Social and Humanitarian Knowledge in Contemporary Perspectives", 2-3 April 2010, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.
Current graduate and postgraduate students are invited to submit presentation papers for one of five sociological session discussions in the conference concerned the place of social sciences and humanities in contemporary societies and relations between scientific knowledge and different social institutions.
The role that scientific knowledge plays in the planning of further development differs across countries and ages. We believe that social sciences are in the most contradictory situation. On the one hand, it is the field of knowledge that is supposed to enable reflection on what has been done and can be used in purposes of progress. On the other hand, this is quite the reason why social sciences might become unpleasant or be ignored in some situations. The focus on the role of social sciences in formulation of contemporary perspectives should allow us:
- to question officially announced ideological course on accrual progress and modernization
- to understand how social sciences can help in defining the vectors of further developments
- to reflect on the place of social scientific knowledge in the institutions that practically play the main part in society’s life
These aims were the source for the further formulation of the specific sessions’ topics for disciplinary panels. See below for more detail about the purpose of each discussion and suggested themes for submission at the sociological session.
Papers of 500-1000 words should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th February 2010. Applicants should include their names, details of their institution and phase of study, and indicate which discussion they consider their paper is supposed to fit.
"National states in the era of post-national societies: new problems and new concepts"
(coordinators - Dmitry Kokorin, Alexey Titkov, adviser – Vladimir S. Malakhov)
National state is one of the key phenomena of the Modern age. In the end of the XX - beginning XXI century, two simultaneous processes make the use of the concept "national state" questionable for researchers. On the one hand, as it is described by Rogers Brubaker, we can see new national movements and new national states in the post-Soviet space and in the Eastern Europe (nation building). On the other hand, multi-culturalism, network forms of organization, migration between countries, development of supranational formations, practice of intervention into the sovereignty of national states on humanitarian and moral grounds and other processes connected with globalization make us talk about emerging of "post-national societies" (Göran Therborn). These two opposite tendencies demand from researchers to update conceptual framework and put a question what meaning the concept of a "national state" carries today.
Session coordinators are awaiting applications on the specified related topics.
“The place of scientific knowledge in contemporary media”
(coordinator – Nataliya Komarova)
The topic proposed is supposed to open the discussion on the role that social and humanitarian knowledge plays in forming of contemporary and especially new media. More specifically we invite papers that address questions such as the following:
- How can scientific knowledge be employed in the formulation of media’s development strategies
- Is there any place for scientific knowledge in different media’s content?
- How media’s format influences on the scientific knowledge when and whether it is represented in them?
- Is there any consideration of media changes and new developments in the contemporary social science?
- What theoretical resources enable us to think over contemporary condition in the media sphere?
Papers on theory oriented researches in sociology of media or media studies are highly welcomed.
“Social memory in contemporary world”
(coordinator – Daria Khlevnjuk; advisor – Boris E. Stepanov)
Recent changes in modern world transform not only our life but also understanding of our past. This transformations show that the category of past itself is not as clear, as it has been thought before. Maybe we can not talk about the history as one and only way to speak about past. In modern world we see different histories, which probably made social scientists think of past as an object of memories. Memory can be a memory of society, but more often memory is understood as memory of a certain group; memories differ depending on who remembers and how they can be mixed with imagined things. Some memories can be saved, others – forgotten. Memory can strengthen social solidarity; can be viewed as a storage of common past, that forms identities of the group members. Nevertheless even though the concept of social memory makes it possible to describe some new phenomena that emerged in the modern world, the concept itself is still not clear and problematic.
Possible themes for papers:
- The notion of social memory: reasons of emerging and its history
- Social conditions of past representations’ reproduction
- Collective identity, solidarity and social memory: self-determination of social groups, necessity in tradition and social frameworks of memory
- Media frameworks of memory: images of past and strategies of their construction and distribution. Memory and counter-memory.
- Acquired and appropriated past in the modern culture: documents and evidence. “Les liex de memoir” (sites of memory) and cultural practices of (post)modernity
“Linguistic turn and its implications for social sciences”
(coordinator – Pavel Stepantsov)
The discussion is devoted to consideration of the effects of the linguistic turn on social theory and social science narratives. More precisely the primary goal is to focus on its implications for the shifts in the main topics of social theory, its agenda and core questions.
The list of the topics which are expected to discuss in papers presented:
- Who of the linguistic philosophers bears the primary significance for the social sciences and what are their contributions?
- Has the “manner” of “sociological seeing” and sociological theorizing been changed by the linguistic turn? What is considered to become a significant element, event to be analyzed thereafter?
- Are there any trends of succession in social theory and social sciences epistemology?
- What has the social theory itself inherited from linguistic turn and does it have any influences on it today?
“Perspectives of symbolic interactionism in contemporary sociological studies”
(coordinator – Nataliya Komarova; advisors –Vladimir G. Nikolaev, Oleg A. Oberemko)
The plan is by a continuation of the topics raised at the section on symbolic interactionism at the annual conference of the Society of Professional Sociologists (5th of December, 2009) to form the stable discussion ground on the problems of social effectiveness of (re)production of social orders and social transformations in the language of symbolic interactionism in Russia.
The discussants are invited to present their studies conducted in the tradition of the symbolic interactionism and papers on the topics like:
- Is symbolic interactionism efficient to be a frame for studies of present-day reality?
- George Herbert Mead: difficulties of understanding and applying
- Ontology of the social in symbolic interactionism: comparison with other paradigms
- Symbolic interactionism: difficulties of operationalisation
- Comparative advantages and disadvantages of the symbolic interactionist explanation of the formation of social identity (consciousness)
- Mead and Vygotsky: was there a soviet version of symbolic interactionism?
Languages of the conference are English and Russian.
The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.
119571, Russia, Moscow. Vernadskogo pr-t, 82. The Academy of National Economyunder the Government of the Russian Federation, Building 2.
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