Challenging and Changing Institutional Abuses of Power

A BSA Early Career Forum Regional Event

3 May 2019
University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland

About the Event

Abuses of power are central to the way that organisations and institutions in society function, with power often used to construct and control certain social groups. Whilst institutional and organisational abuses of power are by no means new phenomena, in recent years we have seen growing public awareness, concerns and challenges to such institutional abuses of power through various social movements such as: the #MeToo movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, Justice for Grenfell campaigns, and a constant stream of mediated stories from survivors of abuse in sporting, religious, and political institutions in particular. Harm to individuals and particular social groups is supported and reinforced by institutional frameworks.

This event aims to draws on examples of unequal and harmful power dynamics that result in various forms of abuse across different organisational and institutional spaces and highlights the strategies being utilised to challenge them. By not limiting the event to the institutional abuses of one specific institution, we hope to draw out the similarities and differences in the conditions, behaviours, relations, and actions that facilitate abuses of power across multiple institutions and in relation to a range of social groups and abuses. In doing so, we aim to drive discussions towards opportunities and strategies for challenging such abuses.

Confirmed keynote speakers are: 

  • Dr Maddie Breeze (Education and Sociology, University of Strathclyde)
  • Prof Steve Tombs (Criminology, Open University) 
  • Dr Jennifer Jones (Independent Researcher, Freelance Journalist)

Call for Papers

We are seeking abstracts for paper presentations that engage with challenging and changing institutional abuses of power.

  • Institutions can include but are not limited to: universities; law and the justice system; sport; the entertainment industry; places of employment; religious establishments; state and local level governance; and corporations.
  • Abuses of power include, but are not limited to: physical and mental harm; indirect or direct discrimination and oppression based on identity and intersections of identities; negligence and malpractice; sexual abuse; and epistemic violence.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words, along with your institutional affiliation, to Ashley Rogers by 22 March 2019.


There is a small amount of funds to support attendance for those in need, to cover travel costs, childcare or other accessibility needs. To apply, please send a short (max. 200 words) summary of your needs to Ashley Rogers by 22 March 2019, stating the amount you need, what it is for, and your current career status. Priority will be given to those who have submitted abstracts, but those who do not wish to present are also welcome to apply. Applications will be judged on a case-by-case basis.