First ISA Forum of Sociology
Sociological Research and Public Debate,
September 5 - 8, 2008
Call for papers by the ISA Junior Sociologists’ Network:
Unconventional Ways of Doing Research:
Questioning the Frontiers of Sociology
Continuous development and changing nature of our society require a steady reflection on and revision of our ways of doing sociological research. Oftentimes, however, sociologists are faced with rigidly structured academic fields that force scholars to be cautious while choosing research topic and methods of inquiry. Nonetheless, social change has a direct impact on what we study, how we conduct research, and how we present our research findings. The ISA’s Junior Sociologists Network invites papers that address these issues. We do not look for a particular theoretical or thematic research focus. Instead, we encourage colleagues to be innovative and move beyond sociological tradition. We welcome submissions not only from scholars, but also from social practitioners and activists who have a first-hand experience with various social problems that affect our society.
1. New Research Foci
Social change brings about new questions and themes for sociologists to study. Our network invites submissions that explore newly emerging fields of sociological research. Either it is a convergence of existing fields, a new and promising area of study, or an innovative way of asking questions, we encourage students of society to share their ideas with colleagues. We are interested in both theoretical and empirical submissions that detail potential consequences of re-focusing sociological inquiry.
2. Unconventional Ways of Doing Research
We live in the era of fast technological changes that affect directly the way we conduct sociological research. New research fields and questions often require changes in our research methods and techniques. We use visual materials, instead of only focusing on numbers and words, to make our studies more elaborate; we employ online questionnaires and discussion forums to collect data; and we use statistical and qualitative software during the data analysis stage. It is clear that technological changes make sociological inquiry more sophisticated, which paves the way for an innovative use of sociological research. We encourage submissions that deal with unconventional ways of conducting sociological research and focus on new types of data, data collection strategies, as well as data analysis techniques.
3. Innovative Ways of Presenting and Disseminating Research Results
Changes in how sociologists conduct research raise two important questions. First, what is considered to be a result of a sociological research? Unconventional ways of doing research are not only about employing technology; they also may have new social, practical, epistemological, and ethical impacts. Second, how do new approaches to social inquiry influence the way sociologists present and disseminate their research findings? Traditionally, sociologists have attended conferences and published peer-reviewed articles and books to share their research results with others. Nowadays, Internet, computer, and audio-video technologies open new possibilities for data presentation and dissemination. Web-based discussion forums, for instance, help destroy barriers not only between sociologists from different countries, but also between sociologists and non-academic audiences. As such, technology can be an effective tool for effective communication and productive exchange of ideas. We thus invite papers that address the nature of research results and new ways of data presentation and dissemination.
Please send your presentation’s title and abstract (max. 300 words) as well as contact details to Wiebke Keim (firstname.lastname@example.org). Submission deadline is December 15, 2007.