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).

Organized by Milica Antic Gaber and Lígia Ferro

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.


Felipe Gonzalez Santos | Rocking the Boat of Eviction: Personal availability and Empowerment in Social Movement Organizations | Winner of the ESA Young Scholar Award 2021

Ditte Andersen | Stuck! Welfare state dependency as lived experience | Winner of the ESA Best Article Award 2021 – European Societies (ES) |

Mona Mannevuo | Anxious politicians: Productivity imperatives in the Finnish Parliament | Winner of the ESA Best Article Award 2021 – European Journal of Cultural & Political Sociology (EJCPS)

Milica Antić Gaber is Professor Of Sociology at Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana where she among others teaches Sociology of gender and coordinates doctoral program Gender Studies. She is current member of the Executive committee of ESA. And served as a director of PhD Summer School 2020. Previously she served two mandates as a Head of Slovene Sociological Association. She was also a member of the Expert Forum of European Institute for Gender Equality and a member of the Equality Council at Slovenia’s Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Her research interest covers issues of gender, politics, violence, and migrations. She is also a head of Research program Issues of Autonomy and Identity in the time of Globalisation. As an author, co-author and editor, she has published several monographs and she contributed numerous chapters in the books and articles in journals on gender equality in Slovenia and abroad.

Ludger Pries 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).

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).

Lígia Ferro is Professor of Sociology at the University of Porto (UP), and Member of the Executive Committee of the Institute of Sociology (UP) where she co-coordinates the international network ETNO.Urb (connecting European and South American Universities). Interested in social inequalities and working now on the H2020 project Uncharted –Fostering the Societal Value of Culture. Author of publications in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, French and German. Currently, ESA Vice-President and Chair of the ESA2021 Conference Committee.

The European Commission has assumed a democratic change clarifying that the research funded by the EU should have an orientation towards achieving the goals decided by the citizens and the representatives they elect. For that, there is a clear move towards addressing global challenges, represented by the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as enabling the pathways for the monitoring and achievement of social impact across these diverse challenges. This is very clear in the orientations of the current Framework Programme of Research Horizon Europe. That is why today, more than ever, scholars from all sciences look for collaborations with social scientists. In this session we will discuss with two researchers in the fields of health and climate change in order to see what kind of partnerships they have already had, and would like to have with sociologists, and to dialogue in open conversation with sociology delegates.

Carmen Llasat Botija is a Full Professor at the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on the study of natural risks of meteorological origin and the impact of climate change on them, as well as the improvement of citizen awareness and resilience in the face of extreme events. She directs the Group of Analysis of Adverse Weather Situations, GAMA. She is member of the steering committees of the HYMEX and MedECC programs and the scientific committees of the OPCC and the Adour-Garonne Agency, among others. She was president of the Natural Hazards Section of the European Geophysical Society, editor-in-chief of Natural Hazards and Earth System Science journal, and international coordinator of the Heavy Rains working group of the AMHY / FRIEND UNESCO program

Pavel Ovseiko is a Senior Research Fellow in Health Policy and Management at the Radcliffe Department of Medicine of the University of Oxford. He is leading a multi-disciplinary programme of research and policy advocacy on gender equity and diversity across medical and social sciences. He is currently working on “Partnerships for Health, Wealth and Innovation” for the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Centre. His past work informed the creation of an Academic Health Science Centre in Oxford, the Health Innovation and Education Cluster in Thames Valley, and an Academic Health Science Network in South Central England. He is also involved in the Paradigm Project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to increase the relevance, timeliness, quality and impact of health services research.

Marta Soler-Gallart, Harvard PhD, is Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology of the University of Barcelona, and Director of the research community CREA. She is President of the European Sociological Association and has served at the Governing Board of the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as at the Board of Directors of ORCID. She was the main researcher of the H2020 European funded project SOLIDUS, and is currently involved in the H2020 research ALLINTERACT. Among her recent publications highlight the book “Achieving social impact. Sociology in the public sphere” in Springer, as well as articles in journals such as Current Sociology, Qualitative Inquiry and Palgrave Communications, among other. She is also the Editor of the ISA journal “International Sociology”.

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).


Intersections of Antisemitism and Antifeminism – the Authoritarian Personality re-visited - K. Stögner
The persistence and current rise of antisemitism, sexism, and homophobia calls for a sociological analysis that does not view ideologies as isolated phenomena but recognizes them as interrelated. Such an intersectional ideology critique can be formulated by referring to methodological and theoretical tools provided 70 years ago in the Authoritarian Personality. In these groundbreaking studies, the often-overlooked co-author Else Frenkel-Brunswik emphasized the importance of sexuality and of gender relations for the formation of the authoritarian ideological syndrome. She found a significant connection between an insistence on strict gender binarity and ethnocentric, nationalistic, and antisemitic attitudes. Based on this early form of intersectionality I have developed an intersectional ideology critique that focuses on how antisemitism is permeated by antigenderism, sexism and homophobia.

Online hate speech: extremism or structural racism? - P. Almeida
Academic research on race, racism and online hate speech has seen a remarkable development. Nevertheless, a significant part of this theoretical production remains chained to the “prejudice paradigm”, suggesting that the authors of these discourses are extremists. However, I argue that racism should not be viewed as a marginal phenomenon of Western societies, but should instead be problematized from a broader ideological framework. Based on a critical analysis of the discourse on the social media platforms Facebook and Youtube, as well as comments found in two Portuguese online newspapers, the aim of this talk is to characterize and categorize racial hate speeches in the Portuguese digital sphere.

Karin Stögner is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Passau, Germany and held Visiting Professorships at Goethe University Frankfurt (2018) and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2017). She received both her PhD and her Habilitation from the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on a feminist reading and further development of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School and on the study and critique of antisemitism, sexism, homophobia, racism and nationalism as intersecting ideologies. Her numerous publications include the edited volume “Kritische Theorie und Feminismus” (Suhrkamp 2022), the monograph “Antisemitismus und Sexismus. Historisch-gesellschaftliche Konstellationen” (Nomos 2014), and the recent articles “Antisemitism and Intersectional Feminism: Strange Alliances“ (2021), „New Challenges in Feminism. Intersectionality, Critical Theory, and Antizionism” (2019) and “Walter Benjamin, subjectivity, and gender” (2020).

Pedro Sousa Almeida is a researcher at The Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA) where he conducts research on racial issues. He currently coordinates the project “Racism and Xenophobia in Portugal: normalization of hate speech online”, funded by the Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology (FCT). Pedro holds a P.h.D in “Democracy in the Twenty-first Century”, in the field of critical theory, by the University of Coimbra (2019), institution where he also took his degree in Anthropology (2001). He completed a Master’s degree in “Family and Social Systems” at the Miguel Torga Institute of Higher Education (2004), where he worked as a teacher between 2002 and 2010. From the idea that sport is a uniquely favourable field for studying social reality, his main research interests have centred on the relations between football, race, racism, postcolonialism and national identity.

Gerben Moerman is Director of the BSc and MSc programmes in Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on qualitative methods – including interview dynamics (PhD in 2010) and analytical practices such as participatory interpretation. Gerben has long been active in RN20 “Qualitative Methods”, as vice-chair and chair (2013–2017) and board member (2017-2021). Since February 2021, he has been a member of the ESA Executive board, contributing to the organisation of the Summer School and recent discussions on enhancing democracy and accountability. Gerben has a passion for teaching sociology (University Lecturer of the Year 2011). He believes the ESA can extend its role towards teaching, since the classroom is our primary stage for public sociology. He wants to help sociologists (re-)developing courses by setting up a platform for peer learning and exchange of teaching materials and ideas.

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 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 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 by 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).

Çigdem Adem is a Research Fellow at Ankara Rivers Study Group. Her research interests include environmental movements, environmental governance and citizenship. As part of her interest in science-policy-society interface, she is member of the IPBES Capacity-Building Task Force. She is a long-time member, board member and recently co-coordinator of RN12 Environment and Society.

Mattias Wahlström is Associate Professor of sociology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and co-coordinator of ESA RN25 Social Movements. His research mainly focuses on various aspects of political protest and the governance of dissent. He is currently researching climate activism and the political visions of the climate movement.

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.

Edward Tolhurst is a Senior Lecturer in Health Research at Staffordshire University, UK. He is a qualitative researcher in the field of ageing, dementia and care. Edward’s first involvement with ESA and Ageing in Europe (RN01) was as a participant at a PhD workshop in Porto in July 2012. He then joined the Board in early 2014. Edward is the current Coordinator of ESA RN01.

Jenni Spännäri is a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Eastern Finland and Åbo Akademi, and head of research at CoHumans. Her research interests include wisdom, aging, compassion and religion & spirituality. She is a long-time board member of ESA RN01 Ageing in Europe.

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.


This session aims at exploring the ways that social science disciplines respond to challenges both within and outside the academic settings. It may be considered as common knowledge that the academic environment offers certain protection to social scientists who reproduce traditional academic practices and knowledges. In this connection, two significant conditions need to be mentioned here: first, the wider socioeconomic and institutional developments bring about changes to disciplines by shaping their relevance, contribution(s), and impact, and second outside academia disciplinary practices, knowledge and impact are valued to the extent that they contribute to addressing real life problems, challenges and pressing issues.

The main challenge within the academic settings involves the reproduction of academic practices and the stretching of disciplinary boundaries in view of the developments and exchanges across the disciplines. In this way, there is a continued expansion of sub-disciplines based on interactions/cross-fertilization between disciplines, while also intersectionality emerges for enabling disciplines to be more responsive to scientific questions.

The challenge coming from outside the academic setting is how best the social science and humanities disciplines can represent their communities for addressing agendas set by external international actors. Therefore, the relevant questions are: How possible is it for scientific associations to cross their disciplinary boundaries and provide knowledge, support and expertise which is relevant and important for funding agencies and major policy actors? How is it possible to expand the interactions between the disciplinary/ scientific actors and the funding/ policy actors?


Gabi Lombardo (LSE, PhD) is the Director of the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities (www.eassh.eu), the largest advocacy and science policy organization for social sciences and humanities in Europe. She worked with the London School of Economics (LSE) the European Research Council (ERC) and Science Europe (SE). As Director of EASSH, Gabi advocates advocates also for the need of a strong evidence-based approach to policymaking, and the inclusion of researchers in science policy development for strategic and broad-based research funding. She is an expert evaluator for SSH disciplines and research ethics for the EU Commission, World Bank, WISE and COST. In November 2018, Gabi received the Young Academy of Europe Annual Prize.

Mariya Ivancheva holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the Central European University. She has done research and published broadly on the casualization, commercialisation and automation of higher education and labour in the digital era, as well as on alternative/socialist models of social organisation and social change. She has done fieldwork on these topics in diverse settings across Europe, Latin America and Southern Africa. Mariya has been active in feminist, anti-racist, labour- and financial justice struggles, and is a founding member of international platforms such as LeftEast, Essential Autonomous Struggles Trabsnational (EAST) and pressure group PrecAnthro. As a representative of the latter, she was elected a member of the executive committee (2019-2021), and now serves as President (2021-2023) of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). Mariya has just taken up the position of Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.