Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN29_04: Borders and Boundaries: Europe and Beyond
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Craig Browne, University of Sydney
Location: GM.325
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Transcending Internal Epistemic Borders: From Diagnostic to a more Visionary Sociology

Krešimir Žažar

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Croatia

In the period of its earliest induction, sociology had a twofold task: diagnostic and emancipatory. Alongside scientific scrutinizing of a society, sociology also aimed to refine it. Nearly two centuries later, emphasis is centred on the diagnostic task, while the emancipatory remained neglected. Certainly, sociology today accurately unfolds the increase of inequalities, disparities and injustice in contemporary societies primarily framed by the dominant global neoliberal paradigm. The mentioned phenomena and processes are infrequently conceived as a deviation from the classical welfare social system model. While sociological analyses provide tremendously valuable insights into the shortcomings of contemporary societies, they do not indicate how these flaws can be overcome. Hence, current sociology fails to provide completely novel models and proposals of (re)organizing society entirely outside already known boxes. The crucial thesis claimed here is that there is a burning necessity for sociology to (re)consider how particular social phenomena and challenges topical nowadays, like artificial intelligence, robotics, automatized systems and current technological advancements, can be directed towards the development of a more just and emancipatory society. The utopian dimension of sociology thus ought to be invoked, but not in a manner of dreaming about a barely attainable ideal future, but by outlining concrete models of a novel social (re)organization that can emerge soon. Sociologists are encouraged not to restrict themselves to the analytical diagnosis of societies, but to make a leap further and pursue scenarios for a better future. In this manner, sociology would accomplish emancipatory prospects that it once announced.

Exit, Voice and Loyalties :: Contributions Of Continental Sociological Theory

Gilles Verpraet

Sophiapol , University Paris Nanterre, France

Sociological and philosophical analysis have been framing the question of frontiers within a dialectic of flux and territories (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980), as a dialectic between center and periphery (Amin, 1970 ) specifically with the control of population ( Noiriel , 2005 ).So have been developed some researches on the policy of transaction at the frontiers processes (Sassen, 2006; Verpraet et Boudreault 2011),

Our paper intends to specify the contribution of cosmopolitan studies so to specify the social contents of interdependence, such as collectives network organizations, such as a feeling of US inside a liquid society (Butler 2015). Transaction and Coordination, Exchange and Solidarity constitute the social concreteness acting the design of societal interdependences (Beck, 2003; Faist, 2010,)

On these analytical basis can be developed the dialectic of control inside a multilevel society. The dialectic between center and periphery was constituting the State formation in the 19 century ‘(Tilly, 1970), developing the top/ down struggle between elites and republic (Piketty, 2015). The post modern formations amplified the mixed hybrid processes between flux and territories (Boltanski 1999), between transactions and public controls (Hirshman, 1970) .

The struggle between belonging and learning coming from the 19 century inaugural debate of classic sociology (Tonnies versus Durkheim) can be questioned by the modern dialectic between flux and recognition ensuring openness and hospitality with the migrant (Honneth, 2001; Verpraet et Salzbrunn, 2010). Inside this analytical construction, we may observe some extension of the socialization processes connecting belonging, learning and recognition, supporting both inclusive society and open society. We may also observe a diversification inside the exit forms (level of abstention, liquid subjectivity , transnational actors, weakening of the National references)

Border, Grenze, Confine limes: New Political Representation of The Mediterranean Sea

Ilaria Riccioni

Free University of Bozen, Italy

The concept of border implies the concepts of space, of no space, and the border between them.

There are material borders as physical borders, but also psychological borders (perceptions and mental constructions); time borders or temporal limits (deadlines, age, death). Human being are defined by borders as limits and we might make a big distinction between the concept of Space which is dimensional and quantitative; and the concept of Place which is on the other hand affective and qualitative.

The border in sociological terms can be a way to recognize the other, to create a differentiation in reality, to experience the dialectic of inside - outside (culture, nationality, ethnicity, values).

The concepts of border in sociology are found in Max Weber, for whom borders have historic-material implications as well as historic-political ones. Every type of community (Gemeinschaft), also political community, are characterized by the sentiment of belonging as the result of long-lasting cohabitation and of reciprocal caring (Weber, 1894; Scaglia, 2008).

Georg Simmel dedicates in Excursus a detailed analysis where borders, as delimitations of space, give sense to any relation in society. (Simmel, 1908). Any border creates identity, belonging, and differentiation. The concept of “champ”, according to Bourdieu, is the category through which any social dynamic and phenomena can be explained or understood (Bourdieu, 1975).

Borders also create a peculiar relation to mobility. And mobility is for Simmel the core of modernity, because it is continuously in dialectic with the negotiation of space, and its borders.

The paper will analyze the changed perspective towards Mediterranean sea from a bridge across life into place of death, the consequence to new border politics in Italy and Europe.

Peter L. Berger’s "Invitation to Sociology": Beyond Europe, Beyond the West?

Silke Steets

Leipzig University, Germany

Although Peter L. Berger’s "Invitation to Sociology" (1963) was first published more than 50 years ago (in the US), it remains one of the most widely adopted introductory books in the field. Not least due to its numerous translations – ranging from Hebrew to Indonesian, and from Norwegian to Catalan – generations of undergraduate sociologist all around the world have learnt from Austrian-born American sociologist Peter L. Berger ‘what sociology is all about’ (blurb).

Based on a careful re-reading of the book as well as of review articles, an interview I did with Berger in 2016 and archival research, my paper follows a twofold aim: First, I will reconstruct what influenced Berger in his approach to sociology as a ‘humanistic’ enterprise. Having spent his forming years as a graduate student in sociology with eminent European emigré scholars at the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York, Berger developed an understanding of the discipline that follows the tradtion of German ‘Geisteswissenschaften’ emphasizing its close relationships with history and philosophy. However, throught connecting this perspective with the reality of the American society, Berger points out that sociology can help to debunk the mechanisms of the social machinery and thus contribute to a fundamental understanding of personal freedom. Against this background, I will, in a second step, critically evaluate the potential of some of Bergers ideas that mostly come as timeless ‘humanistic’ concepts of social theory and ask whether or not they can inspire contemporary sociological thinking – even beyond the West.