ISA World Congress of Sociology

Ad Hoc Sessions

Ad Hoc Sessions will be held at 17:30-19:20, Monday through Friday, July 16-20, 2018

Ad Hoc Session: Wild and Urban Animals:  Violence and Justice at the Human/Animal Threshold

Session Organizers: Andrea Mubi BRIGHENTI, University of Trento, Italy and Andrea PAVONI, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal

The Anthropocene is the age of the radical modification of the planet by human activity, the age in which geological scars produced by the violence of human civilisations become detectable, and irreversible. If capitalist globalisation has played the key role in dramatically accelerating this process, perhaps its chief driver is the on-going process of planetary urbanisation. In the general context of the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology, violence is tackled mainly in reference to human beings. In this session, however, we also invite to consider violent outcomes with respect to non-human animals. More precisely, we are interested in exploring how, as result of the dramatic process of global urbanisation, the encounter between the urban and the wild is increasingly amplified, multiplied and made more complex, and what this entails vis-à-vis notions of violence and responsibility, ethics and justice.
Civitas and silva, the city and the forest, the urban and the wild, the civilised and the barbarian, are proverbially assumed as polar opposite, an assumption that has for millennia articulated our understanding of ethics, responsibility and justice. The current process of global urbanisation is making explicit the problem with such dichotomies, literally ingesting and reworking the spaces which we were used to define as ‘wild’. Animals are greatly affected by this process. On the one hand, they are violently victimised, on the other they are forced to re-adapt to contexts of living which, also from their perspective, have lost the clear demarcations they had in the past. Animals inhabit cities in many ways, either as domesticated, stray, or straightforwardly wild creatures. Nonetheless, in the face of the planetary process of urbanisation, directly or indirectly, implicitly or explicitly, all animals are in the process of being (violently) urbanised.
Traditionally, the city has been conceptualised as a space where a new level of human existence can be attained, from which violence should be expunged in order for justice among equals to emerge. Here, the animal should be treated with civility, and without cruelty. The animals, in turn, are expected to behave in a ‘civilised’ manner, embedded as they are, implicitly or explicitly, into social, cultural and legal configurations. Yet, animals are not simply victims of urbanisation – or its successful parasites, as rats, pigeons or mosquitos are often described. In fact, animals are also the harbingers of urbanisation, shaping its logics, producing its normativity.
What are the social patterns, the legal frameworks, and the cultural practices produced in the coming-together of animals and humans within a single, shared environment? How do animals exist in – and, in turn, shape – the urban ecology vis-à-vis their owners, exploiters, controllers, victims and exterminators? What are their regimes of existence, their patterns of mobility, their territoriality and interaction with and in the city? Which technologies and protocols are employed to cope with different sorts of animal? What is their status, as individuals or crowds, welcome or despised, protected or feared? These are some of the open questions the session seeks to tackle.

Ad Hoc Session: Global Risk and Energy Democracy

Session Organizers: Dowan KU, Environment and Society Research Institute, Seoul, South Korea, Kuei-TienCHOU, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

We are suffering from global risk. Climate change, nuclear power, peak oil, air pollution and so on are threatening the sustainability of global ecosystem and economic system as well as survival of human beings. If we would like to reconstruct ecologically sustainable and socially just society worldwide, we should tackle the issue of energy transition on the basis of energy democracy. Energy transition can be defined as structural change of energy production and consumption system from industrial paradigm of nature-exploitive energy system to ecological paradigm of diversified, diffusive and participatory energy system. Energy Democracy is the politics in which citizens can participate and communicate for equitable and sustainable energy system at the local, national, and global level.
Energy transition is not only an issue of a single country, but also regional, and global issues. It has essentially become a part of globalised transboundary movements, posing great challenges to governance for all countries. Methodological cosmopolitanism, as proposed by Beck & Szsnider (2006) and Beck & Grande (2010), suggests an approach of seeking a common governance model and with different local characteristics rather than being confined to the individual, single political and economic structure within one nation state.
The most prominent trend relating to cosmopolitan risk governance lies in the fact that after the Fukushima disaster, energy transition on the basis of energy democracy can be found in Europe and East Asia. Many European countries such as Germany and France decided to reduce or close nuclear power plant after the Fukushima disaster. In East Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the resurgence of anti-nuclear campaign, the energy saving movement and the advocacy movement of renewable energy were proliferated after the Fukushima disaster. More importantly, civil society and the combination of civil forces which promote energy transition from the bottom up have gained the ability to produce systematic socially robust knowledge. Through this thriving production of local and systematic risk knowledge, the civil society sector in the three countries is incrementally reinforcing their ability to challenge, lead and even subvert the decision made by the bureaucratic elites and the current direction of energy policy. We can analyze these social phenomena in terms of energy democracy.
We are organizing this session in order to analyze “how civil societies, nation states and big businesses can cooperate or conflict facing global risk such as nuclear accidents and climate change in the national and global level”. Specifically we are focusing on people’s awareness of transboundary or global risk, and the reaction to the risk. Peoples can organize themselves for safe and ecologically sustainable energy system and protest against unsafe and unsustainable energy system. In other words, energy issue is not only a technical, economical issue but social, ecological issue which should be tackled in terms of democracy.

Ad Hoc Session: Internationalization of Sociology: Looking for the Common Ground of East Asian Society and Sociology: Global Meets Local and Regional

Session Organizer: Shujiro YAZAWA, Seijo University, Japan

With the rapid development of communication tools and means of transportation in the last decades, cross-national exchanges among students and scholars residing in different countries have seen a substantial increase in volume.  The way they do academic transactions is not similar across the world, however.  Some scholars do research abroad more than others; some create transnational academic exchange more easily than others.  How do they differ, and why do these differences occur?  These questions are of special interest to us, as in Asia resides a diverse collection of researchers coming from countries and regions with diverse economic, sociopolitical, and cultural legacies.
We attempt to delineate similarities and differences of researchers in their practice of cross-national academic transactions.  We employ quantitative data obtained through the questionnaire survey conducted during the period of the ISA World Congress of Sociology, 2014, Japan and a similar survey for members of Japan Sociological Society in 2015. We believe that these datasets are the first in the history of sociology that would possibly reveal varieties of transnational academic transactions of sociologists.  We start with the first speakers, who analyze international mobility pattern of sociologists across the world and Japan. They also narrow down the focus, inquiring how internationalization is received by sociologists in the Asian-pacific region. Based on the first presentation, the second and third speakers present history, current status and challenge of internationalization of sociology in Korea and Taiwan respectively. The fourth speaker deals with the relationship between colonialism and globalization in Japan. Without overcoming of colonialism, it is impossible for us to develop global, East Asian sociology and East Asian society. The last speaker discusses comparative studies on modernity in East Asia in order to find the common ground of forming East Asian society. Finally we invite a prominent Chinese sociologist as a discussant.

Ad Hoc Session: All Arts: Inequality and the Artistic Imagination in Times of Crisis in the Latin American Context

Session Organizers: Paula GUERRA, University of Porto, Portugal, and Lígia DABUL, Federal Fluminense University, Brazil

This panel focuses on how the different Latin American artistic expressions have arts has dealt with the global crisis. The approach is based on cross-section analysis, considering the domains of literature, popular music, fine arts, visual arts, urban art, cinema and performing arts. It emphasizes three distinct and complementary ways by which the relation between arts and society was developed in these years. The first way is the political positioning of artists, through artistic works and performances. The second way is the presence of the crisis as a background to several artistic creations of this time. And the third way is the one by which the crisis projects a new light into consistent topics of the artistic imagination, stressing the centrality of collective identity and self-reflexivity. We argue that the arts (all the arts) increasingly impose themselves as emblematic references of the contemporary world. Regarding the tensions engendered by singular economic crises, conflicts of a cultural, ethnic and religious nature, boundaries between borders, the repeated Diasporas which compose distances and approximations, it is art that condenses and welcomes the pluralities that Appadurai called imagined worlds. It can thus be said that multiple contexts of crisis have fomented worldwide unique strategies of resistance, formation of collectives that point to the composition of original landscapes of arts and creativity. It is observed that the arts have also acted as exemplary devices that have enabled the appearance of emerging models of collaborationism, of horizontally circulating multiple platforms of creativity and stylistic diversities.

Ad Hoc Film Session: Life-world: The Sociology of Alfred Schutz. A documentary film

Hermílio SANTOS, Pontifcal Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

This ad hoc session intends to be the international première of the documentary film “Life-world: The Sociology of Alfred Schutz” (directed by Hermílio Santos, 80’, Brazil, 2017), with interviews on different aspects of the work of the Austrian-American sociologist. The film is divided in four parts: in the first one it presents some aspects of his biography; in the second part the interviewees explain the main theoretical influences on his work, as Edmund Husserl and Max Weber; the third part is dedicated to present the main concepts of his sociological theory and in the last part of the film sociologists present how the Alfred Schutz’ sociology have been used currently in theoretical and empirical researches. Among the interviewees are Michael Barber (USA), Hisashi Nasu (Japan), Ilia Srubar, Martin Endress, Jochen Dreher and Joachim Renn (Germany), Thomas Eberle (Switzerland) and others from Argentina, Brazil and Italy. The interviews were conducted in English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Portuguese with English subtitles. The film is potentially from interest for all ISA members, especially those affiliated to the RCs 38 (Biography and Society), 16 (Sociological Theory), 35 (Conceptual and Terminological Analysis), 14 (Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture), 8 (History of Sociology), and 42 (Social Psychology). The film is in process of editing and will have a length of 80 Minutes. The remaining time of the session will be dedicated to discuss with the audience some topics explored in the film.
The proposal of this ad hoc film session is based on the success of an additional session of the RC 38 during the 3rd ISA Forum in Vienna, in which I showed my previous documentary film entitled “Infância Falada”(53’, Brazil, 2016), and the increasing worldwide interest on the sociology of Alfred Schutz, showed by the publication of his complete work in twelve volumes in German, by the creation of the journal Schutzian Research, initiated in 2009, by the establishment of the Alfred Schutz International Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science (created in 2012), besides the publication of recent books and articles exploring different aspects of his sociology, mostly in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese. This ad hoc session could be a pilot to have in future Congresses and ISA Fori sessions dedicated to exhibit films produced and directed by ISA members, as a way to disseminate sociological researches.   

 

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