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

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Research Committee on
Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations RC05

Programme Coordinator
Peter Ratcliffe, University of Warwick, UK, peter.ratcliffe@warwick.ac.uk

Congress Programme

Sessions descriptions


Session 1: Transnational social imaginaries: racial, ethnic and religious routes and barriers. Part I
Organizers: Caroline Knowles, Dep. of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, c.knowles@gold.ac.uk and Mette Andersson, Dep. of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway, Mette.Andersson@rokkan.uib.no
This session will build on scholarship on modern social imaginaries and transnationality. We will be concerned with various social and political inscriptions, as well as projects, among migrants, travellers and second generation immigrants. In addition to ethnicity and nationality as central categories for transnational imaginaries, we are concerned with antiracism, music, travelling and religion as alternative spaces of identification, networking and politics.
We welcome papers focussing on various aspects of transnational imaginaries, and especially papers utilising visual sociology.

Session 2: Diaspora? (Im)migration? Transnationalism?
Organizers: Ann Denis, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, adenis@uottawa.ca, and Ulrike M. Vieten, Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands, UM.Vieten@fsw.vu.nl
In this session we are interrogating the concepts of diaspora, (im)migration and transnationalism as useful tools for the analysis of the movement of peoples since the end of the Second World War, but especially since around the turn of the millennium. Scholars such as Brah suggest that increasing facility (and complexity) of population movement means that the relatively static concepts of migration/immigration should be replaced by more fluid ones, such as diaspora (or diaspora space) and transnationalism. Concepts of diaspora and transnationalism invite an intersectional analysis, but so too, it can be argued, do those of migration and immigration, since the very nature of these phenomena and how they are experienced (either individually or collectively) is informed by the multiple positionalities of the individuals or groups engaging in them. In addition, notions of (social) mobility and (cross border) migration have to be revisited since, in the 21st century, changing place unfolds in newly classed and legally prescribed social positions of individuals and communities. This session invites theoretical/conceptual and/or empirical analyses which address these issues, and which include intersectionality in the way the analysis is framed.

Session 3: Business Meeting
in continuation: Reception

Session 4: Public space and issues of social integration. Part I
Organizer: Karin Peters, Wageningen University, Netherlands, Karin.Peters@wur.nl
Giving meaning to multiculturalism and the negotiation of multiple cultural identities occurs in public spaces. ‘Public space is a space of presence, recognition, participation and citizenship (.. the means by which difference is negotiated, affirmed or contested’ (Wood and Gilbert, 2005: 686). It is continuously produced and reproduced through the dynamic interconnections between and among places and social relations (Massey, 1992). Public spaces are for two reasons important for understanding issues of social integration. First, public spaces are sites of representation of a multicultural society. Second, public spaces test the relationships between the members of such a society (Kilian, 1998, in: Wood and Gilbert, 2005).
In recent decades, thinking on public spaces can be divided into two differing views. The first can be characterised as the decline of public space (Sennett, 1974) stemming from privatisation and regulation. The second focuses on the possibilities of public spaces serving a diverse group of people and facilitating the display of identities (Dines and Cattell, 1996; Merrifeld, 1996). This apparent paradox is of interest since public spaces are supposed to play a role in processes of integration of ethnic minorities into western societies.
We invite papers relating issues of ethnicity and migration to place and space in terms of attachment, processes of exclusion, belonging, etc. The following topics and issues can be discussed:

Session 5: Transnational social imaginaries: racial, ethnic and religious routes and barriers. Part II
Organizers: Caroline Knowles, Dep. of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, c.knowles@gold.ac.uk and Mette Andersson, Dep. of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway, Mette.Andersson@rokkan.uib.no

Session 6: Roundtable. What is the point of our work? A critical reflection on the current state of the discipline
Organizer: Peter Ratcliffe, University of Warwick, UK, peter.ratcliffe@warwick.ac.uk
Feedback from a paper I delivered at the ISA World Forum in Barcelona in September 2008 convinced me of the need to devote one RC05 session at the Congress to examining the role of the discipline in contemporary society.

There are widespread concerns about the structural constraints that impact on the work we do as a profession. More specifically, researchers addressing the concerns of this Research Committee normally express commitment to an emancipatory project that seeks to empower those subject to oppressive forces and to strive towards broader societal change. Indeed, this is enshrined in the RC05 mission statement. But what does this mean in practice? To what extent is our sphere of influence constrained by external forces, not least institutional monitoring/assessment regimes that are increasingly central to modes/systems of state control? Does this ultimately mean that we flatter to deceive (ourselves as well as our ‘subjects’)?

As convenor, I propose to initiate the discussion by providing a personal view as someone based in the UK. The intention is then to hear as many views as possible from researchers working in other countries. Offers of papers are therefore welcomed with a view to achieving as wide a geographical coverage as possible. It is hoped that these papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume.

Session 7: Sites of conflict and cooperation: Women at the intersection of ethnicity, nation and citizenship
Joint Session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society

Session 8: Public space and issues of social integration. Part II
Organizer: Karin Peters, Wageningen University, Netherlands, Karin.Peters@wur.nl

Session 9: Diasporic identification, gender and family
Organizer: Georgina Tsolidis, University of Ballarat, Australia, g.tsolidis@ballarat.edu.au
This panel concerns identity issues and how these are framed by diaspora. Diasporic identification is understood here in the sense developed by Hall; a process that reflects an interdependency between at least two cultural formations and in so doing, invokes an historical past and, at the same time, evokes new representations of what it is possible to become.
Family, and particularly the role of women, are understood as pivotal to diasporic identification. The micro dynamics of the everyday offer an evocative 'bottom up' means of understanding the tensions implicit in new ways of becoming. Through this framework it is possible to shed light on the lived experiences of racism, dislocation and alienation on the one hand and, on the other, to consider how the complex power relations within the everyday, can mediate a sense of resistance and hope.
The panel will bring together papers that offer insights into the lived experience of diaspora. Framed in relation to the everyday these will explore family, youth issues and schooling as a means of understanding how identification can interpolate cosmopolitanism as a challenge to the ‘monogamy of place’ (Beck, 2006).

Session 10: Forced displacement and trafficking in persons: the variables of gender, race and ethnicity
Organizers: Natividad Gutierrez Chong, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Mexico, Mexico, nativid@servidor.unam.mx and Arun Kumar Acharya, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México, acharya_77@yahoo.com
This panel will focus on the nexus between displaced people and trafficking in persons, taking into account the variables of gender, race and ethnicity. Such an exploration and debate of all possible variables involved in trafficking or forcing people to migrate will aim at finding ways of improving the coordination of efforts at the regional, national and global levels against sex trafficking, as well as strengthening gender sensitive approaches in all anti-trafficking efforts.

The primary objectives of this panel are:

Session 11: Researching ethnicity and ethnicising research
Organizer: Michal Vašečka, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, mvasecka@fss.muni.cz
The panel aims to analyse specific features of current research on ethnicity. Research on ethnicity, identity, inter-ethnic relations and cultural determinants of ethnic interactions is from a methodological point of view specific, and differs between various cultural contexts. At the same time, ethnicity research is insufficient and problematic due to various structural factors. This panel aims to identify factors influencing the quality of research on ethnicity, for example – ethnic and primordial interpretations of nation; the lack of data on ethnicity; the failure to foster specific methods of ethnicity research; the over-representation of quantification of inter-ethnic relations, the lack of focus on phenomenological research in the field of ethnicity; paradigmatic chaos; the lack of research ethics on the part of ethnicity researchers and the failure to interconnect academic research and public policy analysis.
This panel attempts to document these problems by both theoretical inputs and examples of research on ethnicity over the past two decades. It explores the proposition that research on ethnicity should be understood as contextual, multi-paradigmatic, methodologically non-conventional, de-constructivist and ‘sensitive’.

Session 12: Return migration in a time of crisis
Organizer: Mónica Ibanez-Angulo, Universidad de Burgos, Spain, miban@ubu.es
The current global crisis affects peoples from different social and economic backgrounds; yet, as in most crises, those individuals and social groups who experience inequality and social exclusion by virtue of gender, ethnic and class differences are the most vulnerable in the face of new adversities. In this sense, we can ask how, and to what extent, transnational migrants are more susceptible to these (vis-à-vis the local population).
In this session we would like to deal with issues related to the different social dimensions involved in return migration. We especially invite papers dealing with the following topics (though others on related issues will also be considered):

Session 13: The need to understand 'Race' comparatively, globally and locally. Part I
Organizer: Millsom S Henry-Waring, University of Melbourne, Australia, m.henry-waring@unimelb.edu.au
Although 'race' remains a problematic term for many within the social sciences
and elsewhere, it retains a high level of public and political currency, globally and locally. Thus, despite its many flaws, it is difficult to move away from the term altogether. The reasons for this reflect a complex blend of historical, social and political factors which many scholars have attempted to describe and analyse. Further, most discussions about 'race' still focus primarily upon those of us deemed as Other, to the exclusion and invisibility of groups often insidiously defined as the 'norm' - usually meaning white, Anglo-centric peoples. In addition, there are many silences about 'race' from within Black and other marginalised communities. The aim of this session, therefore, is to draw together emerging and critical work from academics, policy analysts and activists interested in disrupting the theory and practice of 'race' by exploring comparatively how 'race' is known/experienced as a reality by and within a range of groups.

Session 14: The role of transnational public intellectuals
Joint sessionof RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations [host committee] and RC38 Biography and Society

Session 15: Islamophobia since 9/11
Organizer: Scott Poynting, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, S.Poynting@mmu.ac.uk

Since 11th September 2001, Muslim minorities have experienced intensive 'othering' in 'Western' countries, above all in those nations most aggressively prosecuting their 'war on terror'. Certain key ideological elements recur in the formation of the ‘Muslim Other’ figure – images of violence, barbarism and animality, the contravention of social rules and the exhibition of ‘offensive’ behaviour. Muslim immigrants are portrayed in this ideology as unwilling or unable to integrate in ‘Western’ societies, and Muslim-majority societies are represented as inimical to democracy, civilisation, and women’s rights. Whole communities of mainly immigrant Muslims have been criminalised in 'Western' countries as 'evil' and a 'fifth column' enemy within by media, politicians, the security services and the criminal justice system. Racial profiling and ethnic targeting by police, security services, immigration officials, airlines and other bodies have discriminated against Muslim communities. Negative media portrayals, together with discriminatory rhetoric, policy and practices at the level of the state have created an enabling environment that emboldens and legitimates public hostility toward Muslims. The level of Islamophobic hate crime peaks each time there is an outburst of such rhetoric.
We invite papers analysing and critiquing such processes, and assessing the political forces in opposition to them.

Session 16: The need to understand 'Race' comparatively, globally and locally. Part II
Organizer: Millsom S Henry-Waring, University of Melbourne, Australia, m.henry-waring@unimelb.edu.au

Session 17: Racial discrimination in Europe – ten years on
Organizer: John Wrench, Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies, NTNU, Norway, John.WRENCH@fra.europa.eu
The year 2010 marks 10 years since the adoption by the European Council of the Racial Equality Directive (Directive 2000/43/EC), the most important piece of EU legislation combating racial/ethnic discrimination. Thus for the first time, all 27 Member States should have had for several years national laws forbidding direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in several areas, including employment, and also should have designated specialised equality bodies tasked to promote and raise awareness of equality legislation, and assist victims of discrimination.

This session invites contributions which can provide an insight into the effects, if any, of the Racial Equality Directive on the awareness of the issue of racial discrimination, on national discourse or on social policies in European countries, specifically in the area of employment and the labour market. During the 1990s it was quite clear that there was a chasm between the countries of the EU in the level of public awareness of, and political responses to, issues of racism and discrimination in the sphere of employment. It may be that the gulf in awareness and practice between countries has now become narrower, and that the Directive and related activities at EU level have had a consciousness-raising effect, resulting in a ‘convergence’ of attitudes and practices between European countries.

Papers might address questions such as:

Session 18: Racism, nationalism and globalization: Interethnic relations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Part I
Organizers: Alicia Castellanos, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Mexico, alicastell@yahoo.com and Gisela Landázuri, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Xochimilco, Mexico, giselalb@prodigy.net.mx
This session opens up the discussion on old and new forms of racism in the context of neo-liberal globalization towards the diverse groups who are racialized and discriminated against on grounds of their ethnic, racial and national origin. The axes of the analysis involve the policies of national states and the rising social and ethnic exclusion and shall be the basis for a prospective reflection on the necessary change in the conditions that support the continuity and resurgence of racism. The comparison of cases from the specificities of racism in front of a subject becoming increasingly visible in the national and international political scene is undoubtedly a key resource to help develop the discussion.

Session 19: Virtual ethnicity and the rise of new ethnicities
Organizer: Vince Marotta, Deakin University, Australia, vince.marotta@deakin.edu.au
Over the past 20 years the ideas of ethnic identity and ethnic community have been critically assessed in terms of their underlying essentialist and universalistic practices. Globalization and advances in new technologies have led to different forms of ethnic ties emerging which transcend national boundaries. Are these emerging new ethnicities in cyberspace less coercive and more diverse? Do they empower or do they reinforce existing class and gender inequalities? What can they tell us about the politics and representation of ethnicity? Does the existence of virtual ethnicity intensify the process of the de-territorialization of cultures? This session invites both theoretically and empirically informed papers which address these questions, but also invites papers which shed light on the relationship between virtual ethnicity and issues such as transnationalism, diaspora, hybridity, nationalism, gender, sexuality, and race and racism. Session papers will be considered for publication in the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Session 20: Racism, nationalism and globalization: Interethnic relations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Part II
Organizers: Alicia Castellanos, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Mexico, alicastell@yahoo.com and Gisela Landázuri, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Xochimilco, Mexico, giselalb@prodigy.net.mx
This session opens up the discussion on old and new forms of racism in the context of neo-liberal globalization towards the diverse groups who are racialized and discriminated against on grounds of their ethnic, racial and national origin. The axes of the analysis involve the policies of national states and the rising social and ethnic exclusion and shall be the basis for a prospective reflection on the necessary change in the conditions that support the continuity and resurgence of racism. The comparison of cases from the specificities of racism in front of a subject becoming increasingly visible in the national and international political scene is undoubtedly a key resource to help develop the discussion.

Joint sessions hosted by other RC

Joint session: New theories of ethnicity in migration and post-migration situations
Joint Session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations and RC31 Sociology of Migration [host committee]

Joint session: Confronting the politics of racialized sexualities: On regulating minority gender relations and sexualities
Joint Session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations and RC32 Women in Society [host committee]

Joint session: Migration, leisure and community cohesion
Joint session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations, RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee], and RC31 Sociology of Migration

Integrative sessions

Integrative session 7: Narratives, citizenship, health, and social change
Integrative session of Research Committees RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations, RC15 Sociology of Health, RC38 Biography and Society