XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010

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Integrative Sessions


Integrative Sessions, semi-plenary sessions, held during the 3 hour morning blocs of time, 08:30-10:30, Tuesday-Friday, July 13-16, 2010, will connect at least three Research Committees, at least three National Associations, or a combination involving at least three RCs and NAs around a debate on a common theme.

A sub-committee formed by two representatives from the Research Coordinating Committee, two representatives of the National Associations Liaison Committee, the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for National Associations, in consultation with the Vice President for Programme selected the below listed 12 best proposals for integrative sessions.

Congress Programme

 

Sessions descriptions

Session 1: Social change and the mitigation of climate change: Future scenarios

Tuesday, July 13, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC24 Environment and Society, RC23 Science and Technology, RC07 Futures Research
Coordinator: Jeffrey Broadbent, University of Minnesota, USA, broad001@umn.edu

According to the overwhelming majority of climate change scientists (as represented most prominently by the reports of the IPCC), the impacts of global climate change will have increasing and profound impact on human society over the next several centuries. In response, human society must reduce (mitigate) the causes of the problem (reduce the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere). If we do not mitigate the problem, it will continue to increase in severity and eventually overwhelm our efforts to help vulnerable populations adapt to the disasters at earlier levels. To mitigate the causes of climate change, societies around the planet, especially the high industrialized countries like the US, but soon also industrializing countries like China, must quickly and radically reduce their emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG). GHG emissions are mainly due to carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels, but some also come from methane releases from large scale animal husbandry and rice farming as well as some other sources.

Managing global GHG reduction will require not only alternative energy technology, but also global cooperation, social reorganization and cultural redefinition at historically unprecedented levels. Such global climate management will require a new culture of global citizenship that instills responsibility for managing the planetary ecological systems, and new forms of trade and cooperation under new institutions that promote trust and shared burdens. Will humanity be able to rise above its petty bickering and internecine wars to meet this immense challenge? The answer is uncertain; many pathways are open. Humanity can move toward overcoming the problem by building global solidarity and cooperation. Or we can keep on with business as usual, reacting sporadically to local disasters until huge forced migrations and wars produce “adaptation apartheid” (Bishop Tutu), and eventually even these fortress societies succumb to devastation. Can we learn to govern earth systems and to steer our “Spaceship Earth” in a sustainable direction?

The three RCs each bring valuable perspectives to the consideration of this theme, with its alternative potential pathways to the future. RC24, Environmental and Society, focuses on the relation between human society and the limits of Nature, which are very evident in the climate change dilemma. RC23 Science and Technology considers both the causes and the solutions to this huge problem as they spring from human scientific ingenuity. And RC07 is practiced in projecting future trajectories from current trend, and will help us peer into the future to discern the possible consequences of our current decisions and actions on this problem. The organizer, Jeffrey Broadbent, is the organizer of global project on the sociological study of national reactions to climate change called Compon-Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks recently featured in the journal Nature. He will offer a short (5 to 7 minute) introduction to the panel sketching out the scientific projections about the effects of climate change, the range of policy options now available and the social dilemmas we face in handling them.

We would like to organize the Integrative Session by having three speakers, each representing one of the RCs. If the panel is approved, each RC will hold a special call for papers on the theme, and select the one paper that best represents a synthetic presentation of the strengths that the RC sub-discipline has to offer for the consideration of the theme. This process would produce three overview papers looking at the big picture of possible future scenarios and the social actions in the present that, from the sociological point of view, would increase the possibilities of successfully governing and mitigating global climate change over the course of the next 100 years. If the panel is 90 minutes, the introduction would be 5 to 7 minutes, each speaker would have 20 minutes to talk, and at the end, we would have 20 to 25 minutes for Q and A and discussion.

Session 2: Globalization, crisis and the actor

Tuesday, July 13, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC40 Sociology of Agriculture and Food, RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements and RC48 Research Committee on Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change
Coordinator: RC47, Henri Lustiger Thaler, USA, hlustige@ramapo.edu

This Panel explores the relationship of the social actor, globalization and crisis. We are specifically interested in the outcomes that emerge from the intersection of these articulations, such as new cultural and political orientations, novel forms of affirmation of selfhood, the shifting global construction of risk, new indicators of domination as well as the cultural and social implications of new technologies, both in communication and biology. We seek to address contemporary concerns and questions on the construction of everyday life in light of the global crisis.

While the contemporary economic crisis has had an effect on much global activity, the understanding of this crisis that concerns us is its relationship to the re-structuration of social and cultural life. This understanding allows us to articulate and analyze the systemic complexity of relations between actors and increasingly weak local, regional and global institutions.

The result has been that new cultural formations - and their accompanying conflicts and subjectivities - have assumed a wide panoply of individual sentiments as well as global attitudes. This brings into sharp focus the shifting political and cultural subject-postions of actors that are now being addressed through a still uncertain and not yet fully emerged paradigm of global to local cultural arrangements. This cultural landscape of individual sentiments and global attitudes towards "the other" covers both extremist ideologies and violence on the one hand, to new convivial senses of global community, on the other.

Understanding these developments through recourse to the traditional sociological concept of "society" is increasingly seen as only one way to comprehend new cultural arrangements of sociability and conflict. A key component of this is the ability of actors to experience themselves and "the other" through changing indices of selfhood, the experiences of spatial location, and the many intents and purpose which emerges out of this reflection and mediation. Uncertainty has both solidified and in some cases replaced the sureness of core identities, as local and regionally based institutions seek to re-invent themselves on equally uncertain global terms. We are facing a period of mounting non-correspondence, both systemically and in terms of action.

For instance, in East Asia, where export-oriented economic growth has surpassed the rest of the world, uncertainties are increasing due to the growing gap between the conventional methods of crisis management by the state, which are limited given the global scale of the crisis, and the heightened sensitivity of citizens to complex risks they face in their everyday life. Rather than remaining silent with trust invested in state power, the subjectivities of young citizens with higher education are changing rapidly partly, because they are increasingly affected by the crisis. And, their doubts and uncertainties travel quickly through on-line technologies, raising serious doubts regarding the conventional approach to risk management. This points to the seeming impossibility of resolving issues that can be properly termed as local and global in one and the same instance.

Session 3: Guidelines for teaching a globally inclusive sociology

Tuesday, July 13, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of the National Associations Liaison Committee
Coordinator: Sayed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore, socsfa@nus.edu.sg

The following proposal originated with Raewyn Connell (Australia) and emerged at the Business Meeting of the Council of National Associations in Taipei, Taiwan, March 2009. It has since been nominated by Farid Alatas (Singapore), Alice Abreu (Brazil) and Louis Chauvel (France) as a proposal from the National Associations Liaison Committee. This idea was supported and endorsed by both Michael Burawoy (VP for National Associations) and Arturo Rodriguez Morato (VP for Research).

The idea is that ISA conduct a public discussion with a view to developing protocols or standards for globally inclusive sociology relevant to courses, textbooks and on-line materials, and create an on-line collection of course guides (outlines, syllabuses, etc.), in multiple languages, which meet these standards.

With online technologies it is now possible to make accessible all manner of texts and syllabi to anyone wherever they are in the world, so they no longer need to be dependent upon existing texts. We need to be rethinking sociology from a global perspective, taking into account the ideas of Connell, Alatas and others that recognize social theory and methodologies developed in different parts of the world, but without arbitrarily marginalizing accumulated knowledge and research. In other words, the task is to globally enrich what we already have.

Session 4: Robust and fragile?: Towards a useful sociology of the economy
Wednesday, July 14, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC02 Economy and Society, RC16 Sociological Theory and RC17 Sociology of Organization

Coordinators:
RC17, Liz Mcfall, Open University, UK, e.r.mcfall@open.ac.uk
RC17, Paul du Gay, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
RC16, Phil Smith, Yale University, USA and
RC02, Sylvia Walby, University of Lancaster, UK

With economists like the Bank of England's Andrew Haldane looking to find new ways to represent the global financial crisis in terms of its ecological, epidemiological or contagious features, the time is ripe for a re-invigorated discussion of the role of sociology can play in analysing the representation, performance, organisation and regulation of the economy. Towards that end, Research Committees 17, 16 and 02, in collaboration with Routledge's Journal of Cultural Economy, have invited Richard Swedberg to lead a discussion exploring how an effective public sociology can be brought to bear in the analyses of complex crises in 'robust yet fragile' economic systems.

The session will combine strands which run, in distinctive ways, through the three Research Committees’ agendas for Gothenburg. The financial crisis looms large in RC02 with a particular focus on developing the sociology of financial markets to help unravel the complex ‘tipping point’ causes of crises. In RC17 there is a related concern with capturing the momentum within an economic sociology enlivened both by theoretical debates about performativity and by the dynamic crises in financial markets. Within RC16 questions about performance, power and performative failure, crucial to a developing sociology of crises, take centre-stage. All three Committees share an interest in refining a model of performative effects, failures and limits, as part of a more pragmatic, public sociology.

Session 5: Rational choice approaches to educational inequality and social stratification
Wednesday, July 14, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC04 Sociology of Education, RC28 Social Stratification and RC45 Rational Choice
Coordinators:
RC45, Yoshimichi Sato, Tohoku University, Japan, ysato@sal.tohoku.ac.jp
RC04, Jeanne Ballantine, Wright State University, USA, and
RC28, Meir Yaish, University of Haifa, Israel

This integrative session fills the gap between statistical analysis and formal models in the study of educational inequality and social stratification. Research on educational attainment, transition from school to work, and status attainment has accumulated a wealth of empirical findings based on rigorous statistical analysis. However, the research has not fully contributed to the grounding of formal models that explain these findings. Rational choice theory could solve this problem because the educational and status attainment processes are conceptualized as the processes in which individuals try to maximize returns under structural constraints such as social origin, education, and their locations in the labor market. Rational choice theory, among other theoretical models, could be one of the promising tools which offer an explanation of the processes.

Some excellent models based on rational choice theory have been proposed such as Breen and Goldthorpe’s on educational inequality and Bruch and Mare’s on residential segregation. Founded on these theoretical developments, this integrative session invites papers that advance the frontiers of research on educational inequality and social stratification by enhancing dialogue between three research areas—education, social stratification, and rational choice.

The three research committees have established and endorsed this session and will form a task force to organize the session. With the cooperation of the three research committees, this session will be a wonderful opportunity to advance our understanding of not only the educational and status attainment processes but also general social mechanisms that generate inequality.

Session 6: Worlds of difference: El papel de las asociaciones de sociología en el desarrollo de la sociología en América Latina: limitaciones y promesas

Wednesday, July 14, 08:30-10:30
Sesión de integración de Consejo de Profesionales en Sociología en Argentina, Asociación Mexicana de Sociología, Asociación Brasileña de Sociología, Asociación de Sociología de Venezuela, Asociación Latinoamericana de Sociología
Coordinadores: Alicia Itatí Palermo, Consejo de Profesionales en Sociología, Argentina, apalermo@sinectis.com.ar y Alberto Baialakovsky, ALAS, albiala@gmail.com

En el XXVII Congreso de Sociología de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Sociología se realizó una reunión de las asociaciones de sociología de Latinoamérica, en el cual pudo visualizarse el distinto nivel de desarrollo de cada una de estas asociaciones.
Estas diferencias se vinculan con distintos factores, entre los cuales se encuentran las diferentes condiciones sociales, políticas y económicas y el desigual desarrollo de la sociología en los países latinoamericanos.
En esta reunión se constituyó una red latinoamericana de asociaciones de sociología, con el propósito, entre otros, de identificar los problemas y limitaciones de las asociaciones para definir los retos y desafíos de la sociología Latinoamericana.
En la sesión propuesta profundizaremos la discusión de este punto.

Session 7: Narratives, citizenship, health, and social change

Thursday, July 15, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations, RC15 Sociology of Health, RC38 Biography and Society
Coordinators:
RC05, Corinne Squire, University of East London, UK, c.squire@uel.ac.uk
RC05, Zlatko Skrbis, University of Queensland, Australia
RC05, Nira Yuval-Davis, University of East London, UK
RC15, Mark Davis, Monash University, Australia
RC15, Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester, UK
RC38, Matti Hyvarinen, University of Tampere, Finland
RC38, Gabriele Rosenthal, Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany

Research about social relations is centrally concerned with tensions between social structure and individual agency. A key focus of such concern is social change. How do people negotiate social change effectively, in personal lives as well as social relations?
Narratives’ ubiquity, and their expression and encouragement of change, make them an important area of research on relations between individuals and social change. Such research often addresses what narratives contain, rather than how they work. This session investigates ways in which personal narratives establish social engagement by deploying particular rhetorical strategies.

RC38 contributes to the session’s focus on narrative negotiations of social change, elucidating how contemporary personal stories may construct and consolidate larger social stories. RC05 shares the session’s concerns with changing formations of 'race' and ethnicity, nationalism and transnationalism. RC15 brings to the session interests in everyday representations of health, and in new, biological forms of citizenship.

The session begins with Siyanda Ndlovu’s (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) examination of personal narratives of citizens and migrants in South Africa and the UK, negotiating intersecting, relatively autonomous discourses of ‘race,’ nation and ‘blackness.’ Women’s narrative strategies around nation are significantly different, argues Cigdem Esin (University of East London, UK), describing Turkish women’s stories building on emancipatory nationalist narratives to include female sexuality.
Contemporary citizenship includes the biological alongside the political. Corinne Squire (University of East London, UK) examines how people living with HIV in the UK and South Africa generate story genres of HIV citizenship differentiated by nation, citizenship status, ‘race’ and gender, but also by health status. How do personal narratives negotiate biological citizenship in less-studied online media? Mark Davis (Monash University, Australia) discusses how Australian web narratives displace and translate biological and health concerns.

Addressing more privatised health realms, Margareta Hydén (Linkoping University, Sweden) explicates how evaluative structures in Swedish women’s abuse stories relate to the women’s social connectedness. Finally, Laura Clarke and Andrea Bunden (University of British Columbia, Canada) examine how Canadians' stories of ageing and chronic illness narrate agency, alongside the present and future realities of their bodies.

Session 8: The changing role of grandparents across diverse societies

Thursday, July 15, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committees RC06 Family Research, RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC53 Sociology of Childhood
Coordinators:
RC11, Sara Arber, University of Surrey, UK, S.Arber@surrey.ac.uk
RC06, Rudolf Richter, University of Vienna, Austria
RC53, Doris Bühler-Niederberger, University of Wuppertal, Germany

The session on ‘The Changing Role of Grandparents across Diverse Societies’ will examine transformations in grandparent roles due to changing family models, requirements of the labour market, economic pressures, migration, and changes in welfare regimes, which may all require new intergenerational solidarities. Such solidarities may be realized in contrasting household structures, such as three-generation (or four-generation) families, various types of extended family households or in separate households.

The session discusses grandparental support in cases of women's paid employment (as ‘mother-savers’), grandparent's role where the parent generation cannot care for their children (as ‘child-savers’), the impact of globalisation/migration on family relationships and grandparent roles (as ‘family-savers’), and the impact of (missing) welfare state regulations. A key theme is the ‘gendering’ of generational relations in terms of differential roles of grandmothers and grandfathers, and how grandparents influence children’s socialization. The grandparents’ role and contribution is examined from the perspectives of grandchildren, parents and grandparents themselves.
The cooperation of these three RC’s allows discussion of the problem using a broader framework. The significance of grandparents and their contribution to the younger generation is analyzed with a three-fold interest: social integration of older people, children’s socialization in different circumstances and family re-adjustment following diverse societal transformations.

Session 9: Sociological challenges to development, inequality, recognition and environmental degradation in the global South
Thursday, July 15, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of the Brazilian Sociological Society, South African Sociological Association, Indian Sociological Society, Research Committee RC07 Futures Research and RC21 Regional and Urban Development

Coordinators:
BSS, Celi Scalon, Brazilian Sociological Society, celiscalon@gmail.com
SASA, Wilson Akpan, University of Forthare, South Africa
ISS, Ishwar Modi, International Institute of Social Sciences, India
RC07, Markus S. Schulz, New York University, USA
RC21, Kuniko Fujita, Michigan State University, USA

The aim of the Integrative Session that joins Brazilian Sociological Society, South African Sociological Association, Indian Sociological Society, RC21 and RC07 is to discuss the intersections of inequality, development, recognition and environment, against the background that the process of development must be accompanied by efforts for redistribution and recognition, in order to enhance the quality of social existence for the population, and particularly for marginalized groups, including ethnic and racial minorities. Therefore, the Session goes beyond a south-south coalition based on politico-commercial interests. It aims to explore the paths of modernization, drawing attention to the contradictions of the development process with specific reference to the deep-rooted inequalities, extreme levels of poverty, social injustice and environmental degradation that Brazil, India, and South Africa confront today. A key question is how to connect development to equity and mutual recognition, i.e. to inclusive future visions of better living conditions for all?
It is a widely acknowledged fact that development is a necessary but not sufficient condition for reaching equity. Latin America had experienced in the 1970s tremendous economic growth, increased industrialization and urbanization, nonetheless, income inequality was probably greater than it had ever been. Nowadays, a different story is being written, but with a very similar plot. Brazil, India and South Africa have gone through impressive development in the past few decades; however it has not brought about better social conditions for the majority.
Our focus is to place this discussion at the centre of south-south relations. The convergence of commercial interests leading to multilateral trade negotiations between India, Brazil and South Africa was consolidated in the so called IBSA. Yet, the three countries share much more than economic interests. They have the common social challenge of tackling inequalities, reversing the spiral of poverty, stemming the tide of violent grassroots protest and addressing the problem of environmental degradation - all of which seem to have accompanied the spectacular economic growth witnessed in these countries over the years.

The Session will feature, as speakers, sociologists from the three countries, the RC21 Regional and Urban Development and the RC07 Futures Research, joined by the presidents and secretary of the respective national associations and the presidents of the research committees.

Session 10: Islam and power

Friday, July 16, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of Research Committee RC22 Sociology of Religion, Thematic Group TG02 Historical and Comparative Sociology, Australian Sociological Association, Croatian Sociological Association and Association for the Study of Persianate Societies.
Coordinators:
RC22, Adam Possamai, University of Western Sydney, Australia, A.Possamai@uws.edu.au
RC22, Roberto Blancarte, El Colegio de México, México
TG02, Said Arjomand, Stony Brook University, USA
CSA, Sinisa Zrinscak, University of Zagreb, Croatia
TASA, Michael Gilding, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
ASPS, Rudi Matthee, Association for the Study of Persianate Societies

Islam is the epitome of a religion on the move in the 21st century. Through the flow of capital, identities, culture and migration processes, this is a religion in constant flux within and across Christian, Muslim and/or secularist states. From a theological perspective, Islam has been criticised and supported by both insiders and outsiders alike as a religion that has difficulty coming to terms with an ever changing world. From a sociological perspective, these tensions have led to demonstrations of power from and against the state, civil society and various Muslim and non-Muslim social movements/networks. These 21st century demonstrations of power require further analysis from a sociological and global perspective.

Sociology is in a more than adequate position to analyse these shifts and this integrative session invites internationally recognised scholars in the field of religion to discuss issues of power both imposed from above and contested from below. These speakers have experience in various regions of the world such as the Middle East, South-East Asia, Europe, Australia, and the United States. Said Arjomand’s (State University of New York, USA, paper will give a socio-historical account of these patterns and will cement the issues under discussion. Bryan Turner (University of Western Sydney, Australia) and Riaz Hassan (Flinders University, Australia), will focus on power issues with regards to the state and civil society. Inger Furseth (KIFO Centre Church Research, Norway), will develop these themes at the grassroots by focusing on migrant Muslim women in secular society.

Session 11: Globalization and changing East Asian societies: China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan

Friday, July 16, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of the Japan Sociological Society, Korean Sociological Association and Taiwanese Sociological Association
Coordinator: Noriko Iwai, Osaka University of Commerce, Japan, n-iwai@tcn.zaq.ne.jp

In order to capture the continuous changes of society, there has been a movement in East Asia to launch nation-wide repeated general social survey projects and provide the data to the academic circles for secondary analysis. Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS) started in 1984, so did Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS) in 2000, and Korean General Social Survey (KGSS) and Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) in 2003. At the end of 2003, these four research teams together launched the East Asian Social Survey (EASS) project in order to examine the synchronization and/or diversification of social changes in East Asia. Four teams made a common module which is to be included in questionnaires of four teams. The theme for the first survey (EASS 2006) is “Family,” for the second survey (EASS 2008) is “Culture and Globalization,” and for the third survey (EASS 2010) is “Health and Society.” These data allow us to examine empirically the impact of globalization in East Asian societies and their reactions toward globalization based on each society’s socio-cultural traditions. Such attempts will facilitate the reexaminations of the methods and theories for social changes.

In the present session, we will specifically discuss the following topics:

    1. global behavior among China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan
    2. globalization and social network in China
    3. intergenerational relations in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; and
    4. social stratification in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.


Session 12: Recent migrations in southern European societies: issues, impacts and challenges
Friday, July 16, 08:30-10:30
Integrative session of RESU, network of the national associations of Southern Europe: France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain
Coordinator: Dan Ferrand-Bechmann, Université Paris 8, France, bechmann.cesol@wanadoo.fr

Session 13: BRIC sociology: business meetings
Friday, July 16, 08:30-10:30
Coordinator: Tom DWYER, Brazil, tom@unicamp.br
The consequences of the rise of the BRICs for the development of sociology.
Business Meeting of the Chinese Sociological Association, Indian Sociological Society, Russian Society of Sociologists, Brazilian Sociological Society

The emergence of the notion of BRICs means that all of our sociologies must look at the world in a different way. This can be illustrated with reference to five quick points.
1. For so long in sociologies in the BRIC countries have looked towards the West for new ideas. Now we must do something for which we have no preparation, learn about each other and build a new pole of reference. Business, natural sciences, sport and cultural exchange between our countries are accelerating (albeit in an uneven fashion) as is cooperation in various areas like environment, food production, aerospace etc. Sociology has a role in building understandings of these diverse exchanges, which constitute a new dimension of globalisation, not focused upon in dominant traditions of sociological studies.
2. It is important to understand where our intellectual histories have intersected in the past, as this will permit to think about the future. Beyond acquiring knowledge of intellectual histories and associated concepts, we must seek to provide satisfactory descriptions and answers to key questions relating to the different development paths that our countries have taken, and their links to politics, economics and for the lives of citizens.
3. Originally the very notion of BRICs was greeted with considerable skepticism by most sociologists in the member countries. Since the world financial crisis it seems that the notion has become an ideology, which represents at the common interests of four very large developing countries with very big populations, and simultaneously reflects the increasing economic interdependence of these countries (eg. both Russia and Brazil are important raw materials suppliers to both China and India, both of which are increasingly sell manufactured products).
4. Whether we sociologists and our respective governments like it or not, it is highly likely that our countries will increasingly trade and exchange information. As contact intensifies we shall become far more aware of our differences. If the populations of our countries, and particularly leading political and international actors, do not get to know each other better, and learn to respect each other, conflicts of the most diverse types will occur. The study of emergent conflicts appears as a fertile area for BRIC sociology to make a contribution.
5. Modest but increasing efforts are being made by funding agencies, ministeries and scientific elites to promote exchanges between scientists in the BRIC countries. Building sociological understandings of these exchanges should make a contribution not only to the sociology of science, but to scientific policy development in all our countries.

The emergence of BRICs should have long term consequences for: 1. teaching curriculums 2. scientific publication 3. social theory 4. scientific exchanges. The rise of common concerns and agendas among sociologists in the BRIC countries will contribute to changing the international face of the discipline.

These and many other intellectual challenges force sociologists, wherever they may be, to think about the moving terrain of the discipline. It is our belief that national sociological associations have a role to play in leading the organization of agendas that will establish comparative research projects and meaningful scientific exchange. These will be necessary in order in order to confront the complex intellectual challenges that the emergence of the BRICs pose.