Multiple Inequalities in the Age of Transnationalization: Implications for Concepts and Methods

Summer School, 23–27 June 2014, Frankfurt am Main

Place: Goethe University Frankfurt, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Sociology
Organizers: Anna Amelina, Helma Lutz, Kira Kosnick

Jointly organized with the “Migration and Ethnic Minorities” section of the German Sociological Association

In recent years, transnational social inequalities have become one of the most debated subjects in many disciplines, including gender studies, the sociology of social inequality and migration studies. Concepts such as transnational capitalist class, cosmopolitan and transnational elites, global care chains, transnational gender orders, transnational care regimes and queer transnationalism situate inequality analysis in the context of cross-border relations and practices, emphasizing that it is necessary to better understand the impacts of global and transnational relations on the production and reproduction of inequality.

The aim of the Summer School will be to intensify the dialogue between researchers who work on intersectionality and transnationality. Intersectionality, one of the most important approaches to emerge from the study of multidimensional inequalities, provides a highly valuable conceptual tool for the analysis of the processes (e.g., subordination) and patterns (e.g., hierarchies) involved in the production of inequality. It allows researchers to examine various forms of multiple inequalities in relation to aspects such as gender, ethnicity/race, class, age, disability and sexuality, as well as the interrelations between them. Concepts such as transnational migration and transnational social spaces emphasize that multi-locality has become the dominant mode of life organization for many mobile individuals and their non-mobile significant others. Consequently, the transnational lens suggests that subordination and resistance are organized multi-locally, meaning that the study of the power of definition and symbolic violence, both of which produce multiple inequalities, must go beyond the narrow focus of methodological

To promote the dialogue between those who study multiple inequalities and researchers who work on transnationalization, mobility and cross-border migration, the Summer School will focus on the following key questions:

  • How are multiple inequalities (in terms of gender, ethncity/race, class, age, disability, sexuality, etc.) produced and reproduced in the process of transnationalization and cross-border mobility?
  • How can the multiple discriminations (sexism, racism, ethnicism, classism, ageism, etc.) which often emerge in the form of  intersections and in mutual constituency be analysed, conceptualized and theorized in the context of transnational mobility  and cross-border relations?
  • What forms of (symbolic) violence are inherent in the processes of multiple hierarchization which extend across national  borders?



The programme combines focused interdisciplinary training for PhD students with an intense discussion of PhD projects, including theory, methodologies and critical perspectives, to give young researchers an opportunity to present their research and discuss it in detail.

The public lecture will be held by
Professor Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (University of Southern California)

Lecture classes will be led by
Professor Anna Amelina (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Dr. Basak Bilecen (Bielefeld University)
Professor Kira Kosnick (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Professor Helma Lutz (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Professor Michael A. Messner (University of Southern California)
Participants and Topics of PhD Projects

The Summer School invites PhD candidates with a background in gender studies, the sociology of migration, the sociology of social inequality and other related disciplines whose doctoral research projects address one or more of the following themes:

  • Transnational families, gender regimes, ageing and childhood, queer practices, queer transnationalism
  • Transnationalization of care, care regimes, social protection and social security
  • (Re-)production of social inequalities from a transnational perspective: exploitation, subordination, discrimination, exclusion
  • Transnational organizations, transnational corporations, transnational labour markets, transnational and cosmopolitan elites
  • Transnational protest movements and their (in)equality-related protests
  • Diasporas, migrant organizations, cross-border nationalism, contentious integration politics
  • Transnational education and science, mobility of students and scientists
  • Transnational religious associations and their strategies to deal with multiple inequalities
  • Post-national citizenship and its implications for cross-border inequalities
  • Media and transnational inequalities, representation of inequality in the arts and film.



  • Applicants are invited to submit their CV (max. 2 pages) and a description of their PhD project (max. 2 pages) to Anna Amelina at and Peter Boßhammer at by 30 March 2014.
  • Accepted participants will be invited to submit their papers for presentation (5,000 words, including references) by 10 June 2014. The papers will be circulated to the discussants and participants.
  • There are no conference fees. Hotel accommodation will be covered for accepted participants, but travel expenses cannot be reimbursed. For detailed information, please contact Professor Amelina.

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