XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothembur, Sweden, July 2010
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Sociology in times of turmoil:

Comparative approaches

by invitations only

The Third ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations will be held at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey (May, 12-17, 2013).  The conference will be organized jointly by the ISA with the Department of Sociology, METU; Turkish Social Sciences Association and Sociological Association of Turkey. 

The theme of the conference will be “Sociology in Times of Turmoil: Comparative Approaches.”  Each National Association that is a regular collective member of the ISA is expected to send a representative who is the author or co-author of a paper connected in some way to the theme.

pdf Conference poster


The past three decades have been characterised by dramatic changes around the globe.  At least three such dimensions can be identified.  The first is primarily economic and involves the world-wide expansion of capitalism as a result of the growing integration of national economies into a global market and a predominance of economic liberalisation. The second dimension is political in nature and refers to popular revolts, demanding democratic reforms in the context of transitions from colonial/ communist/ autocratic/ authoritarian regimes.  The third dimension is social in nature and relates to policies and movements that attempt to transform unequal social relations, inherited from the past.

With the increased pace of globalization, the world has become a smaller place with changes taking place in one part of the world having ripple effects elsewhere.  While the epicentre of the economic meltdown in 2008 was located in Europe and the USA, the rest of the world did not escape its effects even if the effects were less severe and were felt somewhat later.  Other disasters have had significant global effects.  For instance, the tsunami and the resulting nuclear disaster in Japan led to a reconsideration of the use of nuclear power in other regions of the world.  New social movements addressing the problems and issues surrounding social values and social identities, such as the environmental and anti-nuclear power movements, also have become more prevalent.

The focus of our conference is on exploring ways in which sociologists deal with or respond to different forms of turmoil taking place in different parts of the world.  Since its earliest history, sociology has responded to a wide range of social and societal challenges.  The conference aims to approach these challenges by emphasizing the concrete practices and experiences of different countries, rather than seeking to make broad normative statements.  While some papers could analyse concrete cases of upheaval, protests, change or repression in particular countries or regions, others could pay attention to the impact of events on the discipline itself, its methods, theories or institutional form in universities. Therefore it is not expected that a particular paper makes comparisons between countries or regions, although that possibility is not excluded.  Comparisons will be achieved through the combined presentations of the delegates at the conference.


Local Organizing Committee

Department of Sociology, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Turkish Social Sciences Association

Sociological Association of Turkey

International Sociological Association