Midday & Evening Specials

Midday (MD) and Evening (EV) Specials cover topics which are relevant for sociology as a discipline and/or for the day-to-day work of sociologists. They are offered at lunchtime.


Session with the editors of ESA journals

Digitalization, new commercial publishing strategies as well as shifting reading and writing habits of scientists and the broader audience lead to turbulences in publication strategies of all actor groups involved. Where and how should young scholars aim to publish? How will Open Access strategies develop in the field of social sciences? Will we go to a bright future of accessible and inclusive scientific publishing for all? Or will existing social inequalities in the science system increase according to countries’ policies of paying article processing costs (APCs) and/or institutional strategies of administering digitalized complex platforms? The session will deal with these topics focussing especially on ESA’s two associational journals European Societies (ES) and European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology (EJCPS). Based on some input papers, editors of both journals will share their experiences and make recommendations for scientists’ publication strategies.

Paul Blokker is associate professor in political sociology at the Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Italy. He is also research coordinator at the Institute of Sociological Studies, Charles University Prague, Czechia. His research focusses on populism, a sociology of constitutions, constitutional politics, and democratic participation.

Michalis Lianos is Professor at the University of Rouen-Haute Normandie and Editor-in-Chief of ESA journal "European Societies" (www.tandfonline.com/toc/reus20/current). He was previously Lecturer at the University of London (Goldsmiths College) and Director of the “Centre for Empirically Informed Social Theory” (CEIST) at the University of Portsmouth. His latest book is "Conflict and the Social Bond", Routledge, 2019.

Patrick Präg works as an assistant professor of sociology at CREST/ENSAE in Paris and is a faculty member of the department of economics at Institut Polytechnique de Paris. He’s inter-ested in social stratification and social demography. Next to Alexi Gugushvili (Oslo) and Evelyn Ersanilli (Amsterdam), he’s the incoming editor of European Societies.

Ludger Pries (Chair) holds a Chair for Sociology at Ruhr Universität Bochum. He taught and did re-search in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the USA. Main fields of research are Sociology of migration, transnationalization, organisations, work and labour regulation. He is Chair of the Publication Committee of the Executive Committee of ESA (2019-2021).

For the first time, ESA has opened a call for two awards. The Young Scholar Award recognizes the quality of an original publication by an early-career researcher. The content of this paper is derived from the researcher's PhD, and it covers a relevant contribution in the area of Sociology.ESA's Best Article Award recognizes the best paper published in each of ESA's journal's (European Societies and European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology) over 2019-2020.

This session holds the presentation and discussion of these three contributions. It is expected a strong participation from the online audience.

Barcelona was the place where we all of us would like to be at this Conference. Unfortunately, due to pandemic restrictions, we were not able to meet in presence in the city, but we can share knowledge and perspectives on this vibrant city at this midday special. Some of the most important social movements and tendencies in Europe started in Barcelona, like the workers’ mobilization that led to a pioneering law limiting the working day to eight hours. Urbanism and architecture were one of the most developed areas in this innovative context, from the Cerdà plan that represented a new vision for Modern cities to the unique creativity of the bourgeois funded Modernism of Gaudí. Decades later, the city that host the 1992 Olympic Games which transformed the city space and its social configuration. Since then, an intense process of touristification and gentrification affected the city. Other mobilizations took place such as the struggles around the independentism of Catalunya, including the ones for and against it. Recently, the city was particularly fustigated by the pandemic which left its marks. Sociologists and other social scientists were always active to improve knowledge on the urban changes and give insights to improve people’s lives in Barcelona. Looking at the past and present of the city how can we social scientists envision futures for Barcelona?

Gary McDonogh is an urban anthropologist. he has chaired the interdisciplinary dialogues in architecture and social sciences that constitute Bryn Mawr's Growth and Structure of Cities Department since 1992. He has examined various aspects of Barcelona society and culture since the 1970s--elites, marginal districts, planning and most recently, Chinatowns. In addition, he has published widely on urban society and culture Hong Kong, the American South, and Latin America, engaging topics ranging from the formation global downtowns to sustainability. His current collaborative research examines global Chinatowns and their urban implications. Representative publications: GOOD FAMILIES OF BARCELONA (1986); BLACK AND CATHOLIC IN SAVANNAH (1992); GLOBAL HONG KONG (Co-authored 2005); GLOBAL DOWNTOWNS (co-edited 2012).

Although fiscal integration is seen as necessary to ensure the stability of the European monetary union, concerns about a Euroskeptic backlash constrained national governments’ ability to pursue further fiscal integration in the euro crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, European governments agreed on an ambitious recovery fund, which established an unprecedented fiscal stabilization capacity. This development challenges the assumption that public opinion constrains EU governments and begs the question of whether, and under which conditions, citizens are supportive of European solidarity measures in the COVID-19 crisis. Theresa Kuhn presents the results of an original survey experiment on public support for a European pandemic recovery fund in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain) in July 2020. She shows that there is remarkably high support for a joint European fiscal instrument, and that the design of such an instrument influences support. While cross-country differences reflect perceptions of collective self-interest, there is considerable support for the pandemic recovery fund across all countries. Citizens’ left-right orientations, their pro-anti EU positions, and to a lesser extent, their perceived economic risk from COVID-19 structure differences within countries. The findings suggest that public support for fiscal integration is higher than commonly assumed. The research has been conducted jointly with Björn Bremer, Maurits Meijers and Francesco Nicoli.

Theresa Kuhn is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam where she is also co-director of the faculty research priority area Amsterdam Center for European Studies and leader of the programme group Challenges to democratic representation. After obtaining her PhD from the European University institute in Florence, she was a Postdoc Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford and at the chair of macro sociology, Freie Universität Berlin. She works on questions of European integration and solidarity, using comparative survey and experimental methods. Her research has been published in numerous renowned international journals. In 2015 she published an award winning monograph on “Experiencing European Integration. Transnational Lives and European Identity” at Oxford University Press. Together with other colleagues, she just received a large research grant by the Volkswagen foundation to study the effect of COVID19 on Euroscepticism, solidarity and vote choice.

This session addresses how a social world affected by Covid-19 shapes, and will continue to shape, the nature of ageing in European societies. Covid-19 has had disproportionate impacts within populations, with mortality rates higher for older people. This has prompted different national responses on how to protect populations, including the most vulnerable members of society. Fundamental tensions inhere within endeavours to mitigate the interrelated health impacts and economic consequences of a pandemic. These endeavours seek to reconcile limits to the contagion, which curtails social activity, with the maintenance of economic stability, which requires the stimulation of social activity. In simplistic terms, it has been argued that limiting the contagion prioritises older people, while the stimulation of economic activity prioritises the needs of working age people and children. Nevertheless, this simplification could reinforce a sense there is a zero-sum association between the needs of older people and those of younger people. Such conceptualisations could reinforce social divisions at a time when positive solutions to substantial socioeconomic challenges are required. The Covid-19 situation thus raises profound ongoing questions for sociology and ageing research, related to older people, intergenerational relations, and conceptualisations of age and ageing. Sociology is well placed to evaluate micro and macro dimensions of the impacts of Covid-19, including how relationships at an interpersonal level are influenced by changing economic and cultural contexts. Crucially, how will the relational basis of ageing be affected by the pandemic and how should sociology inform positive responses to its impacts?

Esther Ramsay-Jones (Open University, United Kingdom) is a practising palliative and organisational psychotherapist, working psychodynamically with people living with life-limiting conditions, their families and within a counselling service for older adults. She lectures on Death, Dying and Bereavement with the Open University. Her book, Holding Time: Human Need and Relationships in Dementia Care (2019) is an ethnographic exploration of the care home context drawing from her PhD research. More recently she has written The Silly Thing: Shaping the Story of Life and Death (2020).

Bernhard Weicht (Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Austria) has studied Economics in Vienna and Social Policy in Nottingham. He holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham where he researched the social and moral construction of care for older people. After postdoc work at Utrecht University and Leiden University College he received his Habilitation at the University of Innsbruck in 2018 with his work entitled “A Caring Sociology for Ageing Societies“. Bernhard has published on the construction of care, ideas of dependency, migrant care workers, the intersection of migration and care regimes and the construction of ageing. He is the author of The Meaning of Care (2015).

The European Research Council supports excellent, investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of science through a competitive peer review process based on scientific excellence as the only selection criterion. Without predetermined thematic priorities, the ERC encourages proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, address new and emerging fields, and introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

Researchers of any career stage are offered flexible, long -term funding for up to five years (six years in the Synergy grant call). ERC calls for proposals are open to researchers from around the world who plan to carry out their research project at a host institution in an EU Member State or in a country associated to the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. For the Synergy grants, one of the Principal Investigators can be based outside the EU/associated countries permanently.

In the first part of the session, Anne Nielsen, Scientific Officer at the ERC Executive Agency, will present the ERC funding schemes. In the second part of the session, ERC grantee Dr. Nikoleta Jones, will talk about her ERC project, FIDELIO: Forecasting social Impacts of bioDiversity consErvation poLicies In EurOpe, and her experience in preparing and leading her ERC project. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about ERC funding schemes and the evaluation process.

Anne Mark Nielsen is Scientific Officer in the European Research Council's Executive Agency (ERCEA), where she has worked since 2017. She holds a PhD in the Social Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, which was followed by a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University. Before ERCEA, she worked as a Policy Officer in the European Commission’s General-Directorate for Research and Innovation. She has also worked in a migration think-tank in Washington D.C. and an international NGO in Brussels working on women’s rights.

Nikoleta Jones is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick (starting July 2021). She is an environmental social scientist, and her work focuses mainly on social impacts of environmental policies and improving the levels of public acceptance for policy initiatives. In recent years, she has become increasingly interested in assessing social impacts of biodiversity conservation policies. She is currently leading the project FIDELIO funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant(2019-2024, €1.5m) exploring social impacts of European Protected Areas focusing on their temporaland spatial dimensions.

The last decade has witnessed novel trends in environmental activism, which will be approached from two different perspectives in this special session. The first part will focus on everyday small-scale struggles for social and environmental change in an urban setting, its eco-social transformative potential and how to theorize such initiatives. How can we develop better sociological ways to comprehend the important political difference that small-scale collective actions initiate? Which research methods would suit best to study environmental movements and what is the position of the researcher? What is the potential of everyday environmentalism or diverse examples of alternative political practice in extending ideas of environmental justice and in reclaiming its political importance? The second part of the special session deals with imaginaries and narratives by environmental mobilizations focused on the experience or acceptance of loss. In certain currents of climate justice activism, the transition movement and so-called collapsology networks, a “postapocalyptic” environmentalism that views catastrophe as ongoing or unavoidable has partially displaced previous apocalyptic narratives that portray it as a future threat. How is a postapocalyptic politics possible and what role does hope play in it? A variety of strategies employed by activists are charted, including invoking new forms of hope through a rejection of “false” hope, the reliance on emotions generated by the interaction with things as well as human others, and the emergence of philosophical outlooks that stress mourning and loyalty to what is lost.

Sherilyn MacGregor is a Reader in Environmental Politics at the University of Manchester. She specialises in the relationships between environmental (un)sustainability and social inequality, applying insights from ecofeminist and other critical political theories. Current research projects include: the impacts of climate change on unpaid care work (funded by Oxfam USA); a feminist Green New Deal for the UK (funded the Women’s Budget Group); and ‘everyday sustainabilities’ in marginalised immigrant households (funded by the Leverhulme Trust). She is an Editor of Environmental Politics.

Carl Cassegård is professor of sociology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His current research interests include the environmental movement, critical theory and eco-Marxism, contemporary “post-apocalyptic” environmentalism, and anti-nuclear activism in Japan. He is the author of Toward a Critical Theory of Nature: Capital, Ecology, and Dialectics (2020), Youth Movements, Trauma and Alternative Space in Contemporary Japan (2014) and Shock and Naturalization in Contemporary Japanese Literature (2007). He has also co-edited Climate Action in a Globalizing World: Comparative Perspectives on Environmental Movements in the Global North (2017).

Ricca Edmondson, former Coordinator of RN01 Ageing in Europe and ESA Executive Committee member, sadly passed away in June this year. Ricca was a kind, generous and wonderful colleague who will be greatly missed. Everyone is welcome to attend this session to acknowledge and celebrate Ricca's work and contribution to ageing research.

Over 40 years ago a Polish social movement shook a Europe divided by the Iron Curtain. In an instant, the notion of Solidarność (Solidarity) inscribed itself in history as a symbol of collective action by people striving for freedom, equality, and social justice. Today the concept of solidarity also defines social movements. In Belarus, grassroots organizations loudly declare that “Our solidarity is stronger than the repressions.”

With the long trajectory (1956-89) leading up to the final victory of Solidarity as a point of reference, the anti-authoritarian protests in Belarus will be analyzed through four stages in the development of social movements: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline. Indeed, 21st century communication technologies have greatly accelerated mobilization and the ongoing dissent in Belarus has quickly reached its third stage, yet its transformation into a regime-toppling force has been stymied by the brutal repressions unleashed by Lukashenka’s regime. This has been made possible by the emergence of 21st century authoritarianism, considerably different from that of the waning Cold War

However, the spectacular changes in people’s conceptions of national identity – built around symbols distinct from those promoted by the officialdom – could sustain the emotional mobilization and social solidarity needed to persevere long enough to engineer the final push when an opportunity arises. Will the nascent Belarusian (and global) solidarity culminate in the emergence of durable organizations capable of effecting political change or remain a phenomenon solely expressed more fleetingly on the streets?

Jan Kubik is Professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University and Professor of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London (UCL). He works on the rise of right-wing populism, culture and politics, and protest politics. Among his books are: The Power of Symbols against the Symbols of Power and Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration, with Michael Bernhard. The 2020 President of Association for East European and Eurasian Studies and the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America (PIASA). Co-director (with Richard Mole) of two international projects, Delayed Transformational Fatigue in Central and Eastern Europe and Populist Rebellion Against Modernity in 21st-century Eastern Europe (https://populism-europe.com/poprebel/). He received M.A. (sociology and philosophy) from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and Ph.D. (anthropology, with distinction) from Columbia University.

Tatsiana Kulakevich is a researcher on Eastern Europe born and raised in Belarus. She is a permanent instructor at the University of South Florida School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, research fellow and affiliated faculty at the USF Institute on Russia. Her research focuses on international political economy, migration, and ethnic politics. Dr. Kulakevich’s analyses appeared in media and academic journals, including The Washington Post, The Conversation, The Globe Post, The New Eastern Europe, International Migration, SAIS Review, Journal of Belarusian Studies, and East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures.

Kaja Gadowska (Chair), Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. She is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. Vice-President and Chair of the Policy Committee of the ESA 2019–2021 and member of the Board of the Polish Sociological Association 2018–2021 and 2021–2024. Her research interests concentrate on dysfunctions of the public sphere and the relations between the politics, economy and administration in post-communist countries. Leader and principal investigator in many research projects. Author and co-author of a number of books and journal articles on social, political and economic transformation. Recipient of prestigious prizes and awards, including the Ossowski first prize by the Polish Sociological Association for the best book in sociology and the Szaniawski first prize for the best doctoral dissertation in the social sciences and humanities. Visiting professor within Erasmus+ and bilateral exchange programmes at Tel Aviv University, Heidelberg University, Charles University in Prague, Tamkang University, University of Jordan.

Human service work is performed in many places – hospitals, shelters, households, prisons, schools, clinics – and is characterized by a complex mixture of organizing principles, relations and rules. With ethnographic methods, researchers can investigate these site-specific complexities, providing multi-dimensional and compelling analyses.

The goal of human service ethnography is to make visible forms of service-related personal experience and social organization that are either unrecognized, misunderstood, or otherwise hidden from view. This relates in particular to areas of service provider and recipient experiences and complexities otherwise taken-for-granted or trivialized in the simplifying practices of accountability. This is especially pertinent in the current public policy environment where trends for evaluating human service work are decidedly non-ethnographic, favoring rampant quantification. There is a need for more humanistic and context-sensitive approach to generate valid knowledge about today’s service work, which is argued for in the recently published book Doing Human Service Ethnography in which twelve contributors exemplify ethnographic analytical creativeness in the field of health and social care.

Jaber F. Gubrium is professor emeritus and former chair of Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. He is an ethnographer and conducts research on the narrative organization of service and care in human service institutions. His interest in discursive practice, organizational embeddedness, and intertextuality has been applied to the everyday contours of professional work in nursing homes, physical rehabilitation, mental health, dementia, and residential treatment for emotionally disturbed children. Gubrium is co-editor of Turning Troubles into Problems (Routledge 2014) and Reimagining the Human Service Relationship (Columbia University Press 2016).

Katarina Jacobsson is a sociologist and Professor of Social Work at Lund University, Sweden. With a general interest in qualitative methodology and sociology of knowledge, her current projects deal with documenting practices among human service workers, particularly within social work. Her writings on methodology deal with the analyses of documents from an ethnographic approach and interviewing. Jacobsson’s latest book is the ethnography Hidden attractions of administration, (Routledge, 2021; with Åkerström, Andersson-Cederholm and Wästerfors).

David Wästerfors is Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Lund University, Sweden. His research is often focused on interactions, institutions, emotions and social control. He has completed three research projects with ethnographic data from Swedish detention homes (on conflicts, schooling and violence). A related interest is qualitative methodology, shown in the book Analyze! Crafting Your Data in Qualitative Research (with Jens Rennstam, 2018). At the moment he is working in two projects, one on accessibility for people with disabilities in urban and digital settings, and another one on people’s digital discussions and crowdsourcing activities around criminal events.

Florian Elliker (Chair) is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Institute of Sociology, University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. He specializes in working with interviews, participant observation, discourse analysis, and a sociology of knowledge approach to discourse ethnography. He currently conducts an ethnographic research project on the transformation of South African student residences, focusing on minorities, cultural precariousness, and the dynamics of reinventive institutions. His upcoming project concerns the study of consciousness-altering substances in the context of transforming drug regulations. He is the coordinator of the ESA research network 20 Qualitative Methods.

More information soon!