The Danish Conference of Sociology 2012
19-20 January 2012
Center for Sociological Studies at Aarhus University (CESAU) and The Danish Sociological Association encourage all interested parties to participate in The Danish Conference of Sociology 2012 which is held at Aarhus University the 19 – 20 January 2012. We are proud to present no less than 36 accepted workshops many directly related to the overall theme of the conference – Troubled Identities.
The study of social change has always been integral to the discipline of sociology. As the ever-vagrant sociologist Zygmunt Bauman argues, the transition from traditional to modern societies was characterized by an erosion of social foundations, or what Bauman calls solids. Old identities were replaced by new ones, but the nature, importance and role of identity changed only to a minor extent.
In contemporary society this concern has changed fundamentally as unambiguous and coherent identities are increasingly difficult to establish and maintain. Modern societies are – more than anything else – characterized by an excess of social demands and expectations, compelling the individual to ‘live up to’ often conflicting social identities. Identity work thus, becomes a heavy, if not almost impossible burden to bear.
Troubled identities, such is the premise of this conference, signifies the simultaneous effect of this loss of social foundations and the emergence of a multiplicity of new forms of identification available to the subject. In order to unlock the phenomenon of Troubled Identities, CESAU presents some of the leading international scholars on identity formation in modern societies.
Elisabeth Beck Gernsheim (Professor, Institut für Soziologie, Erlangen-Nürnberg)
According to German sociologist Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, the modern career woman constitutes a paradigmatic example of a troubled and often mutually contentious identity. In her empirical studies of changes in the sociology of love, marriage and family Beck-Gernsheim demonstrates how many women struggle to reconcile a potentially stressful working career with the personal and social expectations of womanhood, motherhood and family life.
Renata Salecl (Senior Researcher, Institute of Criminology, University of Ljubljana)
The concept of Troubled Identities implies, to a certain extent, freedom of choice. According to Slovenian philosopher and sociologist Renata Salecl it can rightfully be argued that this freedom of choice has itself become today's totalitarian ideology. We are compelled to choose the food we eat, the schools our children attend, the doctor who treats us, the books we read on vacation, etc. Choice, according Salecl, encompasses the sole legitimate lifestyle. A paradoxical effect of this freedom of choice is its ability to align and standardize people to an unprecedented degree. We can choose freely among everything on shelf A and shelf B, the only thing forbidden to us is resistance to perceive ourselves as ‘a chooser.’
Banu Bargu (Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, The New School) Conflicting identities are a crucial element in Banu Bargu’s studies of identities and strategies of resistance. Combating an enemy through self-destruction – in the form of hunger strikes, self-immolation or suicide bombing – is an extreme example of Troubled Identities. The predicament isn’t simply that identities of resistance are often defined by the adversary; it’s closer to a catch-22. Thus the partisan is ultimately posited in a quandary between self-preservation and the desire to change society on the one hand and the very manifest possibility of dying on the other hand.
Laura Gilliam (Associate Professor, Department of Education, Aarhus University)
The challenge of Troubled Identities also extends into the age of childhood and adolescence as Danish anthropologist Laura Gilliam’s detailed field work among boys from ethnic minority cultures demonstrates. She uncovers how these boys nourish a strong antipathy towards the school while recognizing the symbolic value of education. Through what is perceived as mischief behavior the boys protest against prejudices regarding ‘ethnic adolescents’, often with the paradoxical side effect of reproducing the exact same discrimination and exclusionary logics that they seek to overthrow.
Per Mouritsen (Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University)
Finally the political creation of Troubled Identities is a dominant theme in Per Mouritsen’s research on tolerance and citizenship. The new ‘politics of recognition’ that distinguishes between good and bad forms of citizenship is a special kind of deliberate misrepresentation of certain social identities. Ironically, this is done by recycling liberal and republican ideals in order to stereotype predominantly Muslim identities as uncivilized, dependent, unreasonable, undemocratic and passive.
Guideline for abstracts
It is possible to participate with paper, an oral presentation or without presentation. You are more than welcome to contact all the workshop coordinators to discuss potential paper proposals. In an attempt to draw more international researchers to the conference and in order to better integrate the keynote speakers, the working language in the panels is, with a few exceptions, English.
On the website sociologikongres.au.dk/en/workshop-sessions/ you can find descriptions of every workshop. Deadline for submitting an abstract is December 16 and should be sent to the designated coordinators and include the following:
• Name and initials of all authors
• Full address of the institutional affiliation of every author
• Indication of the workshop where the paper is to be presented
• The maximum length of the abstract text should be 400 words. Preferably in Word or PDF-format
• Indications of whether the paper can be made downloadable on the website of the workshop session
The coordinators are responsible for selecting papers for presentation.
The selected abstracts are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 19.
More information on http://sociologikongres.au.dk/en/workshop-sessions/