TWENTY65 Social Science of Water Network Event
New knowledges and practices in the water sector: learning and sharing across the interpretive social sciences
Water management is undergoing a transformation from being largely focused on technical problems and technical solutions, to an emphasis on collaboration with partners and publics as a means to identify priorities and to achieve change. The shifting focus of water governance has made the work of the interpretive social science more relevant to the water sector than previously. This one-day colloquium seeks to describe, explore and share the nature of this change, with an overall goal of helping to build a community of interpretive social scientists of water across the UK and beyond.
Outline of day:
We are proud to welcome Veronica Strang (University of Durham), anthropologist and author of the seminal interpretive text ‘the Meaning of Water’ (Strang, 2004) to open the colloquium. Our proceedings will conclude with reflections on how interpretive social science of water (from the day) is contributing to social science and to policy. The former reflections will be led by Jamie Linton (Université de Limoges), historical geographer of water and pioneer of ideas about hydro-social water management (Linton, 2014; Linton and Budds, 2014); while Tom Handysides, Principal Strategic Advisor at OFWAT, will comment on the challenges and questions that the day has raised for policy.
Interpretive social science emphasises the various understandings and meanings that people have for a phenomena, for example, a water efficiency initiative. ‘Interpretive social science’ overlaps with and is closely related to ‘critical’, ‘relational’ and ‘post-positivist’ social science. The growing use of interpretive social science (and related approaches) is argued to be important in helping water managers to understand and work within the worlds of public engagement and policy-making (See Sharp, 2017: 19).
* Interpretive social science emphasises the various understandings and meanings that people have for a phenomena, for example, a water efficiency initiative. ‘Interpretive social science’ overlaps with and is closely related to ‘critical’, ‘relational’ and ‘post-positivist’ social science. The growing use of interpretive social science (and related approaches) is argued to be important in helping water managers to understand and work within the worlds of public engagement and policy-making (See Sharp, 2017: 19).
Calls for abstracts …
There are two calls for abstracts, one for the quick-fire talks and one for the open sessions.
Abstracts are invited on specific projects or case studies to contribute to the quick-fire talks. You will be expected to provide one slide and to speak for 5 minutes. The aim of these talks is to communicate the essence of a project, leaving time for those with related interests to follow up the talk with discussion during coffee and lunch breaks. The slots are suitable for PhD students or for other projects where the content or findings are still under development.
Abstracts should be a maximum of 100 words, see also general requirements for abstracts below.
The network day focuses on new knowledges and practices in the UK water sector and how insights from interpretive social sciences can provide learning, sharing of ideas and impact. We are particularly (but not exclusively) looking for contributions that:
- can push forward our understanding of the role of the interpretive (or more constructivist/ post-positivist) social sciences within water management science, policy or practice;
- help our understanding of where the water sector policy and practice (including industry but also the EA and local authorities) sits at present in terms of how ‘useful’ or ‘usable’ knowledge is defined, what counts as legitimate evidence, and how these positions potentially could or should be challenged;
- reviewing interpretive understandings and findings within particular fields of interest – e.g. water efficiency or flood management
We anticipate that the two open sessions will be thematically organised with three or four presentations of apx. 15 mins and then space for discussion.
Abstracts should be a maximum of 200 words, see also general requirements for abstracts below.
General requirements for abstracts
All abstracts should state either OPEN SESSION ABSTRACT or QUICK-FIRE ABSTRACT. They should be in Arial 12 point. As well as stating the authors’ names and affiliations, the name of the presenting author should be asterisked.
Abstracts should be submitted to Emma Westling (e.westling @sheffield.ac.uk by midnight on 1st November).
Context and registration process
This colloquium represents the third meeting of a loose network of social scientists carrying out work on water management in the UK. As with previous events, the meeting is linked to the TWENTY65 project annual conference, see https://www.twenty65.ac.uk/annual-conference , and is organisationally a supplementary activity to the conference.
While initial registration for the colloquium will occur through the submission and acceptance of abstracts, participation will only be confirmed when payment has been received via the TWENTY65 payment mechanisms.
Participants can either register just for the colloquium or for the colloquium and the TWENTY65 conference. The fees are:
£70 for the full day if not attending the TWENTY65 Conference,
£40 for the full day if also attending the TWENTY65 conference
£40 for the full day for student/early career researchers if not attending the TWENTY65 Conference
£25 for the full day for students/early researchers if also attending the TWENTY65 conference
The deadlines for abstract submission, confirmation and payment are shown below.
Linton, J, 2014, Modern Water and its discontents: a history of hydro-social renewal, WIREs Water 2014, 1:111–120. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1009
Linton J and Budds, J, 2014, Defining and mobilizing a relational-dialectical approach to water, Geoforum 57: 170-180
Sharp, L, 2017, Reconnecting People and Water: Public Engagement and Sustainable Water Management, London: Earthscan
Strang, V, 2004, The Meaning of Water: Oxford: Berg