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

Research Committee on
Language and Society, RC25

  on-line programme

Main theme

The language of justice

 

Programme Coordinators



RC25 Liaison in Argentina
Claudia Fidanza, Universidad Nacional de Luján, clawdiafidanza@gmail.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

 

Analyzing Racist Discourses

Despite wreck of systems and the states, in which racism has recently been a state policy, problems connected with racism in every day life—as well as racism in public and institutional levels— remain throughout the world. Participants in this session are invited to investigate and discuss modern forms of racism and the role of a racist discourse in political and public life in modern society. It is obvious that the character of racist discourse has changed in recent years and new forms have appeared.

In particular, we seek papers that analyze racist statements of politicians, racist publications in a press, and the influence of racist discourses on public life, moods in a society, immigration/emmigration policy. In addition, this session welcomes papers on ultra-right organizations and youth involvement in them as well as racism and the internet, which is an increasingly important social resource with far-reaching consequences.

Finally, it seems essentials to work also include analyses of discursive counteractions of racism within the limits of the session at national and international levels. It is necessary to analyze successful experience of the counteraction of the above mentioned racist displaces in different countries, local communities and mass media as well. All forms of language analyses are welcome, including for example, poststructural discourse analysis, conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, critical discourse analysis and frame analysis.

 

Bilinguismo y Jerarquía Social / Bilingualism and Social Hierarchy

 

Discourse, Identity & Policy

 

Discourses of Exclusion and Resistance

The critical studies of discourse are considered `critical` since its approach is relational-dialectical, i.e., is driven to understand how the discursive element works in social practice, specifically regarding its effects on hegemonic struggles (Chouliaraki &Fairclough, 1999). A theory of social functioning of language must consider theories of the functioning of society – and a key issue when focusing on social change, is the question of the relationship between structure and action, or between society and individual (Ramalho & Resende, 2011).

Society provides conditions for human action, but only exists in human actions, which always use some form of previous social order (Bhaskar, 1998). This temporal asymmetry between structure and action implies that their relationship is not of equivalents,which leads to an intermediate organizational entity: the position-practice system. This approach allows focusing, in discursive terms, not the language itself, nor the texts alone, but the types of relationship established between social structure and discursive action in specific contexts, linked to the positions occupied in the practices performed.

This panel will explore the functioning of language regarding social problems that include social inequality, abuse of power or resistance from organized social groups. Given specific contexts and their historical contingencies, how discourse is used to maintaining domination practices related to social exclusion? On the other hand, how it functions as a focus of resistance, especially in situations of social mobilization?

Themes for paper submissions may include but are not limited to:
•Social functioning of language and research on exclusion/ resistance

• Methods for textual analysis: the texturing of exclusion and resistance

• Exclusion and resistance in the media
• Ethnography: contexts of exclusion and resistance
• Ethics in qualitative research
Analyses may include any variety of cultural, historical and political spheres, like education, work, public policies, social movements etc.

Discursos de la exclusión y la resistencia 

Los estudios críticos del discurso son considerados "críticos" ya que su enfoque es relacional-dialéctico, es decir, pretende comprender cómo el elemento discursivo funciona en la práctica social, específicamente en relación con sus efectos sobre las luchas hegemónicas (Chouliaraki y Fairclough, 1999). Una teoría de la función social del lenguaje debe tener en cuenta las teorías del funcionamiento de la sociedad - y un tema clave cuando se centra en el cambio social, es la cuestión de la relación entre estructura y acción, o entre la sociedad y el individuo (Ramalho y Resende, 2011). 

La sociedad provee las condiciones para la acción humana, pero sólo existe a través de las acciones humanas, que siempre utilizan algún tipo de orden social anterior (Bhaskar, 1998). Esta asimetría temporal entre la estructura y la acción implica que su relación no es de equivalentes, lo que conduce a una entidad intermedia de la organización: el sistema de posición-práctica.

Este enfoque permite estudiar, en términos discursivos, no sólo el lenguaje en sí mismo, ni los textos, sino el tipo de relación que se establece entre estructura social y acción discursiva en contextos específicos, vinculados a las posiciones ocupadas en prácticas particulares. 

Este panel explorará el funcionamiento del lenguaje en relación con los problemas sociales que incluyen la desigualdad social y el abuso de poder, así como la resistencia por parte de los grupos sociales organizados. Teniendo en cuenta los contextos específicos y sus contingencias históricas, ¿cómo se utiliza el discurso para el mantenimiento de las prácticas de dominación con la exclusión social? Por otro lado, ¿De qué manera funciona como un foco de resistencia, especialmente en situaciones de movilización social?



Dentro de los temas posibles, se sugieren los siguientes:


• El funcionamiento social del lenguaje y la investigación sobre la exclusión / resistencia 

• Métodos de análisis textual: la texturización de la exclusión y la resistencia 

• La exclusión y la resistencia en los medios de comunicación 

• Etnografía: contextos de exclusión y de resistencia

• La ética en la investigación cualitativa 

Los análisis pueden incluir cualquier variedad de ámbitos culturales, históricos y políticos, como la educación, el trabajo, las políticas públicas, movimientos sociales, etc.


Les discours d`exclusion et de la résistance
Les études critiques du discours sont considérés “critiques” car son approche est relationnelle-dialectique, c`est à dire, est entraîné à comprendre comment fonctionne l`élément discursif dans la pratique sociale, en particulier concernant ses effets sur les luttes hégémoniques (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999). Une théorie du fonctionnement social du langage doit prendre en compte les théories du fonctionnement de la société - et une question clé lors de la focalisation du changement social est la question de la relation entre structure et action, ou entre la société et l’individu (Ramalho & Resende, 2011).

La société offre des conditions de l`action humaine, mais n`existe que dans les actions humaines, qui utilisent toujours une certaine forme d`ordre social précédent (Bhaskar, 1998). Cette asymétrie temporelle entre la structure et l`action implique que leur relation n`est pas d`équivalents, ce qui conduit à une entité intermédiaire: le système position-pratique. Cette approche permet de se concentrer, en termes discursifs, pas à la langue elle-même, ni aux textes seuls, mais aux types de relations établies entre la structure sociale et l`action discursive dans des contextes spécifiques, liés à des positions occupées dans des pratiques particulières.

Ce panel explorera le fonctionnement du langage concernant des problèmes sociaux lies à l`inégalité sociale, l’abus de pouvoir ou la résistance de groupes sociaux organisés. Compte tenu des contextes spécifiques et de leurs contingences historiques, comment le discours est utilisé pour maintenir des pratiques de domination liés à l`exclusion sociale? D`autre part, comment il fonctionne comme un foyer de résistance, en particulier dans des situations de mobilisation sociale?

Thèmes pour les soumissions d’articles peuvent inclure, mais ne sont pas limités à:
• Le fonctionnement social du langage et la recherche sur l`exclusion/ résistance

• Méthodes d`analyse textuelle: la texturage de l’exclusion et de la résistance

• L`exclusion et la résistance dans les médias

• L`ethnographie: contextes d`exclusion et de résistance

• L`éthique dans la recherche qualitative. Analyses peuvent inclure n`importe quelle variété de sphères culturelles, historiques et politiques, comme l`éducation, le travail, les politiques publiques, les mouvements sociaux etc.

 

Empowerment, language and the body

Joint session of RC25 Language and Society [host committee] and RC54 The Body in the Social Sciences
This panel will explore discourses on the body and empowerment:
1. How discourses of construct, reproduce and contest particular conceptions of empowerment relative to the body.
2. How discourses of embodiment construct, reproduce and contest particular notions of power.

We are particularly interested in papers that explore identity formation and empowerment through analyses of language and representation and which address possibilities for social change. Analyses may include any variety of cultural, historical and political spheres. Themes for paper submissions may include but are not limited to:

 

Language and discourse in online social media

Joint session of RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture and RC25 Language and Society [host committee]
Online social media allow horizontal mediated interaction in real time across the world. The technologically-induced capacities and constraints of such interactions are drawing scholarly attention under the concept,"mediatised" communication (July 2011, Language and Communication).

This session explores mediatised language and discourse in the digitised milieu, considered at macro-, meso- or microlevels of analysis. Governments and corporations have new means to control informational content, discourse practices and language use, while their constituencies develop new means of resistance and advocacy. These innovations proceed mainly through language, creating as by-product enormous databases ("corpora") for sociological and linguistic analyses. Visual imagery and photographic presence increasingly factor into online interactions, including creation (often collaboratively, among strangers) of aesthetic, intellectual or politically-directed cultural products.

The suggested topics should stimulate, not limit, the range of submissions:
  1. The social media environment itself merits study, featuring diversity and inequalities: Do online inequalities match social divisions in geographically-circumscribed communities? Traditional bases of unequal access to information technologies might apply -- e.g., financial, disability-related, geographic, age-cohort, linguistic -- while specific parameters change.
  2. Groups and individuals enter communicative contact as never before, requiring new norms of privacy, disclosure, politeness, etc., probably triggered by communicative failures with irreversible serious consequences.
  3. Parallel social media networks reflect linguistic boundaries that are, however, becoming permeable as machine translation improves. Conversely, removing geographic barriers allows scattered small language communities to preserve threatened languages.
  4. For-profit and non-profit groups develop platforms for social media in niche markets. These platforms carry linguistic and discourse constrictions, e.g., short “tweets;” users communicate distinctively, developing "registers" and "jargons."
  5. The social organization of work reflects emerging expertise in the conditions and content of language use online, widely affecting occupational discourse styles and status-rankings -- journalists to political organizers to humanists, etc.
  6. New conditions of language use infringe on traditional linguistic authority (arbiters of "correctness"), accelerating linguistic change.
  7. The conditions of online conversations (anonymity; disembodied conversation partners ; misperceptions of alter`s characteristics) affect discourse styles, in ways needing documentation.

 

Language and Migrations/ Lengua y Migraciones

This session discusses the relationship between language, migration and social inequality. In the process of globalization language becomes a key element at the operational level due to the centrality of information and communication. Furthermore, the discourses about cultural and linguistic diversity as a source of wealth creation are becoming increasingly relevant in guiding social practices. In parallel, the conceptualization of language as human capital has been strongly developed and applied in social sciences. The assessment of linguistic capital has been measured by the income expected or obtained in the labor markets of host societies. However, immigrants and their native languages occupy a paradoxical situation in receiving societies. Their languages and varieties can operate more like an ethnic attribute through which discrimination is exercised than as a human capital remunerated at the market. From a sociological perspective, conceptual approaches to language as social or cultural capital and approaches to the relationship between immigration and language from political sociology contribute to a better understanding of this paradox.

Esta sesión debate las relaciones entre lengua, migraciones y desigualdad social. La lengua se convierte en un elemento clave a nivel operativo en el proceso de globalización debido a la centralidad de la información y de la comunicación. Además, los discursos de la diversidad lingüística y cultural como fuente de creación de riqueza adquieren una creciente relevancia en la orientación de los discursos y prácticas sociales. En paralelo, se ha desarrollado y ha ganado un importante peso en las ciencias sociales la conceptualización de la lengua como capital humano. El capital lingüístico ha sido valorado especialmente a través de las rentas esperadas u obtenidas en los mercados de trabajo de las sociedades de destino.

Sin embargo, en la organización lingüística de la sociedad los inmigrantes y sus lenguas de origen ocupan una situación paradójica. Sus lenguas y variedades pueden operar a efectos prácticos mas como un atributo étnico a través del que se ejerza la discriminación que cómo un capital humano retribuible por el mercado. Desde la perspectiva sociológica, aproximaciones conceptuales a la lengua como capital social o cultural y aproximaciones a la relación entre inmigración y lengua desde la sociología política contribuyen a una mejor comprensión de esta paradoja.

 

Lenguas Indígenas/ Indigenous Languages

 

Nationalism and Identity

Nationalist discourses construct different identities, such as nation, ethnicity and race, as objective facts that “interpellate” individuals into subject positions by resorting to particular primordialities of origins, kinship, shared language, religion, customs and tradition, as stable points of identification. They hold a particular power and mobilizing capacity not only in political rhetoric, media and public discourses, but in everyday practices in which actors engage in identity-building processes. The language of nationalism functions in terms of binary oppositions of inclusion and exclusion, but is also found to be inherently ambivalent and antagonistic, allowing for the production of certain “thresholds of meaning that can be crossed, erased or transgressed in the process of cultural production” (Bhabha 1990).

In what ways does the language of nationalism enforce commonality and create differences, and who does it exclude from the imagined community of the nation in different discursive practices?

The panel session intends to discuss issues related to the power-contested terrain of the nation, erecting boundaries and creating inequalities in terms of national belonging, race, ethnicity, gender and social class. More particularly, it will focus on the conditions and strategies utilized in creating and sustaining discourses of hatred, exclusion, marginalization and stigmatization, but also look for those particular “recesses” or “fissures,” allowing for greater agency on the part of the subaltern, as well as for “hybrid” subject positions, capable of generating different meanings and incorporating novel actors (Bhabha 1990). Therefore, our further attention will be directed to the study of the language of social justice, equality and freedom, to the discursive conditions for its enunciation as well as to the particular channels for access to representation, its proliferation, capacity for mobilization and creating bonds of solidarity serving as vehicles for social change.

Papers are invited on topics of nationalism, language, identity and inequality, which may involve some the following issues:
• Nationalist discourses, migration processes, minority problems and social exclusion;
• Hate speech and the language of social justice in political, media and public discourses;
• The role of intellectuals and their strategic positions in deconstructing nationalistic practices;
• Post-nationalism, transnationalism or identity and social justice

 

Old & New Media: Changing Public Spheres

 

RC25 Business Meeting

 

The Language of Collective Memory

Abstract: Democratization processes have been usually accompanied by concerted efforts to build a collective memory (or collective memories) of the non-democratic times that passed with the ultimate aim of achieving justice. Despite their intrinsic value, the processes of collective memory-making are complex, contentious, contradictory and long-lasting. The languages used in these efforts reflect the underlying politics of collective memory-making and the intricacies of democratization and justice struggles.

In this panel, we call for researchers who have analyzed the language of diverse expressions of such processes of collective memory-making across the world. How does language shape, mirror and/or challenge the knowledge that societies have of their non-democratic times? How do these languages of justice and processes of collective-memory making influence the development of democratic institutions and cultures? Do the languages of justice change together with the changing socio-cultural context? If so, how? How are the languages of justice related to the politics influencing the processes of collective memory-making and democratization? What are the implications of the use of various languages in collective memory-making in the achievement of justice? How do competing and complementing languages of justice affect the process of collective memory-making? These are some of the quandaries we would like to discuss in this panel with the purpose of furthering the links between sociology and public efforts of social justice and democratization.

 

The Language of Resistance: Social Change & Social Justice

 

The role of language in shaping gender justice and sexual rights movements

Joint session of RC25 Language and Society [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society
What is the importance of language in shaping gender justice and sexual rights movements in the 21st century? How do discourses concerning race, class, age and other minority statuses affect the formation of coalitions in such movements? What role does language and culture play in creating and breaking down obstacles to the goals of attaining gender justice and sexual rights? Finally, what is the place of identity in movements relating to sexuality, gender, the family, and relations of intimacy? Papers investigating gender justice and sexual rights movements may incorporate a number of methodologies, such as frame analysis, conversation analysis, feminist analysis or Critical Discourse Analysis. Topics may include but are not limited: movements relating to gender equality, same-sex partnership and parenthood, lesbian, gay and bisexual rights, human trafficking, transgender rights, sex work, sex tourism, adolescent sexuality and child abuse.

 

 

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November 2012