Junior Sociologists

Laboratory for PhD Students in Sociology

XVII ISA International Laboratory for PhD Students

Precarization and Resistance: Environment, Everyday Life and Citizenship
September 5-11, 2022
Tunis, Tunisia

The 2022 Laboratory Precarization and Resistance: Environment, Everyday Life and Citizenship was organised jointly by the International Sociological Association, Arab Centre for Research and Political Studies, Centre for Economic and Social Researches and Studies, and Research in Enlightenment, Modernity and Cultural Diversity Lab, Tunis El Manar University. It took place in Tunis, Tunisia, September 5-11, 2022.

List of the selected participants and topics of their PhD dissertations (in alphabetical order):
Ms. Muntaha ABED (Palestine), Birzeit University, Palestine    
Gendering uprisings; South Korea and Palestine as case studies     

Ms. Nour Mohammad BADER-SALHEYA (Palestine), University of Tunisia, Tunisia    
Colonialism in its daily manifestation: in the sociology of the control of military rule over Palestinian bodies and resistance

Ms. Maya BHARDWAJ (USA), University of Pretoria, South Africa    
Queering solidarity – Diasporic South Asian activism and collaboration with black liberation

Mr. Stefan Adam BIENKOWSKI (Poland), University of Warsaw, Poland
Ideologies of work among young workers with non-standard employment in Poland

Ms. María GONZÁLEZ FLORES (Spain), Universidad de A Coruña, Spain
Humanitarianism as a depoliticization tool for protracted refugee situations and women’s resistance: Palestinian and Sahrawi refugees in dialogue with the Humanitarian Aid Regime

Ms. María Florencia LABIANO (Argentina), National University of San Martin, Argentina
Inequality and wealth in Buenos Aires City: A sociological approach from the private rental market

Ms. Pragya SACHAN (India), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Gender, intersectionality and toilet security: A study on the lived experiences of women in Haridwar, Uttarakhand (India)

Ms. Keisha SAMLAL (Trinidad and Tobago), University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago    
Identities and self-(re)-presentations: The case of stigmatized “fat women” in Trinidad and Tobago

Ms. Lara SARTORIO GONÇALVES (Brazil), State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    
City of Rio de Janeiro under the prism of fear: An analysis of authoritarian regimes of subjectivation

Ms. Pratima TETE (India), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India    
Tribes and industrial city: A study with reference to Rourkela steel city

Ms. Michela TRINCHESE (Italy), University of Salento, Italy    
The democratic iteration proposed by climate migrations

Mr. Ikem Godspower UJENE (Nigeria), University of Ibadan, Nigeria    
Reintegration of Boko Haram members and peacebuilding in Northeast Nigeria: A victim community perspective

A laboratory for PhD students of the International Sociological Association in the International Cultural Center in Hammamet

A laboratory for doctoral students organized by the International Sociological Association in its seventeenth session was held at the International Cultural Center in Hammamet, Tunisia from 05 to 11 September 2022. This was the first occasion in which the laboratory was held in a Maghreb, Arab, Middle Eastern and African country.

This session was held thanks to the concerted organizational and logistical efforts made by the local organizing committee and was facilitated by the support of the University of Tunis El Manar (founded in 2000 after the restructuring of the University of Tunis), the Center for Economic and Social Studies and Research - CERES (founded in 1962) and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies - Tunis (founded in 2015).

The pedagogical team that supervised the activities of the laboratory consisted of professors of sociology, Bandana Purkayastha, University of Connecticut (USA), Geoffrey Pleyers, University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and Mounir Al-Saeedani, University of Tunis El Manar (Tunisia). As for the students who followed the various activities, they came to Tunisia from Spain (University of La Coruña), Argentina (University of San Martín), Italy (University of Salento), Brazil (State University of Rio de Janeiro), Poland (University of Warsaw), Trinidad and Tobago (University of the West Indies), South Africa (University of Pretoria), Palestine (Bir Zeit University), and Nigeria (University of Ibadan). As for the Tunisian students who participated in the laboratory activities, they belong to the University of Tunis.

The seventeenth session of the laboratory was held under the overarching title of “Precarization and Resistance: Environment, Everyday Life and Citizenship”. Around this theme the members of the pedagogical team presented three lectures and activated three relevant methodological workshops. The course was also an occasion in which two workshops were organized, the first of which was based on the documentary tape “Couscous. Grains of Dignity” by the Tunisian academic Habib Al-Ayeb, while the second was animated by Tunisian sociology professor Reda Boucraa by presenting his research experience.

The laboratory of doctoral students represents a very important scientific and research tradition for the International Sociological Association, as it brings together in each session students accompanied by university professors, researchers, and academics in the field of sociology and related disciplines for presentation, controversy, and debate.

After announcing the opening, receiving, and sorting of nominations, 12 male and female students are selected according to the preference of the files that contain a summary of the research project that each student undertakes, and specifically the various steps that they accomplished, with a focus on the research question, the theoretical framework, the conceptual kit, and the methodological plan.

The first benefit of this meeting, whose official proceedings took place in English, and as stated by many of the participating students, is meeting with students from different continents, multiple countries, and different research traditions, so that acquaintance, exchange of experiences, controversy, discussion, and mutual benefit take place. And this is not only through the sessions in which the students’ performances are programmed, but also, and perhaps more intensively, through the various free and spontaneous meetings, bilateral and group, in which the acquaintance deepens, the discussions expand, the debate diverges, and it takes listening.

The second benefit of this meeting is enabling students to present their research in audio-visual presentations so that each one of them could discuss his work with a student from among the participants and a professor from the pedagogical team before the discussion is opened to the general audience. The sixty minutes allotted for each presentation, individual and group discussion, and presentation, including information, images, analytical diagrams, conceptual maps, and field testimonies, were an opportunity for extensive discussions and mutual research, analytical, methodological, and conceptual proposals in a choir of disputant-harmonious group thinking.

As for the lectures given by the professors and the methodological workshops they activated, they were also the occasion for an extensive debate that touched the epistemological foundations of sociology in research, writing and analysis, and discussed the theoretical and methodological foundations of sociological research, questioning its conceptual equipment and examining its analytical methods. The lectures and workshops presented and animated by Tunisian academics enabled them to present some aspects of the Tunisian experience in working with sociology in research, production, and writing.

In total, the students and the rest of the participants had two-thirds of the time spent by the informant (at the rate of 7 hours per day over the course of five days of activity) to present experiments, ask questions, individual and collective thinking, and debate, as well as, as stated by themselves, dialogue with teachers, arguing with each other, questioning themselves, and taking critical distance towards their research, reviewing their starting points, and preparing with greater motivation to complete their research and edit their dissertations.

The occasion for this group of international students and academics to meet in Tunisia also included educational, entertainment and tourism segments organized to introduce Tunisia and some elements of its culture, history and lifestyle by allocating free time for recreation and attending a multi-national musical show that was held in the very center, a visit to the city of Hammamet and another to the city of Sousse, starting from its ancient section to its beach, after touring its archaeological museum.

The final evaluation session of the Laboratory was an occasion for participating students to express their happiness for attending and participating in it, appreciating its great benefits, enjoying the free time there, and for having established friendships and ties.

The warm reception of the International Cultural Center in Hammamet, and its generosity to ensure the success of the Laboratory, had a good impact on the participants in terms of living conditions and activity requirements, getting acquainted with Tunisian cuisine and some vocabulary of the country's dialects, and enjoying the beauty of the center's location, its natural components, and its beautiful beach surroundings.

Mounir Saidani
ISA Executive Committee member, Laboratory coordinator