ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Sociotechnics, Sociological Practice, RC26

RC26 main page

Co-Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 14.


Call for Abstracts


Planned sessions and dates/time subject to further changes

in alphabetical order:


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Archaic and Neo-Archaic Trends in a Community Life

Session Organizers
Uliana NIKOLAEVA, Academy of Sciences, Russia
Georgeos TSOBANOGLOU, University of the Aegean, Greece,

Session in English

Historic and modern reflections of archaic forms of behavior in a community life of today: corruption, exchange of gifts and gifting, forced economic pressure, etc.


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Corporeal Dimension of Sociotechnics

Session Organizer
Akira KURASHIMA, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan,

Session in English

The human body is an essential resource in any sociotechnical system. However, it is often the weakest link in the system, affected by diverse unpredictable factors spanning from sociological to biological, subjective to objective. The modern subject is supposed to have taken under control such unpredictability, but how valid is this assumption in practice, especially in times of change and social crisis? This session focuses on various aspects of the corporeal dimension of sociotechnics, through ethnographic/historical/theoretical investigation. Suggested topics include:


Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Eco-Social Work as Resilience / Sustainability for Communities in Crisis

Session Organizer
Georgeos TSOBANOGLOU, University of the Aegean, Greece,

Session in English

Various aspects of communal crises and the role of participative action will be presented here. Methods of social economy communal action which promote resilience and cohesion in local community employment as applied in various environmental settings will be invited for presentation. We will bring out the role of social economy, of micro-enterprises and the non-profit sector in general as it safeguards community resilience and shapes local partnership schemes.

Policies for eradicating child poverty, long-term unemployment, establishing cooperation and local partnerships will be further explored. Structural impediments to such policy developments within states or regions will be elaborated. The role of social innovation and the challenges it poses to political power will be the key issue to be explored here.


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Macro- and Micro-Level of Social Analysis: Theory and Practice of "Cellular Globalization"

Session Organizer
Nikita POKROVSKY, Higher School of Economics, Russia,

Session in English

The process of interaction of diverse levels of social structure in the context of globalization. Mutual penetration of cellular micro-processes and `big` trajectories of international relations. Community life as a reflection of a globalization model.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Measuring Social Impact of Innovative Entrepreneurship and Public Policies. Standardizing the Valuation of Socioeconomic Return on Investment

Session Organizer

Session in English

The European Commission has recently launched its flagship Social Business Initiative in light of promoting local employment development, social cohesion and innovation through the development of social economy and social entrepreneurship. In conjunction with its EUROPE 2020 strategies, inclusive growth should be backed by data-led policies. Documentation of the actual social and economic impact of social economy, socially sensitive entrepreneurship and public policies is in the focus of an intense, well structured analysis in the dedicated Group of Experts on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) and the Sub Group on Social Impact Measurement.

It is envisaged that soon the European Commission will be able to present an integrated methodological basis for the valuation of socioeconomic return on public and private investment along with an integrated, inter-operational framework on identifying the social impact of social economy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

This session could inquire on the existing stock of experience and approaches on social monitoring, auditing and evaluation; it could expand to emerging EU-wide and international approaches on identification and measurement of outcomes; finally, it could act as an analytical bridge for the connection of RC 26 to the ongoing work being done at the European Commission’s level.


Friday, July 18, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

On Social Institutions: The Quest for New Social Institutions Stopping the Decay of the West (The Importance of Social Institutions: Rebuilding the West)

Session Organizer
Joachim K.H.W. SCHMIDT, SoReGa EV, Germany,

Session in English

Cultures and societies organize around social institutions, so-called going concerns. The kind of institutions on which societal members agree, or by which society are governed, is decisive for the success of a society. We presently experience the downfall of Western culture and their societies in a drastic way, an eroding process which started already more than 100 years ago due to a dissolving of its >soul<: Greek ideological thought of Being and Christian religious belief. ISA RC 26, Research Committee on Sociotechnics was established in 1971 as a kind of laboratory for institutional reconstruction; its members met for the first time in 1973 in Loughborough/GB within the framework of an international conference.

The importance of institutional renewal for the survival of our Western way of life is meanwhile recognized by more and more scholars, prominent authors create public awareness. The session intends to collect contributions of concerned colleagues whose work focuses on the development of alternative social institutions to be suited as remedy for the decaying West. It is obvious that wars launched by USA and their assisting European powers cannot stop Western decay, in the opposite: it will accelerate it by exhausting their economical resources.


Friday, July 18, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Place-Based yet Transnationalized Political Emergent Forms in the Occident, Orient and South

Session Organizer
Maria Inácia D´AVILA NETO, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Marie Louise CONILH DE BEYSSAC, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Session in English

The purpose of the session is to discuss social movements from politics of place perspective. This is an emerging form of politics and a new political imaginary which affirms the logic of differences and its statement in terms of daily life singularities, even in face of a multiplicity of actors and actions.

For Escobar, Quijano, Mignolo among other authors who work the question of "Coloniality of Power", places or “emplacements” are sites of live cultures, economies and environments before they are nodes of a global capitalist homogenizing system. Thus, politics of place, approached in a broad sense, configure a local response, both from the left and the right, which is embraced by women, environmentalists, among other social movements. Politics of place face the “totality”, the resulting rationality and operation of global markets, which devalue all forms of localized action, reducing them to accommodation and/or reformism.

Thus, politics of place are also a kind of frontier movement, in which local movements are linked to continental or global movements, composing transnational networks movements (meshworks). These networks are constituted horizontally and interconnected, but nevertheless able to maintain their plural characteristics, thus networks where uniformity is not imposed. Many and ephemeral are the examples in this sense, based on computer networks or not, ranging from the movement of Chiapas, the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, among a myriad of social movements that occur everyday around the world. This table aims to discuss these social movements their diversities and singularities, welcoming papers that deal with the prospect of policies of place from around the world, The West, East and South.


Friday, July 18, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Political Cultures in a Globalized World

Session Organizer
Flaminia SACCA, Tuscia University, Italy,

Session in English

We would like to explore how national, local or transnational political cultures are changing given the globalization of markets, communication and even socialization. National political culture is given, according to Almond and Verba by socialization and education. Today, we can say that socialization – in general and political as well – is increasingly provided by communication exposure (mass communication, electronic communication, no longer just face to face communication). Meyrowitz pointed out back in 1985 and again twenty years later, that every experience is eminently local. Nonetheless, new information technologies change our perception of time and space. Traditionally, the forming of political identities and cultures passed through local practices and face to face debates. More generally, the perception of the world we live in, whether we look at it at a global or at a local level, is today made less by face to face relationship and first hand experiences then it used to be. But with the development of the mass media, ICT and Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), every local experience or indeed, political issue, can be shared at a local, national and transnational level.

As information technology allows us to be informed in real time of the killings in Syria, a flood in Russia or of a nuclear disaster in Japan, they become part of “our” reality too. We know about it, we feel about it, we evaluate it. Not rarely we acquire conscience that these facts, even if they have happened at the other end of the world, may bring consequences of some kind to our lives. Political instability in the Middle East for example, has different kinds of effects on Western political situation, decisions, budgets, economies. This is not really a new phenomenon, but it has grown through the decades and it is more transparent now.

As “reality” becomes less individually based and enlarges its boundaries, it immediately becomes more complex. As Bauman sharply pointed out, in global and liquid society, this brings – paradoxically we may say - to the enhancement of the perception of individualization. Citizens are “bombed” by highly specialized information and it isn’t possible in one single life to acquire all the competences needed in order to face, understand, interpret and deal with the complexity the whole human kind has reached in centuries of evolution. As the complexity of society increases, also due to the fact that the boundaries of what we call “society” have dramatically enlarged since the original hordes to today’s globalism, the organization of the information delivered to us increases with it. And our perceptions can become more fragmented. We may decide to keep up just with certain types of information (the economy, the women’s condition, the political situation in the Middle East, human rights, global warming and so on) but it would be virtually impossible to maintain the thorough information about “life in the village” when the “village” has become the entire world. So fatally a part of it remains obscure to us. We don’t know it nor do we understand it. Worse of all, we acquire the uncomfortable awareness that there is little that we can do to govern it’s processes.

Should we conclude then, updating Almond and Verba’s approach to today’s global reality that the globalization of markets, politics, ideologies and power is producing globalized parochial, if not subject political cultures? Or, on the contrary, that the possibility to be informed and to participate outside the traditional political nation-based organizations is contributing to the acquisition of broader political competences and of more competent citizens, whether at a local, national or transnational level?

We welcome papers dealing with theoretical or empirical data concerning how local, national or transnational political cultures are changing in a globalized world.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM

RC26 Business Meeting

Session Organizer
Georgeos TSOBANOGLOU, University of the Aegean, Greece,


Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Re-Constructing Sustainable Communities. Panel Session

Session Organizer
Mukesh RANGA, Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University, India,

Session in English


Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Sustainable Common Futures

Session Organizers
Arianna MONTANARI, University of Rome, Italy,
Gloria PIRZIO, University of Rome, Italy,

Session in English


Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Sustainable Communities: Common Goods, Public Spaces and New Forms of Participation

Session Organizers
Arianna MONTANARI, University of Rome, Italy,
Gloria PIRZIO, University of Rome, Italy,

Session in English

Globalization and the recent economic crises have changed the way social relationship are conceived in daily life. A new sense of belonging to a community arises and it meets the need of sharing experiences togheter at local level and to take care of commons goods.

Community gardening, co-housing, co-working, sustainable mobilities (car sharing, bike sharing) make up the sense of “Us” and a new way to intend the public spaces.

New media has a crucial role in these changes. New forms of participation – both offline and online – open the way to a greater involvment of all the citizens in social and political issues and redefine the traditional notion of political participation.

The session focuses on empirical-analytical contributions to the analisys of these topics, with special refer to:

  1. New public spaces
  2. Common goods
  3. New forms of political participation (both online and offline)


Saturday, July 19, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Theological Methodology the Sociotechnics – The Soil for a Manipulation Religious Consciousness

Session Organizer
Svetlana SHARONOVA, St. Tikhon´s Orthodox University, Russia,

Session in English

Relevance of this perspective is defined by social religions tension which increases in the world. Therefore it would be desirable to discuss some blocks of questions:

Aggressively adjusted militant "religions" now cause not only concern from Church or society, but it already is the fact of formation of a new zone of social tension in the countries of the Old World. These are those processes which go in the house of dwelling of the person (for example, in Denmark, England, the South of France). As practice in Russia showed consequences of these technologies very heavy and difficult eradicated as they mention the most deep values of people which lie at mental and psychological level.



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March 2014