Research Network Sessions

ESA's 37 Research Networks offer so-called regular sessions and joint sessions with four paper presentations per session.

Here you can find a link to the Call For Papers and to Abstract submission

 

With intense and far-reaching changes occurring across the social fabric, it is vital that sociology is equipped to engage with the multifaceted nature of old age and ageing. Profound economic, cultural and demographic changes are currently compounded by the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ageing and old age will continue to shape, and be shaped by, shifting social conditions at national as well as international level. This is stimulated, not least, by the nature of societal ageing, with the average age in Europe set to continue rising throughout the twenty-first century. It is not just that people are living longer, but that the subjective meanings people attach to their own ageing and intergenerational relationships are also changing. For example, rising longevity and a relatively affluent retirement (for some) are expanding the opportunities of later life and shaping consumption and lifestyle patterns. It is crucial to recognise, however, that population ageing also exacerbates old, and creates new, social inequalities within and between European countries. International and interdisciplinary knowledge-exchange is thus fundamental to the advancement of our understanding of (ageing) societies. Sociology is well placed to evaluate micro, meso and macro dimensions of the impacts of ageing, including how relationships at an interpersonal level are affected by changing economic and cultural contexts. Crucially, how can sociology help to mould a positive future through an improved understanding of ageing and its relationship to these complex social currents?

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN13: “Doing family in times of Covid: The case of older persons“ (Joint session with the RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)
  • JS_RN01_RN21: “Quantitative Analysis in Ageing Research” (Joint session with the RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN01_RN22: “Risk and dignity in older age” (Joint session with RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty)
  • JS_RN01_RN35: “Transnational migration in old age” (Joint session with the RN35 Sociology of Migration)
  • JS_RN01_RN37: “Urban Ageing: Towards an enhanced spatial perspective” (Joint session with RN37 Urban Sociology)

RN01 - Ageing in Europe

Envisioning, Ensounding, and Enacting Futures through the Arts

The arts have the capacity to transport and transpose us emotionally, physically, and conceptually in many ways and directions. They give us means to imagine another reality and other possible worlds, both utopias and dystopias. Arts help us probe the past, feel in the present, and render aspects of the future visually, auditorily, textually. More than merely reflecting the present and being optics into our heritage and past, the arts pioneer and penetrate the future with new forms, images, sounds, movements, and performance. The arts bear not just cognitive and conceptual knowledge, but significantly also bodily and sensory knowledges. The array of knowledges produced and processed by the arts have always made them a forerunner into the futures – both those actualized and non-actualized. The call is open for contributions especially reflecting on the ways in which the various knowledges and expressions of the arts presage and envision societal futures. We also welcome retrospective perspectives embracing and building on all knowledge forms inherent in the arts. We invite contributions from established and young artists, arts policymakers and managers, and scholars in sociology and other disciplines sensitive to social inquiries into the arts to submit papers with thematic focus on, but not limited to the following proposed streams.

Keywords/possible topics:

  • Sociology of the arts (open session)
  • Envisioning, ensounding, and enacting futures through the arts
  • Developments in particular arts domains
  • The process of production, distribution, promotion and commercialization of works of art
  • The process of presentation and mediation of arts
  • Professional development
  • Arts organizations
  • Arts policy
  • Social and cognitive effects of the arts
  • Arts from a macro-sociological perspective
  • Theoretical development in arts sociology
  • Arts and everyday life
  • Arts management
  • Arts and public memory
  • Art and migration
  • Arts and health and education
  • Gender equality in the arts

Joint Session

  • JS_RN02_RN09: “Economy of the Arts - Alternative Forms of Copying with Economic Pressure and Crises?” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)

RN02 - Sociology of the Arts

Reflexivity and Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities of Biographical Methods for the Alternative Futures

Biographical methods are rooted in a long and diverse genealogy from a focus upon a single life story to encompass autobiography, archival, multimedia and art-based research using creative and performative methods (Roberts 2002; Nurse & O’Neill, 2018). Biographical researchers are accustomed to reflect on unprecedented societal circumstance that change lives, families, communities. Members of our research network study biographical experiences of disadvantaged, minority and ‘silent minorities’; isolation and trauma caused by social, political or health conditions. We approach the current situation, which undoubtedly influences perceptions of life, with strong theoretical and methodological lens including creative applications of biographical research methods, renewed research ethics, interviewing techniques and analyses.

We invite theoretical and methodological as well as research practice papers that address the following issues:

  • How empirical, biographical research responded to the new challenges, social distancing and Isolation - the new social architecture.
  • Reflections upon the creative and imaginative application of biographical methods building upon using walking, mobile, performative and arts-based methods and the importance of creating space for theoretical and imaginative work in the Covid-19 context.
  • How technical and digital developments create new possibilities for biographical expression and self-portrayal, especially during a time of lockdown.
  • We are also interested in papers that demonstrate application of biographical methods in social and health care.

Keywords/possible topics:

  • Biographical
  • Qualitative
  • Performative art-based
  • Creative applications
  • Biographies in health and social care
  • Biographies and identities
  • Audio-visual and digital research

Joint Session

  • JS_RN03_RN23: “Biographies, identities, and sexuality” (Joint session with RN23 Sexuality) 

RN03 - Biographical Perspectives on European Societies

Children are living through and contributing to unusual times, including climate emergency, economic threats, populism, health risks and disasters linked to social and political decisions. Many children are demanding accountability and intergenerational collaboration to generate alternative futures. Collective action requires shared understanding of what is needed and what is possible. There continues to be a need to disclose childhoods of different speeds that remain obscured by marginalisation or other forms of disadvantage. We need knowledge of racialised, gendered, sexualised, and classed childhoods, conditions, and inequalities. Different children seek and will experience different presents and futures.

In this context RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood is calling for papers that can contribute knowledge of the following possible topics/keywords:

  • Children’s and childhood studies perspectives on alternative futures, social and political justice, or injustice
  • New discourses and social movements that are initiated and inspired by children and youth
  • Everyday solidarities between children and between children and adults
  • Participation of children in communities - democratisation of communities through participation of children
  • Unpicking frontiers and tensions between human and non-human. Materialities and nonmateriality, or research and politics as these relate to children
  • Children, biopolitics and artificial intelligence
  • Children’s relationships to capitalism and radical critique
  • How children make sense of the ideas that are important to childhood sociology, including agency, participation, citizenship
  • Methodologies and ethics for research with and by children responsive to current and future contexts
  • Evolving relationships between child researchers, activism, and adult accountability
  • Strategies for mobilising knowledge (including emotions) with children, to enable alternative futures

Joint Session

  • JS_RN04_RN16: “The effects of the Covid-19 crisis on children and young people” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health & Illness)

RN04 - Sociology of Children and Childhood

The Sociology of Consumption network invites contributions to the programme that explore hybridities of consumption that are linked with and influence contemporary societal challenges such as the climate crisis or health related threats. Alternative futures are evolving out of day to day consumption and other leisure activities. Sociological knowledge about consumption is pivotal in understanding how our current day-to-day lives are shaped by inequality and problems accessing goods and services, which allow full participation in society. This relates to transformations in the provisioning of collective consumption, including housing, transportation, energy, care and education. Consumption is concerned with a very broad range of these contemporary crises, from the patterns of cultural difference, distinction and identity articulated in studies of participation; to the politics of alternative forms of provisioning goods and services such as cooperatives and the ‘sharing economy’. In searching for alternative epistemic communities, this call especially invites new ways of organising the economy which requires the careful consideration of consumption and the needs of citizens, imagination in meeting these needs, and a sober re-evaluation of the ideological project of consumer choice.

The Sociology of Consumption network draws on a theoretically plural and empirically diverse tradition of research. We invite papers that address various aspects of the sociology of consumption. Possible themes include but are not limited to the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Consumption, gender, and the body
  • Digitalisation and consumption
  • Consumption inequalities and exclusions
  • Taste, cultural stratification, and consumer culture
  • Ethical and political consumption
  • Food and eating
  • Material culture and immaterial consumption
  • Spaces of urban and excess consumption
  • (Un-)Sustainability and alternative consumption
  • Theories of consumers/consumption

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN05_RN09_I: “Circular economy: Sociological accounts of actors, practices, and market organisation” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)
  • JS_RN05_RN09_II: “Moral economies of consumption” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)
  • JS_RN05_RN12: “Sustainable Consumption and Citizenship” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)
  • JS_RN05_RN24: “Digitization, devices, and cultures of consumption” (Joint session with RN24 Science and Technology)

RN05 - Sociology of Consumption

Covid Capitalism: Advancing Critical Political Economy, Accelerating Progressive Alternatives

The contradictory and destructive tendencies of capitalism have landed the world in the Covid pandemic and saddled us with the worst recession in living memory. More than ever, we need a critical political economy that can ask questions of, and provide answers to, global capitalism’s doomed project, while addressing the failure of conventional social sciences to grasp the complexity of our global crises.

This catastrophic fiasco of productivist economic systems is set against (and reinforces) the backdrop of our broken planetary metabolism - this is Covid capitalism.

These disasters are now evident to all. They already invoke political, social and economic reactions – albeit in sometimes contradictory forms. From proposals for a Green New Deal to Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, and the Women’s Strike. It is in this historic opportunity that we seek a critical political economy to accelerate progressive movements and contribute to an Eco socialist and sustainable world that negates our unequal racialized, sexed, and gendered present.

We especially (but not exclusively) invite abstracts on the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Theorising Covid capitalism
  • Capitalism and the climate crises
  • Are we there yet? The Greatest Recession to come?
  • Understanding the financial rescue(s) and the lack thereof
  • Alternative epistemologies for alternative political economies
  • Dissent and resistance under Covid Capitalism
  • Gender, sex, care, and the household during and after “the lockdown”
  • Isolation, psychological health crisis, cities/slums
  • Transforming production and globalised exploitation
  • Beyond a Global South and North

RN06 - Critical Political Economy

Putting Sociology of Culture in the Future Tense

Sociological studies of culture are very good at looking backwards, examining what has happened in the past, be that very recently or more distantly. Data about what has happened are constantly being collected and analysed. But what would happen if the sociological study of culture was more explicitly forward-looking? This could mean various things. It could mean making predictions about future trends and processes, based on examining past trends. It could mean developing different sorts of methodologies and methods than have been standard so far. It could mean engaging in specific types of reasoned speculation. It could mean taking unusual forms of inspiration from elsewhere, such as other sociological fields or other disciplinary and interdisciplinary constellations. It could mean transforming the sociology of culture from within or from without. It could mean envisaging new modes of social and cultural life. However, one seeks to make our field more robustly forward-looking, it will require intellectual leaps and flights of imagination, involving lateral thinking outside of every box. What are the promising developments that already exist in this regard, or which new ones could be brought into existence now? How might a forward-looking approach help us to productively engage with the deep-rooted problems of our times or find our way out of present crises? Papers are sought which deal with putting sociology of culture more firmly into the future tense. Contributions may concern the future of culture and society, the future of the field, or a combination of both.

Additional note: A prize will be awarded for the best paper by an early-career academic (those who are within 7 years after the award of the PhD) at this conference. People who wish to enter this contest should be members of RN07, present in one of the RN07 sessions, and submit their paper (max 4000 words) before the 18th July 2021 to a.almila[at]fashion.arts.ac.uk. Please indicate the month and year of the award of your PhD upon submission.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN07_RN15: “Globalising cultures: globalised territorialism and transnational anticosmopolitanism” (Joint session with RN15 Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology)
  • JS_RN07_RN30: “The Time is Now? Youth Cultures, Generations and Future” (Joint session with RN30 Youth & Generation)

RN07 - Sociology of Culture

The RN08: Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network (DCSCRN) is interested in promoting the study, research, and analysis of different types of crises and disasters with a view to the development of disaster-resilient European communities and preventing or mitigating their human, economic, social, cultural, and psychological effects. The DCSCRN aims to explore the various social, environmental, demographic, and economic impacts of crises and disasters triggered by all sorts of hazards (e.g. climate change, earthquakes, heat waves, forest fires, floods, epidemics, pandemics, volcanic eruptions, critical infrastructure risks, nuclear and industrial accidents), international and domestic conflicts (e.g. wars, terrorism) and social crises (e.g. economic crises, refugee crises, forced mass migration, poverty, food security crises) in societies. Moreover, the occurrence of compound disasters (e.g. pandemic and wildfires, pandemic and floods, pandemic and conflict etc.) can have cumulative impacts and challenge Civil Protection Systems. The differential responses by countries, states, communities to “crisis” events, the potential exploitation by politicians and the assessment of their effectiveness can constitute significant foci for comparative sociological study. Aside from the human victims and their adverse impact on the built and physical environment, disasters, conflicts and crises can also constitute “windows of opportunity” for changes in social structures and the building of more resilient communities. The DCSCRN welcomes theoretical and/or empirical papers on any of the above aspects of disasters, conflicts and crises but will give priority to papers that deal with the effectiveness of collective coping responses and the building of resilient communities within the European Union and beyond.

One of the sessions in Barcelona will commemorate the work of RN08 co-founder Nicholas Petropoulos who sadly passed away in October 2020.

RN08 - Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis

Sociologists have been quite aware of the mutual interrelationships between society and economy from the outset. After the tremendous economic and social crises at the beginning of the 21st century sociologists started rethinking classical economic forms such as market exchange, private firms or cooperatives and searching for new and alternative ways of conceptualizing economy and society. In addition, the current corona pandemic forcefully reminds sociologists to attentively observe how societal and economic institutions react to the new realities and ask about the conditions of new or alternative ways of organizing the economy. While new social and economic activities and forms of thinking arise against the backdrop of the current and the past crises, further economic sociological perspectives on the economy and the interplay between economy and society are necessary. General questions to deal with are as follows:

  • How have institutions been shaken by the current crises? Which political, economic or civil societal reactions can be observed?
  • How can economic sociology contribute to the understanding and explanation of socioeconomic change?
  • How can we describe and understand disruptive changes in markets and economic relations?
  • What are the roots and results of economic nationalism? Does the current crisis accelerate mercantilism tendencies, in Europe as well as world-wide?
  • What are some of the alternative ways of thinking about the economy or organizing economic actions that rise today?
  • How are social, economic, and political institutions and processes intertwined?

While we invite submissions addressing these questions, we also invite any other contributions that promote the sociological study of the economy in its entirety, such as the following keywords/ possible topics:

  • Theoretical perspectives in economic sociology
  • How to go on and develop economic sociology in Europe and beyond
  • Social and economic inequality
  • Money, finance and society
  • Markets and morality or solidarity
  • Markets, digitalization and innovation
  • Modes of economic coordination and governance

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN02_RN09: “Economy of the Arts - Alternative Forms of Copying with Economic Pressure and Crises?” (Joint session with RN02 Sociology of Arts) 
  • JS_RN05_RN09_I: “Circular economy: Sociological accounts of actors, practices, and market organisation” (Joint session with RN05 Sociology of Consumption)
  • JS_RN05_RN09_II: “Moral economies of consumption” (Joint session with RN05 Sociology of Consumption)
  • JS_RN09_RN10: “Consequences of school lockdown on education during the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN10 Sociology of Education)
  • JS_RN09_RN16: “In ourselves and pharmacists we trust? New developments in health care and pharmacy markets” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)
  • JS_RN09_RN17_I: “Impact of the expansion of remote work after the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN17 Work, Employment and Industrial Relations)
  • JS_RN09_RN17_II: “The effect of the Corona crisis on intergenerational inequality in the labour market” (Joint session with RN17 Work, Employment and Industrial Relations)
  • JS_RN09_RN21: “Empirical research in economic sociology: challenges and new developments” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN09_RN23: “Intersections of sexuality and economy” (Joint session with RN23 Sexuality)
  • JS_RN09_RN20_RN32: “Surveillance Capitalism – new challenges for social sciences?” (Joint session with RN20 Qualitative Methods and RN32 Political Sociology)

RN09 - Economic Sociology

Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures

A thriving education sector is acknowledged as an essential element of human society. Existing inequalities and restrictions in education have been exacerbated by the advent of the global Covid-19 pandemic from late 2019 onwards. The enormous toll which these restrictions have taken, (personally, politically, economically and socially) requires a re-imagining of the future of human endeavour in all its forms. For sociologists of education, the restrictions have meant enormous changes in our understanding of the role and future of education within society. We invite abstracts (250 words max) which consider the state of education in these changed circumstances and seek to construct alternative means of engaging with and understanding education. Submissions may consider the relationship between the current global uncertainties and changes and educational research and practice in some of the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Aspiration, Choice and Selection
  • Contextual factors in Education
  • Social Resources and Supports in Education
  • ICT in Education
  • Vocational Education and Training
  • Gender and Education
  • Grade Retention and Drop-out
  • Segregation Choice and Enrolment
  • Teacher Turn-over, Life-long Learning, Education and Migration
  • Curriculum Design and Development
  • Perceptions, Beliefs and Constructions of Vulnerability
  • Social Inequality, Inclusion, Participation, and Internationalisation

Joint Session

  • JS_RN09_RN10: “Consequences of school lockdown on education during the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)

RN10 - Sociology of Education

The current challenges for societies are manifold: a worldwide pandemic, climate change, forced migration and social inequalities. New solutions and innovative thinking about alternative futures are immediately necessary and sociology should contribute to it. The focus on emotions is crucial here: On the one hand, these developments cause fear which individuals and groups have to deal with; populist and right-wing-movements may instrumentalize affects for their purposes. On the other hand, new emotional alliances and forms of transnational solidarity are built for example between social movements like Black Lives Matter and Fridays-for-Future. Therefore, necessary analytical questions are: How are emotions, affects and feelings instrumentalised for political reasons? What recipes can a sociology of emotions deliver for alternative futures? What is necessary for creating (transnational) solidarities, communality, and cohesion? How can sociology include emotions, feelings and affects more adequately in their research designs? What theoretical and methodological approaches can be used? In our sessions, we welcome papers that investigate the role of emotionality in all aspects of society and social life – from intimate and family relations to global politics, and all points in between. All high-quality papers with a central sociological focus on emotions, feelings, affects and moods will be considered. As such, we welcome contributions that speak to alternative scenarios for the future directly, but also as they are reflected in our sessions on emotions and identity; emotions, family and intimate lives; emotions and social movements; emotions in organisations; emotions and politics; emotions and populism; collective emotions; as well as emotions, capitalism, and inequalities.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN11_RN13: “Feeling ‘the Global’ Through Families and Personal Relationships” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)
  • JS_RN11_RN13_RN33: “New Disavowals? The Politics of Emotions and their Separating and Connecting Effects” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives and RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • JS_RN11_RN32: “Emotional political narratives and engagement in contentious politics” (Joint session with RN32 Political Sociology)

RN11 - Sociology of Emotions

Climate mitigation and adaptation, energy transitions, environmental citizenship, environmental justice, new environmental movements, and lifestyle transformations are all gaining momentum, and are here to define the alternative futures of our societies. Discussions on human-wildlife interaction and environmental benefits of global lockdowns became focal following the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The topic of the 15th ESA conference “Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures” puts forward the need to exchange our ideas and redefine scenarios that we have been familiar with. Therefore, RN12 sessions call for trans/multi/inter/single-disciplinary presentations, dealing both with classical environmental sociology topics and novel themes imposed by the new realities of today.

We are proposing a list of topics, but we also stay open for additional topics as long as they can be accommodated in the conference schedule. Authors from outside of Europe are also welcomed to submit abstracts and participate in the sessions.

Themes and sessions include but are not limited to the possible topics/keywords:

  • Biological Diversity and Nature Conservation
  • Energy transitions
  • Environment & Society (Open Session)
  • Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours
  • Environmental Citizenship and Environmental Movements
  • Environmental Conflicts
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Values, Perceptions and Beliefs
  • Feminism, Colonialism and Other Forms of Hegemonies
  • Human-Wildlife Relations
  • Knowledge and Ignorance in Dealing with Environmental Issues
  • Media and Environmental Communication
  • Migration and the Environment
  • Participation, Acceptance and Environmental Governance
  • Renewable and Non-renewable Energies
  • Science, Technology, and the Environment
  • Social Theory and the Environment
  • Sociological Reflexions upon Environmental Education
  • Sociology and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Food Practices and Food Cultures
  • Sustainable Mobilities
  • Urban Natures

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN05_RN12: “Sustainable Consumption and Citizenship” (Joint session with RN05 Sociology of Consumption)
  • JS_RN12_RN16: “Interplays between the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)
  • JS_RN12_RN21: “Methodological Landscapes of Quantitative Environmental Sociology” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN12_RN22: “Environmental disaster, risk and resilience” (Joint session with RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty)
  • JS_RN12_RN25: “Climate Movements: Contemporary Developments and Challenges” (Joint session with RN25 Social Movements)
  • JS_RN12_RN34: “Religion and Sustainable Development” (Joint session with RN34 Sociology of Religion)

RN12 - Environment & Society

RN13 invites submissions in the context of families and intimate lives. Contemporary societies and individuals are exposed to enduring changing conditions, causing and caused by processes of mass migration, changing industrial, economic and political relations, changing gender roles, and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic. These changes contribute to modify not only family and intimate relationships, but also the way they are sociologically conceptualized. In such circumstances, scholars are encouraged to reflect on how sociological knowledge can deal with various future family configurations and intimate interactions, as well, to assess what kind of developments of sociological theories and methods are needed to better integrate the less stable or ever changing relational patterns of the late modernity.

RN13 invites papers presenting current empirical research findings as well as theoretical or methodological approaches. We welcome papers adopting a European cross-national perspective, but also research on single European countries and other papers of relevance for European family sociology. Papers are not required to relate to the main conference theme, although they are welcome to do so.

Please make sure to outline within your abstract (as appropriate) the research question, theoretical approach, data, methodology, main findings, interpretation, and up to five keywords. Additionally, when submitting your abstract, please, indicate which of the following themes your paper best relates to:

  • Family patterns, values, and practices
  • Diversified family boundaries and kinship networks
  • Family relationships in various contexts and life course stages
  • Family formation and dissolution 
  • Same sex couples
  • Gender-arrangements and the division of work within couples
  • Multi-local, multicultural, and transnational families
  • Family planning, fertility, and reproductive technologies
  • Work-family balance, work-family conflicts, parental leave
  • Family policies and interventions
  • Covid-19: Challenges for families and family research
  • Family research methodologies and methods 

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN13: “Doing family in times of Covid: The case of older persons” (Joint session with RN01 Ageing in Europe)
  • JS_RN11_RN13: “Feeling ‘the Global’ Through Families and Personal Relationships” (Joint session with RN11 Sociology of Emotions)
  • JS_RN11_RN13_RN33: “New Disavowals? The Politics of Emotions and their Separating and Connecting Effects” (Joint session with RN11 Sociology of Emotions and RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • JS_RN13_RN21: “Dilemmas for quantitative family research: past, present and future” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN13_RN22: “Covid-19 Pandemic and Policies: How risk and family lives interact” (Joint session with RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty)
  • JS_RN13_RN33: “Visions for the Future: How is the Family?” (Joint session with RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)

RN13 - Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives

Intersectionality, the Welfare State, and Women’s Work

The analysis of women’s occupations and participation in the labour market often reflects a variety of social divisions and social differences. Privilege and prestige operate next to vulnerability and exposure to market principles. Do welfare states during both the pre-and current Covid-19 situation take part in reproducing such inequalities? Two forms of vulnerability are enhanced at this historical moment: welfare (changing entitlements and eligibilities) and work (labour conditions - term, undetermined, salary, qualification etc.). Women pay a high price for both. They are overexposed, more invisible and more vulnerable. Thus, the Covid-19 crisis could be seen as offering a further opportunity to neoliberalism to marginalise women (also in the academic community) making them more necessary but more vulnerable. There is a strong reduction of the participative public area and the risk of regression in terms of participative equality.

What are the processes involved in the current duality where social divisions are extended and concurrently challenged? Social divisions and social differences do not operate separately, but in intersectional ways. We embrace a broad definition of intersectionality and diversity and invite papers examining the relationship between women’s occupations, management, and policy. We welcome papers that consider theoretical and empirical research on gender relations in the labour market and the Welfare State from any of the following or other perspectives:

  • ‘The family’: family relations, parenting, support for young adults
  • Marriage: mate selection; divorce, cohabitation, LAT
  • Childcare facilities: employment conditions; caring models; policy
  • Health (including fertility, abortion, contraception)
  • Migration: borders; Othering; racism
  • Ethnicity: dress up to work; stigmatization; access to promotion; job quality
  • Religion: workplace sensitive to religious requirements; hostility/acceptance
  • Ageing: 65+ in the labour market; ageism; excluding the elderly during the crisis
  • Sexual orientation: vulnerability; undervaluing; diversity policies
  • Living with Disability: the silent discrimination; the perfect body; policies
  • Organising and solidarity
  • Economic/governmental policy

RN14 - Gender Relations in the Labour Market and the Welfare State

Global phenomena such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the global financial crisis, transnational migration, climate change, the spill-over of armed conflicts and terrorism have heightened awareness of the world as a single place, despite the many borders and barriers (physical and symbolic) which crisscross it. States are still important players, yet there is no world government that has jurisdiction over national governments and other actors. At the same time, many other actors (e.g. supranational institutions and networks, non-profit organizations, local governments, corporations) claim a role in managing and shaping global and local processes, relations and societies. However, research and theorizing on these issues shows their complexity, and this calls for a rethinking of the dominant paradigms of social science. We need to think outside the box of methodological and theoretical nationalism and refashion ways to conceive of power, authority, agency and responsibility. It is also important to challenge and rework ideas of rights and responsibilities beyond models of citizenship embedded in the nation-state system. It is evident that transnational relations are building global realities that cannot be captured by analyzing societies as discrete national entities. This call is for papers dealing with theoretical, methodological or empirical issues related to the supranational dimension of social reality; local-global relations; transnational and global shared practices, cultures and patterns of affiliation; the reshaping of borders at local, regional and global level; and the transnational features of everyday life.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN07_RN15: “Globalising cultures: globalised territorialism and transnational anticosmopolitanism” (Joint session with RN07 Sociology of Culture)
  • JS_RN15_RN28: “Boundaries, Barriers, and (Multiple) Belongings through Sport” (Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports)
  • JS_RN15_RN34: “Religion and Transnational space” (Joint session with RN34 Sociology of Religion)
  • JS_RN15_RN37: “Transforming cities in a global transforming world” (Joint session with RN37 Urban Sociology)

RN15 - Global, transnational and cosmopolitan sociology

Alternative Health Futures

The Covid-19 global emergency has propelled health issues to the heart of sociology. Matters of longstanding interest such as health inequalities, the organisation and delivery of healthcare, health social movements, the health effects of population displacement and migration flows, and the experience of illness are more vital than ever to the sociological analysis of the globalised world. RN16 invites papers on these and other topics, especially where authors draw on the sociological imagination to reflect on how we might achieve a better, alternative future for the people of Europe and beyond. We welcome both empirical and theoretical papers and the wide variety of methodological approaches (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, experimental, etc.).

In a moment of crisis, when we should come together to create positive change, we invite colleagues to share and discuss recent health research concerning all areas of society, with a view to building alternative futures together in the ESA 2021 conference in the vibrant city of Barcelona. We encourage sociologists, and social scientists more generally, to feed into the scientific discussion with fresh data, thoughts and ideas. It is now also an optimum time for sociologists of health and illness to bring their distinct insights on health futures to the wider discipline. Barcelona will be a place for joint work, dialogue and networking, focusing on multiple future possibilities.

Keywords/possible topics:

  • Covid-19
  • Health inequalities
  • Health professions
  • Health social movements/civil society
  • Mental health
  • Healthcare
  • Migration and health
  • The experience of illness
  • Health and the life course
  • Child health
  • Ageing and health.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN04_RN16: “The effects of the Covid-19 crisis on children and young people” (Joint session with RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood)
  • JS_RN09_RN16: “In ourselves and pharmacists we trust? New developments in health care and pharmacy markets” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)
  • JS_RN12_RN16: “Interplays between the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)
  • JS_RN16_RN22: “Risk perception, trust and control in public health prevention” (Joint session with RN22 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty)
  • JS_RN16_RN26: “The role of civil society organizations in future European welfare systems between marketization and co-optation” (Joint session with RN26 Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare)
  • JS_RN16_RN28: “Sport, physical activity and health” (Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports)
  • JS_RN16_RN32: “The Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency policies: a renewed role for the State?” (Joint session with RN32 Political Sociology)
  • JS_RN16_RN33: “Covid-19 and Gender inequalities” (Joint session with RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • JS_RN16_RN35: “Health and migration. Migrants “under” the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN35 Sociology of Migration)

RN16 - Sociology of Health and Illness

Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging Before and After Covid-19

For this conference, RN17 welcomes theoretical and empirical research that places work, labour and employment relations in a broader perspective and that problematises the existing social, institutional and geographical determinants of working lives in Europe and beyond in the light of Pre and Post-Covid-19 Pandemic. RN17 provides the space for critical and novel discussions of the current European and global challenges of work. We expect to receive theoretical and empirical (both qualitative and quantitative) contributions. Cross-national research which focuses on Europe and beyond is especially welcome. Alongside the network contribution to the overall theme of the 2019 ESA conference on “Europe and beyond: boundaries, barriers and belonging”, we would also like to explore further current debates in the wide field of the sociology of work, employment and industrial relations. Thus, RN17 invites all researchers in the diverse fields of sociology of work and labour for presentation on the following or other themes:

  • Local, sectoral, national, and European labour market institutions and processes in flux: change and resilience
  • European Social Dialogue
  • Industrial relations and the welfare state
  • The role of employers, business organisations and multinational enterprises in the organisation of employment
  • Migration and the implications for the world of work, employment, and industrial relations
  • Changes and challenges in contemporary working life
  • Industrial relations in the public sector
  • Trends and effects of collective bargaining
  • New forms of work in emerging industries, with emerging technologies and in new forms of organisation
  • Worker participation, industrial democracy, and labour relations at the workplace level, including the European Works Councils
  • New and old forms of industrial conflict and alternative forms of the representation of collective interests
  • The theoretical and methodological challenges in the field of work, employment, and industrial relations
  • Labour market segregation: differences and inequalities between different groups, most notably by age, gender, and ethnicity
  • Precarity of Work and Life: new perspectives and new theoretical challenges
  • Employment relations and labour market network perspectives

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN09_RN17_I: “Impact of the expansion of remote work after the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN17 Work, Employment and Industrial Relations)
  • JS_RN09_RN17_II: “The effect of the Corona crisis on intergenerational inequality in the labour market” (Joint session with RN17 Work, Employment and Industrial Relations)

RN17 - Work, Employment and Industrial Relations

Critical Media Sociology

We live in times of deepening economic, political, social, ideological and ecological crises that are expressed in widespread precarious labour, the commodification of (almost) everything, the rise of new nationalism, populism and authoritarian forms of capitalism, and ecological destruction.

Covid-19 has brought to light the societal contradictions Europe and the world are facing. The pandemic has shattered society and has rapidly changed everyday life and communication of many individuals around the globe. The coronavirus crisis has shown us the vulnerability and fragility of capitalist societies and illustrates the urgent need for a radical transformation towards a global sustainable information society.

ESA RN18 calls for contributions that shed new light on theoretical, empirical and analytical insights that help to shape critical media sociology, in particular, but not exclusively, addressed to any of the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Critical Media Sociology and Capitalism
  • Critical Media Sociology and Critical Theory
  • Critical Media Sociology and Critical Political Economy of Media, Information and Communication
  • Critical Media Sociology and Ideology Critique
  • Critical Media Sociology and Cultural and Communication Labour
  • Critical Media Sociology and Digital Labour
  • Critical Media Sociology, New Nationalism and Authoritarianism
  • Critical Media Sociology, Patriarchy and Gender
  • Critical Media Sociology, Covid-19, Pandemic and Crisis
  • Critical Media Sociology, Ecology and Climate
  • Critical Media Sociology, Democracy and the Public Sphere
  • Critical Media Sociology and the Left
  • Critical Media Sociology, the Commons and Alternatives

The organisers stress that these topics are listed to illustrate the invited areas of research and discussion but are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN18_RN23: “Sexuality and Mediatized Societies” (Joint session with RN23 Sexuality)
  • JS_RN18_RN34: “Religion, Mediatised Society and Critical Theory” (Joint session with RN34 Sociology of Religion)

RN18 - Sociology of Communications and Media Research

Professional Knowledge for Alternative Futures

The Barcelona Conference 2021 asks for the sociological knowledges for alternative futures in the shadow of climate change and the current global pandemic but also referring to social inequalities, violent conflicts and forced mass migration. Against this backdrop we will focus our discussion on the question of how professions and professionalism are being reconfigured and how professional knowledge may contribute to the development of alternative futures. This can take place in a broad variety of areas. On the one hand, it could directly relate to these general questions relevant to contemporary societies. On the other hand, the contribution can be more mediated with regard to several points of view: stimulation or resistance against institutional reforms in various professional fields; developing new epistemic communities within and beyond professional groups; or the establishment of new perspectives through generational changes. This might also include conflicts between persistence and change which could be observed within or between professional groups or in relation to economic, political, or social instances. We invite theoretical and empirical research on these and other questions in the realm of the sociology of professions for this discussion.

 

RN19 - Sociology of Professions

Qualitative Research and the Study of Knowledge for Alternative Futures

Much of qualitative research is concerned with cognitive and embodied knowledge. The conference theme is thus a welcome intellectual opportunity to further advance qualitative methods. Papers may consider this in general or contribute to the following lines of discussion: (1) living and creating alternative futures, (2) digitalization of life-worlds, and (3) politics and economics of alternative futures.

(1) Alternative futures do not only emerge through mass media and publics, but through commitment in copresence that is often established in small groups and movements. (Civic) action within such practical and epistemic communities is not only geared toward institutional change. Such communities are also important spaces for their members to practice and experience alternative ways of living. How is attachment to such groups and commitment to its purposes created? How are their actors motivated?

(2) Some of what was only three decades ago thought of as alternative future has become a lived reality for many: the profound digitalization of our everyday life-worlds and the creation of digital realities, the epistemology and structure of which may be significantly different from non-digitalized life-worlds. How are qualitative methods used to study digital spaces and the technologies that enable it?

(3) The increased interconnectedness of contemporary life-worlds with technology has manifold implications regarding the politics and economics by which alternative futures are shaped. Where is the knowledge for such futures produced? How can qualitative methods contribute to the study of everyday life shaped by “surveillance capitalism” (Zuboff 2019)? What are the ethical implications for qualitative methods?

Keywords/possible topics:

  • Qualitative Interviews
  • Ethnography
  • Narrative Analysis
  • Video Elicitation
  • Photo Elicitation
  • Videography
  • Visual Research
  • Quality of Qualitative Methods
  • Sensory Ethnography
  • Digital Ethnography 
  • Participatory Research
  • Emotions
  • Discourse analysis
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Grounded Theory
  • Qualitative Research Ethics
  • Digitization
  • Digitalization

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN09_RN20_RN32: “Surveillance Capitalism – new challenges for social sciences?” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology and RN32 Political Sociology)
  • JS_RN20_RN21: “Traces, footprints and their significance for qualitative and quantitative social research” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN20_RN28: “Qualitative research in the field of sport and corporeal activity” (Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports)
  • JS_RN20_RN29: “Qualitative methods and social theory” (Joint session with RN29 Social Theory)

RN20 - Qualitative Methods

Quantitative methods help to predict and explain social phenomena. They are used across the social sciences, and they contribute to study a wide range of sociologically and socio-politically highly relevant topics, amongst others associated with climate change, mass migration, social inequalities, xenophobia, Corona pandemic, misinformation and ‘fake news‘. In line with the conference theme ‘Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures’, we encourage presentations to reflect methodological challenges, problems, methodological as well as statistical advances, and the use of new methods of the Big Data era in predicting and explaining societal states, events and processes in Europe. In addition, we welcome papers on various topics in the fields of Quantitative Methods. The following list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Advances in Quantitative Methods (Open Session)
  • Statistical advances in prediction and causal explanation
  • Experimental methods in Sociology (including classic randomized control group designs, field experiments, survey experiments, natural experiments, and quasi experiments)
  • Application of digital methods of the ‘Big Data‘ era to predict and explain societal phenomena Application of Simulation and analytical modelling techniques
  • Quantitative methods and applications for studying the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Quantitative studies in different substantial fields, e.g. migration and refugees, climate change, xenophobia, social inequality, and fake news

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN21: “Quantitative Analysis in Ageing Research” (Joint session with the RN01 Ageing in Europe)
  • JS_RN09_RN21: “Empirical research in economic sociology: challenges and new developments” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)
  • JS_RN12_RN21: “Methodological Landscapes of Quantitative Environmental Sociology” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)
  • JS_RN13_RN21: “Dilemmas for quantitative family research: past, present and future” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)
  • JS_RN20_RN21: “Traces, footprints and their significance for qualitative and quantitative social research” (Joint session with RN20 Qualitative Methods)
  • JS_RN21_RN28: “Methodological challenges in sociology of sports” (Joint session with RN28 Society and Sports)
  • JS_RN21_RN31: “Advances and Challenges in Quantitative Measurement of Racism and Antisemitism” (Joint session with RN31 Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism)

RN21 - Quantitative Methods

The Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty research network exists to stimulate debate about how risks and uncertainties are understood, experienced, practiced, co-constructed, managed and/or neglected by social actors – individuals, groups and organisations.

At a time when the future is increasingly depicted in terms of risk landscapes, sociological approaches to risk may well have much to say about the overall conference theme – ‘Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures’. Critical analysis and considerations of how past, current and envisioned challenges are framed – in terms of categories, time, probability, causality, and the way these implicitly value and devalue outcomes – provide us with relevant knowledges for thinking futures otherwise. We particularly welcome theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions that address these issues.

Of course, we are also keen to include papers which address risk and uncertainty across a wide range of topics and fields. These could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The environment
  • Crime and security
  • Health and healthcare
  • Public engagement and participation
  • Everyday experiences
  • The life course
  • Inequalities
  • Science and technologies
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Banking and finance
  • The labour market and social policy

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN22: “Risk and dignity in older age” (Joint session with RN01 Ageing in Europe)
  • JS_RN12_RN22: “Environmental disaster, risk and resilience” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)
  • JS_RN13_RN22: “Covid-19 Pandemic and Policies: How risk and family lives interact” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)
  • JS_RN16_RN22: “Risk perception, trust and control in public health prevention” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health & Illness)

RN22 - Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty

The sociological study of sexuality has been operating as a scholarly and activist tool to identify and overcome inequalities and to inspire and work towards an inclusive and social just future. In the process, this field is and has been facing many challenges, some obstructive, others more productive. On one hand, gender and sexuality studies have been subject to funding cuts, censorship and closures, and state-sanctioned discriminatory practices continue to target those who do not conform to ethnocentric ideals of cis and heteronormativity. On the other hand, efforts to decolonize knowledge are disrupting hegemonic epistemologies that remain entrenched in the study of sexuality.

How useful is the sociological study of sexuality for challenging new and old injustices? What methodological and epistemological challenges do sexuality studies face today? What helpful disciplinary cross-fertilisations can we stimulate? What analytical insights can the study of sexuality contribute to, and what are its future directions? What theoretical, political, and activist interventions are necessary to nurture and sustain reflexivity in the field? What aspects of the sociological study of sexuality remain under-explored or ignored?

We invite abstracts that address these and other related questions. Specific topics may include, but need not be limited to the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Human rights and social justice
  • Sexual violence
  • Sex, work, and economic justice
  • Social movements and resistance
  • Sexual identities and belonging
  • Norms and normativities
  • Migration, multiculturalism, and integration
  • Racism and racialization
  • Utopianism/dystopianism
  • Alternative intimacies and kinship
  • Care and caring
  • Emotions and affects
  • Medicalization and biopolitics
  • Reproductive rights
  • Bodies and embodiment

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN03_RN23: “Biographies, identities, and sexuality” (Joint session with RN03 Biographical Perspectives on European Societies)
  • JS_RN09_RN23: “Intersections of sexuality and economy” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology)
  • JS_RN18_RN23: “Sexuality and Mediatized Societies” (Joint session with RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research)
  • JS_RN23_RN28: “Sexuality and Sports” (Joint session with 28 Society and Sports)
  • JS_RN23_RN34: “Religion and Sexuality” (Joint session with RN34 Sociology of Religion)

RN23 - Sexuality

We are living challenging times, in which Science and Technology both plays a crucial role in addressing catastrophic environmental, health, or social problems, and is also increasingly questioned and undermined by conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, and populist politicians, among others. The Sociology of Science and Technology must offer fresh insights on how alternative futures can be built based simultaneously on expert/scientific knowledge and on democratic participation and public engagement on sociotechnical issues. RN24 Science and Technology makes multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary efforts to combine: theory building on changing relations and co-constitution of science, technology and society; methodological advancements of qualitative and quantitative empirical social sciences to study interrelations of science, technology and society; sociological, philosophical, anthropological, historical, psychological, economic and political science analysis; and technology and innovation policy studies.

Examples of possible topics/ keywords relevant for our sessions are:

  • Science and Technology (Open Session)
  • Science policy & national research systems
  • Scientific careers and practices
  • Science and the public
  • Science, technology, innovation & society
  • Gender in/equality in science and technology
  • National & regional specificities and differences in science and technology
  • Science, Technology & Education
  • Health, biomedicine & social context
  • Energy, climate change & sustainability
  • Information Technologies and Society

Gender, diversity and intersectionality perspectives are welcome. PhD students’ submissions are especially encouraged. Authors are invited to submit their abstracts to the general session or a specific topic. Specific sessions will be created a posteriori.

Joint Session

  • JS_RN05_RN24: “Digitization, devices, and cultures of consumption” (Joint session with RN05 Sociology of Consumption)

RN24 - Science and Technology

The Research Network on Social Movements (RN25) calls for papers providing theoretical and empirical contributions to current debates on social movements, including but not limited to the following keywords/topics:

  • Spatial and temporal dynamics of collective action
  • The interplay between movements and their political/discursive/legal context
  • The connections between non-violent action and political violence
  • The connections between contentious and electoral politics
  • The strategic use of protest tactics
  • Dynamics within and between social movements organisations
  • The role of discourse, framing and narratives in social movements
  • Populist and radical right movements
  • Political repression in authoritarian and non-authoritarian states
  • Online dimensions of mobilization
  • The impact of collective action
  • Urban uprisings and popular revolts
  • Youth and minority activism

Comparative works that connect theory and empirical analysis, as well as innovative methodological approaches are particularly encouraged. The section aims to stimulate the debate on the accumulated knowledge and evidence produced in the last years on social movements. We welcome submissions coming from different disciplinary fields. The evaluation criteria of abstracts are: quality and clarity of the research question; clarity of the theoretical argument; the description of the main methodology and data; theoretically original contribution and discussion of available knowledge; relevance and pertinence to central themes within social movement research.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN12_RN25: “Climate Movements: Contemporary Developments and Challenges” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)

RN25 - Social Movements

The network aims to provide a broad arena for the discussion, dissemination and development of research on all aspects of social policy and social welfare in Europe and beyond, with a particular interest in perspectives rooted in sociology and social theory. This agenda includes the analysis of welfare institutions, organizations and policies, including their material and symbolic impacts, as well as the nature of human well-being and democratic citizenship. We welcome contributions focusing on the social and cultural rationales behind the development and reproduction of institutions and organizations in the field as well as behind those actors and groups that influence the distribution of resources, status and power in society and hence individual and social welfare. In times of increasing complexity, it is crucial to understand the specific value of sociological knowledge in search for alternative futures. For this conference, we invite papers on contemporary issues regarding social policy and welfare explored from a genuinely sociological perspective. How do social welfare policies and services respond to the current political challenges across Europe and beyond? How do they change? And how can a sociological perspective make a difference when it comes to imagining alternative futures? These are just a few examples for questions that could be dealt with at the conference.

Joint Session

  • JS_RN16_RN26: “The role of civil society organizations in future European welfare systems between marketization and co-optation” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)

RN26 - Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare

The RN27 contributes to the ESA Conference theme with a series of sessions on how sociological knowledge helps to inform action (and alternative possible futures) in both public policies and civic society domains in Southern European societies. Participants are invited to discuss issues of social structure, cultural dynamics, and institutional foundations of Southern Europe as a means to understand current challenges and dilemmas.

Papers with a comparative focus between countries of Southern Europe, other parts of Europe, the Mediterranean area and beyond are especially encouraged, as well as specific studies at country and regional level that provide general implications for the whole region.

Authors can send their proposals to one of the main thematic tracks of RN27:

  • Territories, communities and social spaces
  • Nature, environments and ecologies
  • Education, research and innovation
  • Gender
  • Social stratification
  • Cultures and lifestyles
  • Social policy
  • Migration and mobility
  • Work, firms and markets
  • Theoretical and conceptual development on Southern European societies

At this conference, the RN27 will highlight crosscutting themes regarding the social impact of the current pandemic crisis on the South of Europe. PhD students are welcome to send their papers and encouraged to participate to a RN27 award and support for publication that would be assigned to the best selected Paper.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN27_RN30: “Refugee unaccompanied teenagers in Southern Europe” (Joint session with RN30 Youth & Generation)
  • JS_RN27_RN37: “Urban homelessness in Southern Europe: new problems and new challenges in times of Covid-19” (Joint session with RN37 Urban Sociology)

RN27 - Regional Network Southern European Societies

Recent crises, from the economic and migratory to the present Covid-19 pandemic, have dramatically affected all areas of individual and collective life, also involving the worlds of sports and physical activities.

Many aspects of the sportscape have been affected: the private dimension of sports practice, the media broadcasting and representations of professional sports, its economic impact, its place in the welfare system, the interaction between physical activity and health, the use of sport as a means of social inclusion, its social representations, to name but a few.

This changing reality, still in progress, complicates dramatically the worlds of sports and urges us to question our working practices, making new interpretative keys necessary to understand it.

Beyond this main theme, the conference will feature a wide range of sessions to give the opportunity to share and discuss the latest research experiences, including (but not limited to) the following keywords/possible topics:

  • Sports and national identities
  • Race, ethnicity, and sports
  • Migration and sports
  • Sport, physical activities, and inequalities
  • Sports and social capital
  • Media and sports
  • Bodies and sports
  • Elite and amateur sports’ cultures

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN15_RN28: “Boundaries, Barriers, and (Multiple) Belongings through Sport” (Joint session with RN15 Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology)
  • JS_RN16_RN28: “Sport, physical activity and health” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)
  • JS_RN20_RN28: “Qualitative research in the field of sport and corporeal activity” (Joint session with RN20 Qualitative Methods)
  • JS_RN21_RN28: “Methodological challenges in sociology of sports” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)
  • JS_RN23_RN28: “Sexuality and Sports” (Joint session with RN23 Sexuality)

RN28 - Society and Sports

Theorizing the Future - the Future of Theorizing

Alternative and Possible Future in and of Social Theory

The topic of the ESA conference “Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures” poses a welcomed challenge to social theory and, correspondingly, the Research Network Social Theory. The Call for Papers for the Barcelona congress resonates with the crisis triggered by the Corona-Virus which has been changing societies in Europe and elsewhere. Thus, it focuses the on-going crises and ask about its future impact from the perspective on how to theorize the changes. As most sociological knowledge, so far, is based on empirical data, a basic trait of the knowledge about the future and alternative futures that is probably, that it can no more build on reliable empirical data. However, now we must even more ask what theory can contribute to the Sociological knowledge? Although theorizing cannot be reduced to social imagination, we should reconsider theory in the light of social imagination. Therefore, the RN Social Theory session will approach the following questions and topics:

  • The Future of Social Theory – New approaches, trends, developments
  • Theorizing the Future
  • Dystopias and Utopias
  • Social Theories of Alternative Futures and Imaginaries
  • Theories of the (Post-)Covid Society
  • Theorizing Social Distancing
  • New Boundaries and the Methodological Nationalism of Sociology
  • The Social Theory of Climate Change
  • The Role of Social Theory in Activism
  • Possible Futures – Diagnosing Social Change

We invite researchers addressing one or several of these questions and topics from the perspective of social theory to contribute papers to the conference and send abstracts to the organizers.

Joint Session

  • JS_RN20_RN29: “Qualitative methods and social theory” (Joint session with RN20 Qualitative Methods)

RN29 - Social Theory

Generations, Youth and Futures in Time of Social Change

Social change and unexpected emergencies have probably never been so fast and so wide in their impact. The Covid-19 pandemic in particular is exacerbating fast-paced social, political, and economic changes, with strong implications for the lives of young people. These processes are also questioning social and cultural models that for a long time have been taken for granted. Issues of generational continuity, intergenerational relations, and collective identities both within and across age groups, are then becoming more pressing.

As scholars of youth and generations, new questions, topics and methods, as well as new opportunities, are emerging. In this context of global and fast news circulation, fake news, and “post truth” sentiments, we are called to be more attentive, inventive, and methodologically rigorous.

For this conference we invite then colleagues to submit abstracts about the following keywords/possible topics:

  • How the studies and debates on the lives of young people, youth cultures and generations, can be theoretically revisited and questioned in the light of the social change we are living in
  • The methodological challenges emerging in this context, both concerning strategies or instruments and their concrete application
  • The relevance of age and intergenerational relations in local and global contexts. We are open to different topics, and novel applications of theory and methods; for this call we suggest the following issues, but we are open to further proposals:
    • Transitions to adulthood
    • Collective identities
    • Youth cultures
    • Forms of social and political participation and protest
    • Youth and climate change
    • Religious beliefs and practices
    • Uses and representations of space
    • Musical and artistic practices
    • Bodily practices, sports, and discourses about the body
    • Family histories and dynamics
    • Labour market and precariousness
    • Geographical (im)mobility and migration within and across generations
    • Education-work transition
    • Social mobility and social trajectories

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN07_RN30: “The Time is Now? Youth Cultures, Generations and Future” (Joint session with RN07 Sociology of Culture)
  • JS_RN27_RN30: “Refugee unaccompanied teenagers in Southern Europe” (Joint session with RN27 Regional Network on Southern European Societies)

RN30 - Youth & Generation

The ESA Research Network 31: Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism invites submissions of papers for the ESA Conference 2021 in Barcelona.

We will hold sessions that focus on theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of research on antisemitism and racism, also in a comparative framework. The network’s perspective is to bridge an exclusive divide between the understanding of antisemitism and of racism, exploring the correspondences and affinities, but also the differences and contrasts. Our over-arching question is to understand what are the material conditions and the social, political and historical contexts shaping variations in racism (including neglected forms like anti-Roma discrimination, “antigypsyism”, but also anti-Muslim resentment) and antisemitism (including antisemitism related to the hostility to Israel, Islamic antisemitism, antisemitism of the left as well as of the right), across time and across different European and global contexts. Our network provides a space where antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia are each understood in the context of the others.

At the upcoming conference we will particularly focus on old and new populisms and the challenges to human rights and democracy, particularly against the background of the current Corona pandemic an the growing impact of antisemitic and racist conspiracy myths. Given that in recent years protototalitarianism and populism have emerged with great speed and ferocity into mainstream democratic discourse, these developments need to be analysed in detail. We are interested in scholarly work on the democratic state, critiques of democracy, the totalitarian contempt for democracy, the critique of truth, critique of ‘the media’ etc.

Joint Session

  • JS_RN21_RN31: “Advances and Challenges in Quantitative Measurement of Racism and Antisemitism” (Joint session with RN21 Quantitative Methods)

RN31 - Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism

Politics for Alternative Futures: Social Forces, Social Relations, and Political Processes

The RN Political Sociology encourages and supports research on governance, political processes, discourse, institutions, parties, movements, and policies within, across and beyond European societies, from a diverse range of methodological and theoretical perspectives. In this call we seek research that investigates the social and political changes, practices and mechanisms that reproduce, challenge, or attempt to reconfigure the status quo across Europe and beyond.

Papers are encouraged that are methodologically and theoretically innovative and that reflect on the role of political sociology in understanding change and imagining alternative futures, in a period characterized by complex transnational challenges (e.g. the governance of the pandemic), polarization (e.g. the populist challenge), and institutional violence (e.g. racism, sexism and intersectional inequalities, repression of refugees and immigrants, opposition movements to autocracy). Topics of interest include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • The social politics of pandemic crisis management
  • Societal responses to Covid-19 restrictions
  • Politics and the city in imagining alternative futures
  • Transformations in political systems and political alternatives in an era of permanent austerity and populism
  • The role of new media in resistance and mobilization
  • The European Union’s response to multiple crises
  • Methodological challenges for political sociology in a pandemic age
  • Collective resilience role of civil society in pandemic response (transnational and global south and north responses)
  • The politics of discourse, knowledge and expertise in a decade of crises

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN09_RN20_RN32: “Surveillance Capitalism – new challenges for social sciences?” (Joint session with RN09 Economic Sociology and RN20 Qualitative Methods)
  • JS_RN11_RN32: “Emotional political narratives and engagement in contentious politics” (Joint session with RN11 Sociology of Emotions)
  • JS_RN16_RN32: “The Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency policies: a renewed role for the State?” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)

RN32 - Political Sociology

Global Events, Gender Challenges and Feminist Knowledge

The multiple challenges posed by global events such as the Covid-19 pandemic or climate change highlight the need to develop a gender-responsive approach to avoid reproducing or accentuating existing gender discrimination and inequalities. There is a growing concern that the Covid-19 crises will disproportionately affect women and girls because gender inequalities that can be exacerbated in the context of health emergencies. A changing climate affects everyone, but it is those in vulnerable situations, especially women and girls, who will be disproportionately affected by the impacts of changing weather patterns, as gender inequality will impact their ability to adapt. There is also a strong need to understand how the dynamics of gender inequality intersect with other social inequalities including ethnicity, religion, age, disability, and class.

Research Network 33 “Women’s and Gender Studies” invites scholars to submit proposals for conference papers that reflect upon feminist approaches to building knowledge and responses to current gender challenges. Submissions are open for contributed papers focusing on the following topics of great importance for contemporary gender research:

  • Women, Men and the Covid-19 Crisis
  • Gender, Feminism, Ecology and Climate Change
  • Women, Gender Inequalities and Poverty
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Gender, Health and Wellbeing
  • Care, Care Work and Migrant Domestic Workers
  • Local and Global Feminisms

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN11_RN13_RN33: “New Disavowals? The Politics of Emotions and their Separating and Connecting Effects” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives and RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • JS_RN13_RN33: “Visions for the Future: How is the Family?” (Joint session with RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives)
  • JS_RN16_RN33: “Covid-19 and Gender inequalities” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)
  • JS_RN33_RN35: ”Gender, care and migration: policies, mobilizations, and resistances in the context of the health crisis” (Joint session with RN35 Sociology of Migration)

RN33 - Women’s and Gender Studies

Religion, Knowledge and Alternative Futures

As a powerful source of knowledge, ideas and beliefs, religion has often provided people’s everyday orientations, motivated action, and furnished meanings of life in general. Today’s world, characterised, on the one hand, by increasing insecurities and risks and, on the other hand, by a diversified range of worldviews and conceptions of social relations, raises the question of how knowledge about humans and the world develops and how that knowledge shapes our relations. While sociology has stressed that the post-modern world undermines what has been known as “an objective knowledge” and an almost “unquestionable faith in progress”, there is a need to reconsider the place of religions in the contemporary social construction of knowledge and alternative futures.

Against this background, we call for papers which make empirical, comparative, and theoretical contributions to issues, such as:

  • How religions interact with other sources of knowledge
  • How religions support or undermine the shifting of knowledge production and visions of alternatives futures
  • How religions influence social cohesion and civic and social rights
  • How religions produce and respond to social issues
  • How increasingly diverse religious landscapes influence social and political debates

While we are particularly interested in papers that relate to European societies, we also welcome cases from other regions of the world.

PhD students are especially encouraged to submit an abstract. Those interested in participating in the “Best PhD Student Paper Award” should indicate it in their submission. For details, please see: http://www.esareligion.org/.

Keywords/possible topics:

  • Religions
  • Knowledge
  • Alternatives

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN12_RN34: “Religion and Sustainable Development” (Joint session with RN12 Environment & Society)
  • JS_RN15_RN34: “Religion and Transnational space” (Joint session with RN15 Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology)
  • JS_RN18_RN34: “Religion, Mediatised Society and Critical Theory” (Joint session with RN18 Sociology of Communications and Media Research)
  • JS_RN23_RN34: “Religion and Sexuality” (Joint session with RN23 Sexuality)

RN34 - Sociology of Religion

Few topics trigger as heated debates on the state of the world today and on the alternative futures we should aim for as the issues of borders, migration, and belonging. The salience of migration issues is further increased by its interplay with other burning questions, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, global social inequalities, the digital transformation, the rise of neo-nationalism and the new right, or climate change. At the same time, this issue can be the testing ground for thinking about alternative futures. The 15th ESA Conference provides an important opportunity to discuss these pertinent issues and any related challenges.

RN35 invites abstracts that discuss how migration is entangled with current political and social dynamics. Possible topics include the following:

  • Migration and epidemics (including in historical perspective)
  • Refugees, asylum, and forced migration
  • Migration and care work
  • Migration and social inequalities Migration and education
  • Migration and the labour market
  • Migrant vulnerability and victimization
  • Seasonal work and temporary migrant worker programmes
  • Political participation, new solidarities, and migration-related social movements
  • Anti-migrant politics and their implications
  • The reordering of borders and mobilities
  • Migration in the current European context
  • Reflexivity in migration research

Priority will be given to abstracts that clearly state their theoretical anchoring; empirical papers additionally need to indicate their methodological underpinning in a concise manner. RN35 encourages a reflective, non-essentialist use of categories. Papers with a European relevance, in the broadest sense of the term, are particularly welcome.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN35: “Transnational migration in old age” (Joint session with RN01 Ageing in Europe)
  • JS_RN16_RN35: “Health and migration. Migrants “under” the Covid-19 pandemic” (Joint session with RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness)
  • JS_RN33_RN35: ”Gender, care and migration: policies, mobilizations, and resistances in the context of the health crisis” (Joint session with RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies)
  • JS_RN35_RN37: “Patterns and paradoxes of forced mobility and confinement in urban space” (Joint session with RN37 Urban Sociology)

RN35 - Sociology of Migration

Lessons from Transformations – for Alternative Futures

When the Berlin Wall has fallen three decades ago, social transformations were often seen as transitions towards a relatively clear goal – as a convergence towards a liberal democratic “ideal”, typically provided by the “West” and reflected in the “End-of-History” narratives. This notion has soon proven to be overly simplified and overly ideological. On the one hand, the transformations have proven to be much more diversified and open-ended as initially suggested. On the other hand, what was seen as the developmental ideal, has proven to be elusive or even questionable. Severe environmental degradation, the rise of political populism, extremism and dramatic polarisation; persisting social inequalities and exclusion; irresponsible application of new technologies, too often generating manipulation and oppression instead of emancipation and empowerment – all clearly call for the search for alternative futures – both in the East and in the West. Studying social transformations can provide knowledge to prepare for the challenges of the future. We may ask to what extend that knowledge can be useful for solving the recently emerging social problems. Using a variety of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods is encouraged to explore the existing social transformations as a source of lessons for the future, as a tentative predictor of future trends and/or as a guidance to consider viable alternatives to the failures of the past and the present.

We are welcoming papers focusing on different aspects of transformations. We are also expecting studies with a broader temporal and spatial perspective and supporting reflection on future solutions of new social problems.

RN36 - Sociology of Transformations: East and West

 

Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Urban Futures

Our urbanizing world faces challenges rooted in contemporary visions of unlimited growth and unlimited use of natural resources. People living in metropolitan areas, cities and towns in all continents are going through difficult times. The increasing concerns for social, economic, and political futures of societies, together with worsening climate change, and the current unprecedented pandemic have put urban areas into a particularly vulnerable situation. We take the theme of this ESA Conference as an opportunity to discuss the role of research in urban sociology at addressing these issues.

In view of sustainable prospects for cities, how can urban research contribute to rethinking multifaceted and emerging inequalities, shifts in economies, cultures and policies affecting the sociospatial change, urban practices and well-being of people?

The ESA Research Network 37 Urban Sociology aims to continue the work developed at the previous ESA Conferences and Midterm Conferences, by stimulating the cross-disciplinary debate on urban life, urban spaces and urban dynamics. At the 2021 ESA Conference in Barcelona, we are interested in receiving proposals focusing on empirical data, but also specifically on the theoretical and methodological aspects of research, with a special focus on papers proposing innovative approaches. Reaffirming the words of the general theme of the conference, we intend to think and practice together new ways of overcoming the complex social, and particularly urban, challenges of our time.

Joint Sessions

  • JS_RN01_RN37: “Urban Ageing: Towards an enhanced spatial perspective” (Joint session with RN01 Ageing in Europe)
  • JS_RN15_RN37: “Transforming cities in a global transforming world” (Joint session with RN15 Global, transnational and cosmopolitan sociology)
  • JS_RN27_RN37: “Urban homelessness in Southern Europe: new problems and new challenges in times of Covid-19” (Joint session with RN27 Regional Network Southern European Societies)
  • JS_RN35_RN37: “Patterns and paradoxes of forced mobility and confinement in urban space” (Joint session with RN35 Sociology of Migration)

RN37 - Urban Sociology