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

Research Committee on
Biography and Society, RC38

RC38 main page

Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 14.

Deadlines

Call for Sessions
Sessions proposals must be sent by February 28, 2013 to
biography-and-society@gmx.de

 

Planned sessions and dates/time subject to further changes

in alphabetical order:

 

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

Biographies in the Global South and Collective Histories. Individual Remembering in Interrelation with Public and Hegemonic Discourses

Session Organizers
Hee-Young YI, Daegu University, Korea, biograf@hanmail.net
Gabriele ROSENTHAL, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany, g.rosenthal@gmx.de

Session in English

We would like to invite colleagues who collected biographical data in countries of the Global South and who are analyzing the biographies in the context of the collective histories in these countries respectively regions, and the collectivities and groupings to which the biographers feel affiliated. The overarching question for this session would be, in which ways individual remembering is interrelated with collective memories and discourses.

The practice of remembering is, depending on the historical and cultural context, subject to various social rules of commemoration and reveals traces of rules of remembering which were effective in past or in different social and situational contexts. At the same time, it reveals the traces of the rules which are currently used.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Biography and Politics

Session Organizers
Rosa Maria BRANDHORST, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany, rosamaria.brandhorst@gmx.de
Michaela KOETTIG, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, michaela.koettig@gmx.de

Session in English

Individuals are actors in politics. Simultaneously, political framings and developments influence biographies to a great extent. This session addresses the mutual interrelations between biography and politics. We invite contributions from different theoretical and methodological perspectives approaching this topic, may they explore the way activists contribute to a political development at regional, national or global levels, or focus on the biographical meaning of political activism in past or contemporary political systems.

Also papers are welcome which focus on political events and analyze how political actors and affected individuals revalue these events in retrospect, and which meanings they attach to them in their lives.

 

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

Biography, Violence and Gender

Session Organizers
Michaela KOETTIG, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, michaela.koettig@gmx.de
Hermilio SANTOS, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, hermilio@pucrs.br

Session in English

The experience and the exercise of violence are highly connected to experiences of life history and specific gender roles.

This session welcomes contributions that explore relations between violence, biography and gender at the theoretical and empirical level. The perspective of male and female perpetrators and victims at the level of couple and family relations and in the social context can be addressed. It may be asked, for instance, which historical and biographical developments and interactive mechanisms are connected with the exercise and experience of violence, how gender constructions are involved in these constellations and which individual, social and societal impact violent actions and experiences unfold.

 

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

Concepts of Inclusion from a Biographical Perspective. Part I

Session Organizers
Lena INOWLOCKI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, inowlock@fb4.fh-frankfurt.de
Kathy DAVIS, Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands, k.e.davis@vu.nl

Session in English

Sociological theory has paid much attention to concepts of exclusion and exclusionary practice. In our session, we would like to discuss in which ways concepts of inclusion have come to address inequalities in society, and how the concepts relate to forms of exclusion. Inclusion is interesting for biographical researchers because it raises questions about individuality and differences; what is ‘normal’; and the ways practices of exclusion and inclusion are mutually dependent. Given the backdrop of – rising – social inequalities and concomitant exclusions, “inclusion” has come to be written into policies, as a critical corrective to previous policies of “integration,” thereby becoming a kind of ‘feel-good’ term for thinking about difference and diversity.

In this session, we want to critically explore “inclusion” from a biographical perspective, focusing on how individual strategies of inclusion (for example, ‘passing’) actually work, the social constraints that prevent inclusion of some, while enabling it for others (for example, inclusion as privilege of the powerful or as symbolic capital), as well as the policies and practices which change society and restructure institutions in the direction of less inequality and more recognition and acceptance of difference.

 

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

Concepts of Inclusion from a Biographical Perspective. Part II

Session Organizers
Lena INOWLOCKI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, inowlock@fb4.fh-frankfurt.de
Kathy DAVIS, Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands, k.e.davis@vu.nl

Session in English

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Constructing Biographies in Different Media

Session Organizers
Roswitha BRECKNER, University of Vienna, Austria, roswitha.breckner@univie.ac.at
Gulsum DEPELI, Hacettepe University, Turkey, gdepeli@gmail.com
Maria POHN-WEIDINGER, University of Vienna, Austria, maria.pohn-weidinger@univie.ac.at

Session in English

Biographical research has focused on written or oral narrated life stories since its beginning, and has developed a variety of very fruitful and well established approaches to elicit and to analyze them. The increasing use of so-called ‘new media’ in transnationalizing and globalizing social settings, crossing long distances and cultural diversity, calls for reflection how biographical imagination and creativity in general are shaped by different media and communication technologies. How is the construction of the self as a ‘creative work’ changing in multimodal processes? In how far are biographies constructed similarly and/or differently in narratives, photographs, pictures, film, video, artifacts, bodily performances, blogs, and social networks? How do the different modes of expression relate to each other? How can we get access to and understand these processes?

This session invites speakers who deal with the characteristics of constructing biographies or biographically relevant experiences in different media, and welcomes reflection of these processes also from a methodological and methodical perspective.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 12:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Crisis, Transnational Migration, and the Gender Order in Europe

Integrative Session: RC31, Sociology of Migration, RC32 Women in Society, RC38, Biography and Society, German Sociological Association and European Sociological Association – RN 33, Research Network on Women and Gender Studies
Not open for submission of abstracts.

 

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

Different Perspectives on Life Stories

Session Organizers
Tazuko KOBAYASHI, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, t.kobayashi@r.hit-u.ac.jp
Irini SIOUTI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, Siouti@soz.uni-frankfurt.de

Session in English

The session enables the presentation and discussion of methodological approaches and methods of analysis in biographical research. Participants from different theoretical and cultural backgrounds and with different methodological approaches are asked to exemplify their way of doing a biographical case study analysis using the same biographical-narrative interview provided ahead of time by the session organizers.

In the session, the invited researchers will demonstrate their analysis of the case, their methodology and "technique" as a basis for comparison and discussion with each other and the audience. The format of this session has become something of a tradition at the world congresses and enjoys great interest.

 

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

Embodied Biographies and Sexy Stories

Session Organizer
Kathy DAVIS, Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands, k.e.davis@vu.nl

Session in English

This session focuses on sexual experiences, sexual practices and sexual identities from a biographical perspective. On the one hand, sexuality is often left out of biographical research as though it had no appreciable influence on people’s lives, sense of self, or relationship with the world around them. On the other hand, sexuality studies often look at sexual practices and cultural discourses without attending to how these practices and discourses shape individual biographies.

In this session, we want to explore some of the methodological, normative, and theoretical challenges of biographical research on sexuality. For example, how do different social contexts and cultural discourses and normative formations shape people’s sexual experiences? How are sexual identities constructed in life stories?

 

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

RC38 Business Meeting

Session Organizers
Roswitha BRECKNER, University of Vienna, Austria, roswitha.breckner@univie.ac.at
Michaela KOETTIG, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, michaela.koettig@gmx.de
Irini SIOUTI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, siouti@soz.uni-frankfurt.de

 

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

Reconstructing Gendered Biographies in Transcultural Research Settings: Methodological Challenges

Session Organizers
Bettina DAUSIEN, University of Vienna, Austria, bettina.dausien@univie.ac.at
Irini SIOUTI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, siouti@soz.uni-frankfurt.de
Hiromi TANAKA, Meiji University, Japan, hiromi@meiji.ac.jp

Session in English

In biography research gender is conceived not only as a social construction which is produced and reproduced in ongoing interaction processes but also as a biographically constructed and reconstructed social category. The thesis of the biographical construction of gender implies certain challenges for a reconstructive methodology in biography research: How can we “discover” gender constructions in biographical narratives without presupposing “typical” male/female attributes? The problem appears to be even more complex in transcultural research settings because gender constructions as well as patterns of biographical narratives and life courses are related to the respective societal and cultural context in which they are produced and communicated.

In particular, the notion of the constructed character of gender and biographies makes it necessary to rethink and question common methodological premises of interpretative research and leads to a reflection of contemporary research and fieldwork practices. In this session we invite contributions focusing on the methodological challenges that the theoretical concept of gendered biographies implies in the field of transcultural biography research.

 

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

Understanding Social Problems through Narratives by Insiders. Part I

Session Organizers
Tazuko KOBAYASHI, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, t.kobayashi@r.hit-u.ac.jp
Mamoru TSUKADA, Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Japan, mamoru@sugiyama-u.ac.jp

Session in English

This session seeks to explore the constructed reality of social problems through narratives told by insiders. When we consider social problems, we try to solve them from outsiders’ perspectives by regarding them as problems to society. In this session we would like to understand social problems by listening to insiders’ narratives about them. In doing so, we may see what the most important aspect of the problems for those facing them is and provide a different insight into the problems from that of outsiders.

Topics in social problems in this session will include the relationship between doctors and patients with HIV tainted blood, that between nurses and terminal care patients, that between ethnic minorities and majorities and the other related ones. Anyone who has conducted life story interviews with insiders of any social problem is encouraged to attend this session and discuss the problem from multiple perspectives.

 

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

Understanding Social Problems through Narratives by Insiders. Part II

Session Organizers
Tazuko KOBAYASHI, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, t.kobayashi@r.hit-u.ac.jp
Mamoru TSUKADA, Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Japan, mamoru@sugiyama-u.ac.jp

Session in English

 

Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Crossing Experiences: From Biographies of Migrants in and from Northeast Asia

Joint session of RC31 Sociology of Migration and RC38 Biography and Society [host committee]

 

Intersectionality and Intellectual Biographies

Joint session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations [host committee] and RC38 Biography and Society

 

Representation and Restoration of Women’s Experiences: Navigating between Colonial History and Postcolonial Present in the Asian Context

Joint session of RC32 Women in Society and RC38 Biography and Society [host committee]

 

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