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

Research Committee on
Social Classes and Social Movements, RC47

  on-line programme

Main theme

Subjective affirmation, social movement changes and construction of democracy


Programme Coordinators

Programme committee members:

RC47 Liaison in Argentina
Candela Hernández, Universidad de Buenos Aires,

Volunteer at the venue
Violeta Dikenstein,


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.


provisional as of March 15, 2012, in alphabetical order


Anti-nuclear movements after Fukushima disaster

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the anti-nuclear power movements have been successful. In the 2000`s, however, pro-nuclear power voices came back with the increasing energy crisis. Then, the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents recharged anti-nuclear movements worldwide, opposing the nuclear power industry`s renaissance. This session is designed to collect presentations on anti-nuclear concerns about nuclear weapons as well as nuclear power. The following topics are to be included in this session: anti-nuclear power conflicts; anti-nuclear weapons movements; peace/anti-war movements; governmental policies on nuclear power; alternative energy movements


Authors meets actors: Dialogues between academia and Latin American social movements

The latest congresses of the International Sociological Association have included sessions with an interesting format: “Author meets their critics”. This panel proposes another kind of dialogue with the format "Authors meets actors". The main reason for this dialogue lies in the importance of an epistemological discussion on how the production of knowledge on social movements and from social movements interacts. What are the tensions and feedbacks between the more academic debate on the movement and the internal process of generating knowledge? What are the differences and similarities between the research topics of interest in the academy and the main issues that encourage activists in their own research and self-reflection? How to interpret the process of both production and reproduction of knowledge about/with/from social movements in a context of increasing transnational activist spaces of formation and education? The panel seeks to explore this and other related questions through social movement researcher and activists from Argentina and potentially from elsewhere in the world, with a special focus on Latin America.


Bridging sociologies. Globalisation, cosmopolitanism and the individual

This panel explores a tripartite process of change, captured in the decline of the nation state, galloping internal and external globalisation, and the rise of individualism as seen through the quest for personal and human rights. Questions abound at the intersection of this triple movement: in French sociology the concept of the Subject and its relationship to socialization and collective action comes to the fore; in the Anglo-Germanic literature, the new cosmopolitanism suggests a break from guiding sociological precepts of the nation-state and idea of society itself. Globalization in its many hybrid forms recasts the realm of private autonomy and self-creation in the face of the forces of systemic socialization: hence a needed elaboration of the Subject and the Cosmopolite. Two eminent scholars will be invited to address each of the concepts, their similarities and dissimilarities. An eminent critical discussant will do an assessment of the contributions.


Civil society against violence

This panel will focus on the struggles of social movements and civil-society actors more generally against the violence generated by authoritarian states, civil wars, and drug trafficking. How do social actors and civil society attempt to stop violence? In what contexts and to what extent have their efforts been successful? Some mobilizations against state violence have played a key role in the collapse of dictatorial regimes, notably in Argentina. In other cases, when violence does not leave much space for mass mobilizations, cultural, expressive and artistic forms of resistance have nevertheless been emerging. The panel welcomes contributions drawing on case studies in Latin America and other regions.


Climate justice, âbuen vivirâ and voluntary simplicity: New lifestyles and political commitments

Joint session of RC24 Environment and Society and RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements [host committee]
Across the world, social actors are showing growing concern about global warming and environmental devastations. While international institutions seem unable to cope with these challenges, grass-roots actors and activists’ networks are mobilizing support for a global agreement aiming at environmental protection and are developing alternative practices and visions of the world. The concept of ‘buen vivir’ illustrates the notable contribution of Latin American indigenous communities to the debate. In Europe and North America, citizens have appropriated alternative lifestyles, consuming less natural resources. This panel will focus on citizens’ initiatives and social movements envisioning to deal with environmental issues both by developing alternative lifestyles and promoting active participation in public debates.


Conflicts, social movements and democracy in the global era

This “Conflicts, social movements and democracy in the global era” panel is based on an ongoing collective research focusing on Latin-American social conflicts and their relations with democratization processes and globalization. Its main goal is to seize the opportunity opened by AIS’ Buenos Aires Forum 2012 in order to compare and confront Latin-American experiences in this field with perspectives emerging from other regions of the world. During the last decade, and more specifically in the context of the crisis irrupting in 2008, new social mobilisations of great magnitude have been multiplying in Europe, North America and throughout the Arabic-Muslim world. These mobilizations may be characterized by their great difficulty to impose the new political culture they bear on political systems and institutional channels alike. In Latin America, social mobilizations present, in their articulations to democratization processes, a greatly diversified array of exits, semi-exits and failures…The phenomenon cannot be analysed in the sole perspective of national societies, without situating it in its relations to global flux (finances, migrations, underground economies and drug trafficking, new information and communication technologies, cultural and religious productions). The goal of this panel is to take a distance from a certain “methodological nationalism” as well as “regional” one, by placing fieldwork research and discussions in the course of a reflection about the capacity of being actors, the orientations and significations of current conflicts, as well as on the prospects for democracy in the globalization context.


Forms of social justice: Localism and globalism in Asian context

Forms and practice that seek social justice vary. Global justice movement - anti/alter globalization movement triggered off by the neoliberal practice by the transnational institutions - is among the most popular categories of resistance in recent social movement history. However, alter/anti-globalization movement does not appear to be scattered evenly around the globe. National traits, socio-cultural characteristics, and tradition of resistance that dictate the form of resistance differ in from one country to another and from regions to regions. Popular demand for social justice takes diverse forms, depending on ever changing balance of localism and globalism on which resistance action takes place. Asia is no different. A global wave to call for anti/alter globalization movement has arrived in some Asian countries, but its actual enactment is done within the confinement of the local. For example, a mixed use of traditions and new innovative measures began to be employed in the pursuit of workers’ rights and human rights. Resistance started to emerge where little turbulence existed before. Action takes on a newly intensified cultural battlefield. A broader aim of this section is to enrich a comparative perspective in social movement studies, offering insights from Asian practice alongside those from Latin American practice that will be explored in other sections in this RC47. In this section, we seek to capture a modern development of social justice movement in Asia, by highlighting a new orientation in the forms and claims of action as well as the sources of the social injustice.


Latin American social movements and social justice in the Global South

The aim of this session is to discuss some central issues of contemporary Latin American social movements, with a focus on the relationship between social movement practices and the reconfiguration of regional scenario. The panel also seeks to explore transnational activism and social and cultural articulations that connect Latin America with process of transformation and social justice in the Global South.


New trends and theoretical approach in the field of social mobilizations and social change

Joint session of RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements and RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change [host committee]
The aim of this session is to reflect about specific case-studies that have been analysed through theoretical frameworks that try to go beyond current theories usually applied in the field of collective action and social movements. In special, we are looking for works that (a) combine different theoretical perspectives in an original way, (b) compare different researches and offer new interpretations of highly studied phenomena and (c) analyse new forms of mobilization that question the current frameworks. We are not looking for a bibliographical discussion of basic theories to spot their insufficiencies. Our objective is to look for new theoretical interpretations supported by a solid and structured analysis of empirical available –and specifically compiled- evidences.


Radical movements examine a political and social order

One of the main goals of the session on radical movements would be to interrogate on the sense of engagement and functioning of diverse radical movements in the contemporary world. We would welcome the authors of the papers on radical movements, understood in a very large sense - socio-political, cultural/artistic activity and expression, including the use of Internet – according to such kind of movements as: extreme right/left, anti-racist (or antifascist) and anarchist movements and recent Arab democratization protestations, etc. To enlarge our reflection on the racial contemporary movements the researchers from all parts of the world are encouraged to present their papers. In each case we would like to ask the authors to present the reaction and the position of the contemporary State and its society to the activity of the radical movement on its territory. In which way the radical movements represent the danger for the democratic society ? And on the other side, in which way their examine its defects (such as the social injustices and inequalities) and also its transformation? One of the main theme of this session will be to debate on the role and place of violence (symbolic/physical violence, using of arms, etc.) in the ideology and practice of such social movements that could be defined as radical.


RC47 Business Meeting


Social Movement 2.0

Recent years have seen a clear shift in modes of organizing and acting in contemporary movements, with a focus on on-line blogging platforms, Facebook and Twitter. These do not involve a retreat into the ‘virtual’, but are closely associated with forms of sensual politics, from the occupation of spaces to other forms of embodied experience and dispositions. The paradigm of organization, member and identity appears to be giving way to a new mode of constituting collective experience, where digital technologies intersect with new practices of embodied presence. This panel explores the extent we are witnessing the emergence of new types of movements associated with new forms of public sphere, and will focus in particular on methodological issues linked to how to research such forms of action and movement.


Urban movements in the new metropolitan context

Joint session of RC21 Regional and Urban Development and RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements [host committee]
It seems that the diversity of urban movements has increased a great deal over the last thirty years. This could be explained among other things by the expansion and fragmentation of urban landscape in reference to the emergence of ‘new metropolises’.

To what extent are urban movements able to challenge and/or adjust their actions to these urban forms? For example, do their interventions are increasingly articulated to multi-scalar politics that are accompanying metropolitan governance? In that respect, to what extent one can say that their current mobilizations are moving beyond the localism that have often characterized their engagement in the past, as this was often criticized for limiting their political impact? Is it possible to relate urban mobilizations to issues of social justice and democratization? Do urban movements create innovative forms of internal organization?

This panel will explore the new forms of social mobilization that urban movements are defining in different social, cultural, economic and political contexts. The particular conditions created by the global economic reorganization will be especially considered.


When, where, and how do movements matter? Consequences of social movements

How do social movements matter? What sort of changes and consequences do movements produce, how do they produce these outcomes, and under what conditions are movement-induced changes most likely to occur? While still representing a disproportionately small fraction of social movement studies, research on the outcomes of movements has increased over the past decade. However, we have only just begun to unravel the social movement-social change equation. This session is open to research on social movement consequences (political, including social justice and democratization, economic, cultural, and life-course/biographical) in a variety of different world contexts. We welcome analyses on the collective means of bringing about social change and on different types of change, including magnitude, direction, duration, mediating conditions central to the social movement—social change relationship. We also encourage papers that address the conceptual and methodological challenges one faces when analyzing dynamic social change process and the theoretical implications of the movement—change nexus.


¿Repolitización de las movilizaciones sociales en América Latina?




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November 2012