Call for Papers for the special issue of Society Register 2021
META-NARRATIVES ABOUT SUBDISCIPLINES OF SOCIOLOGY
SPECIAL ISSUE DEDICATED TO THE ANNIVERSARY OF INSTITUTIONAL SOCIOLOGY IN POZNAŃ
Submission deadline: September 30, 2020
We want to dedicate the next issue of Society Register to the discussion of the present state of sociology, with particular emphasis on the ongoing changes in specific sociologies over the last 50 years. This special monographic issue is inspired by the centennial anniversary of institutional sociology in Poznań, which began with the establishment of the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Poznań University in March 1920. The Department was founded by Florian Znaniecki, a Polish sociologist associated with the culturalist trend of sociology at the Chicago School. The organizational foundations of the discipline were then established in Poznań, including the establishment of academic journals and the granting of first master degrees and doctorates in sociology in Poland.
Paradoxically, Poznań sociology in its contemporary form was shaped as a consequence of historical turbulence (the circumstances of so-called Stalinism or then ‘real socialism’) in the second half of the 1960s, which coincided with the diagnosis of the crisis of sociology as a theoretical discipline. Initially, voices proclaiming the collapse of sociology's theoretical reflection were related to the diagnosis of the decline of structural functionalism as a program of the “grand theory”. Let us add that this trend pushed Florian Znaniecki’s culturalist (relativist) sociology out of the academic mainstream (though it remained in open competition with Marxist sociology in Poland). There were at least three reasons for the weakening of structural functionalism: (1) the critics' over-emphasis on the natural sciences and their ontological and epistemological models; (2) the progressive crisis of the "great narratives" and (3) the progressive social, political and economic crises that functionalism was unable to describe and explain adequately.
Of course, structural functionalism itself, as an idea dominant theory, has not been completely buried. Moreover, sociology has generated an extensive body of "great narratives” since then (Wallerstein, Habermas, Luhmann, Giddens, Archer). However, none of them can be compared to the former monopoly of Talcott Parsons supporters. Since then, we can consider sociology a multiparadigmatic discipline. The key meaning here is that of the word itself: “paradigm”, which is no longer synonymous with some kind of Great Theory, but has rather become - in the spirit of Fleck and Kuhn - an emanation of "research environments" or "styles of thought" (specific conditions, dominant methods, lists of questions asked and imposed standards) and the ability to set the tone of discussions. The great theory has been replaced by "mid-range theories" or narrative perspectives, while simultaneously fostering the development of subdisciplines.
Poznań sociology has unquestionably internalized these trends, giving birth to a research environment that references – or takes an oppositional stance to – Znaniecki’s classic position. The centennial anniversary of the institutionalization of Poznań sociology, which to a large extent is also the centennial of Polish sociology as a whole, prompts us to pose questions about the condition of sociology itself and to invite sociologists from all over the world to join us in this discussion, with a particular focus on questions pertaining to the last 50 years and the latest perspective of the subdisciplines of sociology. One aspect of particular interest is the relationship between the local (related to a particular place, institutions; a particular scientific community) and global dynamics of cognitive subdisciplines and paradigms in sociology. We, therefore, invite sociologists and representatives of related social sciences to primarily prepare a report on the relations between research practices within their scientific millieu and the context of global knowledge accumulation within the subdisciplines of sociology.
We will, for example, welcome the following issues:
what was the subject of the study of a particular subdiscipline, a particular institution?
In what direction have theoretical positions evolved, and how did this relate to the context of global knowledge production?
To what extent did the system of knowledge production, within these subdisciplines, reflect the global division of scientific work (from the perspective of world-systems theory: the capitalist core provides the theory and framework for subdisciplines; the semi-periphery centres provide primarily case studies that verify the theory)? It may be intriguing to see the relationship between subdisciplines and intellectual fashions. Finally, the broadest questions we may have could address the following: is an excellent sociological theory, one that stays abreast of radical technological and environmental changes, even possible at this point? Is it necessary?
We have worked out several subdiscipline areas that are of particular interest to us, which may, of course, be expanded to include others:
Sociology of social dynamics
Sociology of social inequalities
Sociology of migration;
Urban sociology and urban studies
Sociology of non-human beings
humanistic sociology (humanistic coefficient)
Hybrid subdisciplines of sociology; interdisciplinary studies close relate to sociology: social geography, economic sociology, etc.
The deadline for submitting complete contributions, compliant with editorial guidelines is September 30th, 2020.
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The papers that focus on children's rights or use CR pedagogical lenses in order to explore both nature and culture and their interplay with the ideals of childcare, children's wellbeing, and children's upbringing will be given priority.
Early childhood is of paramount importance for a child's development and later success in life, yet parents often do not have the knowledge and support to be the best parents for their children at this critical stage. Tired, exhausted and confused, anxious about their changing roles and changing obligations, parents may miss out on the positive aspects of parenthood and at the same time unknowingly affect their children in a negative way. Every developmental stage brings new challenges and questions for parents that often remain unanswered or inadequately addressed by pseudo-experts and heresy. This is an area for social pedagogues, social workers, psychologists, medical professionals, and social politicians to explore and clarify. The effects of natural and cultural pressures give us an interesting opportunity to reflect on the roots of traditions and praxis of childcare and parental practices observed in different cultures, in different parts of the world and in different epochs.
Prof. Marek Nowak, Adam Mickieiwcz University in Poznań, Poland
Submission deadline: December 15, 2019
The so-called ‘urban social movements’ and ‘right to a city’ initiatives are becoming increasingly important subjects for researchers representing various disciplines: sociologists, social geographers, urban planners. While existing analyses suggest the universal character of both phenomena, the authors often point out their local focus as one of the main characteristics. There is no doubt that in Europe, particularly in the southern and eastern part of the continent, urban social movements have become one of the key actors of social change (Jacobsson 2016; Pixova 2018; Jezierska, Polanska 2018; Domaradzka 2018; Dolenec, Doolan, Tmmasevic 2017).