Vulnerable Bodies and the Un/Making of Wellbeing

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Vulnerability is typically imagined as a property of individuals, groups or locales. But vulnerability is not something that is inherent to bodies – physical, social or geographic. Rather, it is produced through a wide variety of social processes that make some bodies more or less vulnerable than others. Vulnerability is patterned in ways that are historically and socially specific, produced at the nexus of markets, economics, politics and cultures, and constantly (re-)made through decisions, discourses and daily practices. Viewed in this way, vulnerability might be individually embodied, but it is also deeply relational and unavoidably socially-structured.

This panel will bring together leading social scientists working across a wide range of empirical contexts to discuss how vulnerability is produced in ways that compromise the wellbeing of some over others and further entrench forms of suffering and injustice. Tracing vulnerability as it is produced at the fault-lines of contemporary policy, economic organisation, and governance across scales from the microscopic to the planetary, it will explore how vulnerable bodies are made, and might be unmade, in service of healthier and fairer societies now and into the future.

Dr Katherine Kenny, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, The University of Sydney
Prof Alex Broom – Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, The University of Sydney
A/Prof Dinesh Wadiwel – School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney
Dr Julia Cook – Newcastle Youth Studies Centre, The University of Newcastle
Dr Michelle Peterie – Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, The University of Sydney
Dr Malini Sur – Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
Dr Blanche Verlie – Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

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8 September 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm AEST
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