Second ISA Forum of Sociology, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August 2012

Research Committee on
Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management, RC10

  on-line programme

Main theme

Participation and democracy in a globalizing world

 

Programme Coordinators



RC10 Liaison in Argentina
Denise Kasparian, Universidad de Buenos Aires, denise.kasparian@gmail.com

Volunteer at the venue
Maite Greaves, maitegreaves@hotmail.com

Deadlines

All Forum participants (presenters, chairs, discussants, etc.) need to pay the early registration fee by April 10, 2012, in order to be included in the programme. If not registered, their names will not appear in the Programme or Abstracts Book.

Sessions

provisional as of March 15, 2012, in alphabetical order

 

Cooperatives/social economy in the new millennium

This session seeks papers that consider the issues of participation and democracy in relation to cooperatives and social economy in the new millennium. Are cooperatives and social economy a utopian perspective or a viable possibility for addressing concerns associated with the mainstream economic and social organization? Contributions analyzing experiences of how social economy and cooperatives function in diverse contexts across the world are welcome.

 

Diversity of civic participation patterns in a globalizing world. Part I

The process of global transformation is accompanied by various consequences within economic, political and social spheres of contemporary societies. One of the globalists’ fundamental theses assumes that alongside the growth of the free flow of goods, ideas and people, potential possibilities of citizens to subjectively participate in shaping political and social structures increase too. In other words, the greater range of freedom and smaller pressure from the state structures put the blocked individual potential in motion and contribute to the increase of common good and democracy.

On the other hand, the proponents of conservative ideology point to the fact that the processes of globalisation, mainly the declining role of the national state and the growing role of freedom of individuals unprepared for making civic use of it, leads to quite opposite results. Normative system undergoes differentiation and relativisation, whereas social life becomes increasingly privatised and, consequently, public sphere becomes to break down.

A number of researchers provide empirical evidence of the decline of participation in the public sphere. The widely known publication by Putnam (2001) illustrates the complexity of this process in reference to the U.S. society, both on the national and local levels. There is also evidence from the European research pointing to the complexity of the phenomenon of civic participation in terms of the level of participation, patterns of participation and its determinants ( Skocpol,Florina,1999, Rosthstein 2002; Hall 2002; Li, Savage, Pickles 2002, Badescu, 2003; Uslaner 2003; Starosta 2010).

It needs to be stressed, however, that the analyses of civic participation conducted to date have most frequently referred to comparison of situation in different countries or different urban settings (Fung 2006). Less attention has been devoted to the transformations taking place in rural environments of different countries. Rural sociologists are interested more in the issues of rural communities` participation in development programmes than they are in the routine political behaviours. They frequently use case studies instead of survey databases. For political sociologists, in turn, rural parts of their societies are usually a less interesting subject of research due to their smaller significance as a national political force.

The papers in this session will aim to discuss and answer three main problem questions:
  1. What is the general level of civic participation in different countries?
  2. What patterns of civic participation dominate in contemporary societies?
  3. What are the major determinants of civic participation? In other words which of the models explaining differentiation of civic participation mentioned in the literature (Socio Economic Status Model; Social Capital Attachment Model, Rational Choice theory Model, Civic Voluntarism Model or Socialization Model) is best fitted to explain the changeability of civic participation?
Civic participation is understood here in a similar way to behavioural approach (Pattie, Seid, Whiteley, 2003) as an activity which is performed by citizens’ actions in the public, political and associational spheres. Such an approach suspends the role of individuals’ mental attitudes towards the civic society sphere and their reception of it displayed by an interest in political, public and associational issues.

Proposed analyses may refer to the three levels of civic participation: local, regional and national. Comparative analyses are highly desirable. As far as methodology is concerned, both qualitative and quantitative analyses will be accepted.

 

Diversity of civic participation patterns in a globalizing world. Part II

 

Ibero-American views on participation, social justice and democracy

The aim of this session is to explore the particular approaches to the issues of participation, social justice and democracy that stem from the experiences of Ibero-American countries.

 

Participation and cultural sociology of the life course. Part I

Joint session of RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging
The session invites papers that will apply a cultural sociological framework (including theories of Clifford Geertz and Jeffrey Alexander, among others) to studying the culturally constructed self-stereotypes, meanings, and images of aging both within and between different countries, and ways in which meanings of aging may influence physical, mental, and social health at different stages of the life course. The meanings of life course transitions, and the markers of successful passage from one stage of life to the next in the time frame that is considered culturally appropriate are shaping ways in which people conceive of aging. There is emerging research evidence that demonstrates that positive self-stereotypes of aging are associated with better health outcomes in later life; however further research is wanted to uncover ways in which self-stereotypes of aging are formed at different life course stages, and to investigate what health outcomes -- physical, mental, or social -- are influenced by these self-stereotypes the most.

These questions are very relevant as all the societies of the global communities are facing the issues of population aging, with the associated concerns about the need to ensure that the growing numbers of older adults may age in a healthy state and lead lives full of dignity and meaning. Papers in this session will throw light on cultural processes whereby images and self-stereotypes of aging are constructed and impact health in different societies. Both papers that focus on a specific country and those that make cross-cultural comparisons are welcome.

 

Participation and cultural sociology of the life course. Part II

Joint session of RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging

 

Participation and its relationship to social justice and democracy. Part I

This session invites papers that explore from a variety of perspectives the conceptual issues related to participation and its relationship to social justice and democratic governance, with regards to different interdependent stakeholders both within an organization, and in the community where an organization is embedded, that include, but are not limited to, employees, managers, owners of different caliber, and citizens.

 

Participation and its relationship to social justice and democracy. Part II

 

RC10 Business Meeting

 

Round Table Social justice and participation: The role of higher education. Part I

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee]
The purpose of the session is to continue the debate and exchange started during the conference jointly organized by RC4 and RC10 in 2011 on the issue. Papers are invited that consider ways in which higher education plays a role in facilitating social justice and democratic participation, and ways in which hurdles in access to higher education and inequalities may hinder social justice and participation. Papers may consider issues of higher education, social justice, and participation in particular regions or countries, as well as make cross-cultural comparisons.

 

Round Table Social justice and participation: The role of higher education. Part II

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee]

 

Round Table Social justice and participation: The role of higher education. Part III

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee]

 

Social justice and democratization through participation and/or self-management?

The aim of this session is to explore past, present and future relevance of participation and self-management theory and practice in the historical circumstances of global accumulation of capital systemic crisis and search for alternatives to unjust, exploitative, oligarchic and ecologically destructive commodity market production on privatized means of production for private profit. Theoretical and empirical contributions are called for that would critically analyze one or both of the following problems and draw relevant lessons for the future: - Past (Paris Commune, ex-Yugoslavia, Lip…) and present (Argentina, Venezuela…) self-management attempts to overcome class division of labor - Past and present attempts of global financial oligarchy to instrumentalize participation as an organizational technology for reduction of its management costs and for domestication of the labor force

 

Social participation and the economic and social crisis

 

 

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November 2012