CFA: “Cocoon Communities” - Togetherness in the 21st century
Call for Papers Deadline:
Call for chapters
(deadline for abstracts: 6th December 2010,
- Togetherness in the 21st century
Dr Mari Korpela
Department of Social Research
University of Tampere, Finland
Dr Fred Dervin
Sociology, Intercultural Education & Communication
University of Eastern Finland & University of Turku, Finland
Communities have a long history and their theoretical conception has
changed over the years. In spite of scholars’ worries about them being under threat from modernization, globalization or postmodernity, communities have persisted. Alongside community, the concept of group has also been used by scholars to describe the act of coming together - sometimes interchangeably. More recently, both terms have been put into question. Many thinkers feel that they tend to refer to static elements and too clearly defined objects (Cohen 1995, Putnam 2000, Bauman 2001, Maffesoli, 1988, Anderson, 2001, Brubaker, 2006, Augé, 2010…). For instance, in his criticism of what he calls groupism, Rogers Brubaker (2007: 7) explains that “‘Group’ functions as a seemingly unproblematic, taken-for-granted concept, apparently in no need of particular scrutiny or explication. As a result, we tend to take for granted not only the
concept “group,” but also “groups””. Some scholars have offered
substitutes to decipher “togetherness” in a more unstable and
“free-floating” fashion: tribes and être-ensemble (Maffesoli), cloakroom communities (Bauman), etc.
In everyday life, some communities appear to be more visible than others (Nation-States, religious groups, ethnic minorities, social classes…). In this volume, we wish to look at a special case of togetherness, which we propose to call cocoon communities. Cocoon communities neither represent nor correspond to the ideal-type of community. At first sight, they do not seem to have much in common with communal characteristics. Such communities may actually be invisible for outsiders, yet a closer look might reveal some substantial similarities with ‘canonical’ forms of community. In order to delineate them, we could take for example Z. Bauman’s definition of his cloakroom communities (2004: 31): “Cloakroom
communities are patched together for the duration of the spectacle and promptly dismantled again once the spectators collect their coats from the hooks in the cloakroom”. In other words, cocoon communities gather around a specific purpose or for contextual reasons (studying, doing business, holidaying, hobbies…), predominantly on a short-term basis, be it within national boundaries or abroad. It is, however, important to note that, unlike cloakroom communities, members of cocoon communities may experience long-term togetherness. Furthermore they may view
communal belonging as emotionally rewarding. At the same time, they may leave the community if they so wish. International students,
humanitarian tourists, “Medieval campers”, seasonal workers,
expatriates, artists on the move, summer campers, amongst others,
represent archetypes of the kinds of communities that we are interested in.
Potential authors will be expected, amongst other things, to discuss how people create, negotiate but also combine these cocoon communities (with other forms of community) in terms of practices and discourses. The following topics may be considered:
- Are cocoon communities typical of our era?
- What sort of sociality is created in cocoon communities?
- How are cocoon communities developed, constructed and/or manifested?
- How do they impact on people’s identity? How do people identify with them? Do they accept them entirely? Are their perceptions of cocoon communities conflicting?
- What roles do the local, the global and the glocal play in these cocoon communities?
- Do ‘cocoon-communitarians’ share “Narratives”?
- What happens after cocoon communities are dismantled?
Papers presenting empirical data from various contexts (not merely
‘Western’), original community formations (i.e. ‘countercultures’) as well as theoretical discussions on the themes are welcome. Authors will be from anthropology, sociology, psychology and cultural studies.
Potential authors are invited to submit a 300-word proposal (including a few lines about the author(s)) in English to the editors by December 6th 2010 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; .rtf or .doc files only). The proposals should clearly explain the theoretical framework and concerns of the proposed chapter, and include a short description of empirical data (where applicable). A basic bibliography may also be added. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by December 20th 2010.
Full chapters are expected to be submitted by June 1st 2011.
The book is scheduled to be published in 2012. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a blind review basis.
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