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Session Overview
RS14_02a_IC: Sociology of Morality III
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Urszula Szczepankowska, University of Warsaw
Session Chair: Izabela Sakson-Szafranska, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Resocialization of the University of Warsaw
Location: Intercontinental - Omikron II
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Level 1

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Morality in the state of doom. Sexual abuse against women as an element of collective violence

Urszula Anna Szczepankowska, Izabela Sakson-Szafrańska

University of Warsaw, Poland

Sexuality is one of the most important aspects of human life, especially for female existence. Conversely, sexual activity doesn't play a significant role in scientific research and rarely been examined in research on collective violence. It didn’t fit so easily into the postwar image of the concentration camps as monuments to suffering. Sexual activity is anchored in everyday society. It seems that during collective violence there is no different.

In mass conflict, survivors of sexualized violence and their family members often experience shame and keep their stories with them to the grave.

Focusing mainly on two totalitarian regimes in 20th century in Europe, the paper will start by discussing how sexualized violence is presented based on existing source, including women's history from WWII.

Brothels were in concentration camps spread across German occupied Europe. While there are many suppositions as to why this was initiated, Himmler himself to clarify the complexity thought it would be an effective incentive to promote a hard work ethic.

The Soviet Union introduced their own system of prisons and forced-labor camps - Gulag. Rape and prostitution, both heterosexual and homosexual, were part of camp life. We aim at identifying and mapping practices of sexualized violence and investigate their tendency to disappear.

Our paper addresses the tension between real experience of sexualized violence and the maintenance of heroic identity. Focused on Lagerbordell, Überlebensprostitution, sex for survival and forced prostitution.

In conclusion, the paper will highlight: how sexualized violence is used as a weapon of mass violence; the relations between the moral recognition of different kinds of sexualized violence; the concept of patterns of sexual violence to clarify the complexity of this subject.

Meat, masculinity and morality

Stefan Wahlen

Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands, The

Moralities of eating meat in everyday life are constantly evolving with associated food practices. This contribution aims at scrutinizing dynamics and linkages in practices of eating, gender performances and representations as well as moralities. The practices of eating meat evolve with associated elements of social practices: understandings, procedures and engagements. Of particular relevance for moralities is the understanding of such practices in terms of meaning and representations in performed practices. The performativity of doing food would not be possible with particular material, i.e. food, being handled that is understood as good or bad. Moral aspects of social practices become particularly apparent when considering gender roles: eating and preparing meat is broadly considered a male social practice. Barbequeing is an empirically very interesting example, as its role in many European societies has changed during recent decades. The moralities of eating meat are under constant contestation with ‘lay normativity’, i.e. moral orientations associated with meat, being influenced by media Through an analysis of gender representations in the monthly magazine "beef”, a journal that is targeted towards male barbequers, the dynamics and linkages of meat, masculinity and morality can be emphasized. Further, this contribution attempts to disentangle and problematize moralities being associated with masculinities and eating meat, thereby advancing theories of social practices highlighting representations of manliness without propelling meat as a symbol of masculinity. As such, this contribution avoids a reification of androcentrism but rather advances a problematization of gender roles and moralities in social practices of eating.

Solidarity or charity? On the moral orientations of the refugee helpers in Europe. A report from the sociological field research at the refugee camps in Iraq and Greece.

Iwo Tomasz Los

The University of Warsaw, Poland

The so called refuge crisis inspired the specific – both institutionalized and spontaneous – reactions of the people in Europe. In my presentation I will analyze different discourses and moral orientations characteristic for the social actors engaged in various forms of helping the refugees. One of the main discursive distinction defining the movements is built on the alternative: solidarity vs charity, or optionally: solidarity not charity. What does solidarity mean as opposed to the charity in the relevant axiological contexts of the refugee crisis?

In 2014 I visited the official UNHCR-run refugee camp Kawergosk, Iraq. In 2016 I was in the unofficial Idomeni refugee camp, Greece. As part of my research I engaged in the informal volunteers group providing clothes and food for the refugees and organizing the painting stations for children leaving in the Idomeni camp. I will analyze the relevance of the “solidarity not charity” discourse and will verify if in fact the different discourses and moral orientations translate into different forms of alliances and help. Focusing on the unexpected alliance of the informal groups with the UNHCR office I will show what happens in practice when they cross each other. A will analyze the conditions for such an alliance and its sustainability. Among other social theories, I will ask my research questions in a relation to the findings of the anthropological research by James C. Scott described in his Weapons of the Weak and to the in-depth analysis of the late development of the Solidarity movement by David Ost.

The Moralisation of Society and the Rise of ‘Conscripted Volunteering’

Itamar Shachar

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, The

Militaries increasingly engage their soldiers in activities beyond their regular military duties and defence-related tasks that are framed as ‘community engagement’ or ‘volunteering’, ranging from facilitating activities for children to delivering food to the needy. The paper conceptualizes this phenomenon as ‘conscripted volunteering’, and analyses its proliferation is part of broader ‘moralization’ of contemporary society that glorifies ‘volunteering’ as a prominent route for ethical conduct, constituting it as an object of intensified political interest and promotion.

The paper explores the growing spread of ‘conscripted volunteering’ in various armies, while focusing on its intensive implementation in the Israeli military, a military which is considered a paradigmatic case in studies of armed forces. While ‘volunteering’ that is facilitated by militaries can be considered as a means to enhance their public legitimacy, inspired by corporate techniques of reputation management, the paper proposes to analyse it also as a governmentality technique that reinforces the ideological loyalty and ethical coherence of soldiers in relation to their routine duties, through cognitive and affective means. This analysis enables to re-think ethics not as a ‘civic’ product that limits military conduct but as a constitutive force in the formation of militarized subjects. In the case of the Israeli military, which is embedded in an ongoing settler-colonial project, conscripted volunteering appears as a particularly useful mechanism that contributes to the regulation of soldiers’ subjecthood and ethical conduct. Through engaging soldiers in activities that are accepted uncritically as ‘good’, their self-perception as ethical subjects is restored.

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