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Call for Abstracts: Minconference on Digital Sociology

Mini-Conference on Digital Sociology

Call for Abstracts

Eastern Sociological Society

2017 Annual Meeting,

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
Philadelphia, PA, February 23-26

The Eastern Sociological Society’s theme of “The End of the World as We Know It?,” references the rise of digital sociology in the following:

“Technology is revolutionizing everyday life: powerful hand-held computers are ubiquitous, communications are much easier, and commercial drones will soon fill the skies. Yet the consequences for social life are contradictory. People can be in touch with many more people, yet they are often not fully present in personal interaction. Racism and class inequality persist or worsen. The life-long career with one employer may be giving way to a “gig economy,” in which people offer their own assets or temporary labor for hire.” 

The Digital Sociology Mini-Conference seeks papers that address the many ways digital media technologies are “revolutionizing” everyday life.  Suggested topics, include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Critical Theories of Everyday Digital Life: How have we theorized everyday life, and how are these theories being challenged by digital transformations? What challenges does the digital pose to epistemologies underlying sociological theories of the everyday?
  • Digital Labor: How is the “gig economy” shifting the means of production, alienation from labor, and wages? How is creating online content a form of labor and who benefits from this? What are the consequences for social life of temporary labor done primarily online?
  • Digital Citizenship: Given the changing landscapes of public and private life, what does it mean to be a citizen in the digital era? Do the affordances of ditigal technologies changes our responsibilities as citizens? How do citizens respond to moves toward “open government” in an era of pervasive government surveillance?
  • Digital Structures, Digital Institutions: The datafication of everyday life is posing unique challenges to the composition of social institutions and giving rise to new instantiations of education, finance, labor, and governance. How do we theorize, study, and conceptualize the re-composition of these institutions?
  • Digital Sociological Methods: How do traditional, analog sociological methods become digital? Are there new, “born digital” sociological methods? Is knowledge production different now? Will big data replace survey methodology?
  • Identity, Community, and Networks: How do sociological concepts of micro and macro, personal and public, “front stage” and “back stage,” evolve as digital and mobile technologies increasingly blur these boundaries? How do digital environments shape identities of race, gender, sexuality and queerness?
  • Social Movements, Digital Technologies: Given the increasing attention to social media as a tool used by both political and social movements and campaigns in the U.S. and abroad, we invite papers that address the connections between movements and media. Topics may include but are not limited to comparisons of online and offline activism, risks and costs associated with online activism, comparisons of traditional and social media, online activist identity, and ways in which social media platforms transmit movement content such as frames.
  • Digital Pedagogy: How are educators using digital tools to teach in innovative ways?

We encourage submissions from scholars at all levels, and are particularly enthusiastic to support the work of graduate students and early career researchers. We welcome submissions for individual papers and for entirely constituted sessions. The organizers share a commitment to creating a field that honors diverse voices, and as such are excited to see scholars from groups that are typically underrepresented in sociology. When proposing entirely constituted panels, please keep this commitment to diverse voices in mind.

If you have any questions about proposals, topics, or session ideas please contact one of the organizers: Leslie Jones (lesjones@sas.upenn.edu), Rachel Durso (rdurso2@washcoll.edu)  or Jessie Daniels (jdaniels@hunter.cuny.edu).

Please submit to https://www.meetingsavvy.org/ess/frmLogin.aspx an abstract of no more than 250 words, as well as the title of the paper, name of presenter as it should appear in the ESS program r , institutional affiliation and contact details. The deadline is October 15, 2016.  In the “Submission Details” window, select “Paper” for “Type of Submission,” and select keyword: “miniconference: digital sociology” for “Select the topic area that best describes your submission.”  Be sure to include a paper title along with your abstract of 250 words or less, your name as it should appear in the ESS program, institutional affiliation, and contact information

Proposals not accepted for the Mini-Conference will be submitted to the ESS general call for submissions.

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