals and as a collectivity, as public debt, consumer credit, pension funds or the so-called “wealth effects” (i.e. the mechanism that transforms the stock market values in collective well-being indicators).

Is widely believed that also measures and responses, put in place by the state and supranational apparatus, contributed to aggravate consequences of the crisis. As suggested by Gallino (2011), on one hand the political class deals with the problems generated from this situation, on the other hand it is embroiled in it.

Regardless of the cause, the crisis generated multiple effects not only in the economic sphere but also in the political, social, environmental and psychological one. Health, work, attitudes and individual and collective behaviors are all related and studied in relation to it.

Media had, and still have, an important role in the spread of discourses on the crisis and in the construction of meaning related to it. In spreading the news, selecting them and choosing communication methods, they convey a particular message helping to generate  representations on on the issue in question.

With this brief introduction, this session wants to host the contributions of PhD students engaged in empirical and theoretical research on the causes, consequences and representations of the global economic crisis. In particular, we welcome the contributions focused on the following aspects:

  • crisis causes, consequences and implications;
  • relationship between finance and the “real” economy;
  • relationship between neoliberalism and economic crisis;
  • crisis, contraction and reorganization Welfare regimes;
  • crisis, poverty, old and new inequalities;
  • political movements, social movements and interpretations of the crisis;
  • public speech, political speech and representations of the crisis;
  • media and crisis;
  • crisis: values and behaviors.

Multimedia contributions, which represent the material of the search field or the end product of research are also well-accepted. As well as contributions in collaboration with associations, movements, committees, etc., in which agents participants are active actors of the research process.

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: “Crisis: effects, consequences and representations”.

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.

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).


Francesco Iannuzzi, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova

Valentina Rizzoli, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova


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

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