Call for Papers: Workshop "Using genetics to understand social structures"

Workshop "Using genetics to understand social structures: Genetic influences across time, groups, and societies", University of Oslo, 29 February-1 March 2024.
Using genetics to understand social structures: Genetic influences across time, groups, and societies

Workshop at the University of Oslo, 29 February-1 March 2024

You are cordially invited to submit abstracts for the workshop “Using genetics to understand social structure: Genetic influences across time, groups, and societies,” taking place on 29 February-1 March 2024 at the University of Oslo.

There has been a true revolution in genetic research, whereby modern technologies have facilitated a growth and extension of studies trying to evaluate how the human genome explains various social outcomes. However, interactions between environments and genetics are still relatively underexplored, especially from a larger social scientific perspective. How and to what extent genes matter is nevertheless likely to depend on a range of factors, both on the individual-, group- and societal-level. For instance, it has been suggested that on a societal-level, genes could matter more in more socially mobile societies where they are less constraint by institutional barriers. On an individual-level, they could matter more for individuals growing up in families or neighbourhoods with high socio-economic statuses where genetic propensities are more likely to be stimulated or compensated. This workshop tries to bring together social scientists from the Nordic countries and elsewhere, to provide insight into whether the impact of genes on broader socio-economic and social-demographic outcomes depends on the social environments we are part of, such as socio-economic groups, schools, neighbourhoods, time periods or even countries.

Paper proposals consisting of the full title, an abstract (maximum 500 words), and a list of all authors (including affiliations) should be sent to Arno Van Hootegem ( by 31st of December 2023. The applicants will be informed about the decision within two to three weeks. Full papers will be prioritized, so if you don't expect to have a finished draft ready in time for the workshop, please indicate this in the application. Discussants will be assigned to each paper.

The workshop will last two days, and the selection of papers will be motivated by a demand for varying theoretical and methodological approaches. It will also balance scholars from the Nordic countries and beyond. Women, junior scholars, and other academically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. There is no participation fee. We will provide selected meals, and accommodation for two nights for all participants. Travels costs will not be covered.

Besides the selected papers, the workshop will include presentations and paper discussions by Felix Tropf, Evelina Akimova and Gregory Clark. The core organizing team consists of Arno Van Hootegem, Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, Ruth Eva Jørgensen, Karri Silventoinen and Gaia Ghirardi.

The workshop is generously funded by NordForsk through the ReNEW research hub, UiO:Life Science through the AHeadForLife project and the European Research Council through the OPENFLUX project.