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XVII World Congress of Sociology, Gothenburg, 11-17 July 2010

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The official Call for Papers for the three proposed Figurational Sociology sessions at the 2010 ISA World Congress has now been posted on the Congress website.

Please note the deadline for submission of abstracts to the session organizers – Robert van Krieken and Stephen Vertigans 1 October 2009.

The three sessions are outlined, very roughly, as follows:

Session 9: Civilization and the new world order of difference: current trends in international relations. The end of the ‘Cold War’ and subsequent decline of America’s cultural, economic and political dominance and concomitant rise of  other nations like Brazil, China, India and resurgent Russia have contributed to seismic shifts in global figurations.  In this session papers are invited that explore the consequences upon local peoples and international relations. Topics that are anticipated to be discussed include the impact upon social consciousness within communities that are experiencing enhanced national profiles, the repercussions of America’s decline within the United States and global processes and what these changes mean for international relationships and in particular different forms of social identification, global security and human rights.

Session 10: Civilization, violence and war. This session is intended to explore violence across the world in order to gain greater insight into the social processes and activities behind the behaviour.  A range of papers will be invited that will discuss state, non state and international agency violence that includes war, terrorism, genocide and ‘political’ rape.   Discussants will be expected to apply sociological reasoning in order to explain how forms of collective violence emerge and why people are able to commit these ‘uncivilized’ acts.  Participants could also consider the consequences for the ‘civilization’ in the name of which these actions are often undertaken.

Session 11: Multiple modernities, diverse identities, and the civilizing process. Just as ‘modernity’ has been shown to follow a variety of paths, and sociologists now think in terms of ‘multiple modernities’, the concept of ‘the civilizing process’ can also usefully be seen to take a variety of forms in different historical and cultural settings. This session will develop the comparative sociological analysis of civilizing processes to explore the differing forms that civilizing processes take, as well as the specific contributions that thinking in terms of ‘civilization’ can make to our understanding of the range of social and cultural identities produced, facilitated as well as undermined in the context of processes of modernisation.

Robert van Krieken