Conference Agenda

MD12: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
12:45pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: Apostolos G. Papadopoulos, Harokopio University
Location: BS.G.34
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

This session aims at exploring the interface of disciplinary boundaries and addressing the issue(s) of inter/cross-disciplinarity in relation to sociology which feels defeated or threatened because of the disruption of disciplinary boundaries. It is common knowledge that inter/cross-disciplinarity is easier to be said than accomplished due to the sovereignty of disciplinary boundaries and the impact of theories reinforcing them. The Midday session will address the main challenges accompanying the various attempts – at the level of particular research themes domains and/or funding institutions – to establish inter/cross-disciplinarity along with the prerequisites for achieving such a target. Those who work within disciplinary boundaries will value the virtue(s) of sociological theory and analysis against more ‘synthetic’ approaches.

However, on the other hand, there will be a discussion of the forces that drive sociologists to work in interdisciplinary contexts. Specific reference will be made to the complexity of organizational fields as the main cause for demanding a variety of skills that are spread over several professional groups. In this connection, a targeted discussion will refer to the skills and abilities required for interdisciplinary work in contrast to traditional academic practices. Finally, the available data from a survey of sociologists will be utilised to illustrate experiences with and perceptions of opportunities and challenges when working with professionals from other disciplines.


Manuel Fernández-Esquinas, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)


Manuel Fernández-Esquinas holds a PhD. in Sociology and Political Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. He is a research scientist at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and director of the Joint Research Unit on Knowledge Transfer and Innovation (CSIC and University of Córdoba). His main fields of research are sociology of innovation, sociology of science, innovation policies, knowledge transfer and the uses of the social sciences. He has published about these subjects in European Planning Studies, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Regional Studies, Industry and Innovation and Higher Education, among others. His latest edited book is titled Innovation in SMEs and Micro Firms: Culture, Entrepreneurial Dynamics and Regional Development (Routledge, 2018, with van Oostrom and Pinto). Currently he is serving as President of the Spanish Sociological Federation and Coordinator of the Research Network 27 “Regional Network Southern European Societies” of the European Sociological Association.

David Inglis, University of Helsinki, Finland


David Inglis is Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki. Before that, he was Professor of Sociology at the University of Exeter and the University of Aberdeen. He holds degrees in sociology from the Universities of Cambridge and York. He writes in the areas of cultural sociology, the sociology of globalization, historical sociology, the sociology of food and drink, and social theory, both modern and classical. He has written and edited various books in these areas, most recently The Sage Handbook of Cultural Sociology and The Routledge International Handbook of Veils and Veiling Practices (both with Anna-Mari Almila), and An Invitation to Social Theory (Polity). He is founding editor of the Sage/BSA journal Cultural Sociology. His current research concerns the sociological analysis of wine and wine world globalization.

chaired by

Apostolos G. Papadopoulos, Harokopio University Athens, Greece


Apostolos G. Papadopoulos is Professor of Rural Sociology and Geography in Harokopio University Athens. He has worked as principal investigator and project leader in numerous research projects funded by Greek National Agencies, the European Commission and the McArthur Foundation (USA). He has research experience on socio-spatial transformations in rural areas, social class and stratification, rural development policy, return to the countryside, international migration, migration and local labour markets, inequalities in the labour market, and civil society. He has significant experience in the administration and management of academic institutions as Vice-Rector of Economic Affairs and Development in Harokopio University (2011-2015). He was President (2016-2018) of the Hellenic Sociological Society (HSS) and Chair of the LOC for the organisation of the 13th ESA Conference in Athens. Currently, he is Vice-President of the European Sociological Association and new co-Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley/ESRS journal Sociologia Ruralis.

No contributions were assigned to this session.