The preliminary program of Conference sessions is listed below in alphabetical order. Regular and Roundtable sessions (unless otherwise stated) are open to the call for abstracts, submit online by January 28, 2019.
Session | Regular Session | Rural Sociology
Rural communities face many demographic, social, economic, environmental and political challenges. Climate change, neoliberal social and economic policies, economic globalization, restructuring and de-industrialization, population ageing and outmigration, food security and sovereignty, and a host of other issues dramatically change small town and rural life, and in some cases threaten their very survival. Such challenges also alter the relationship between rural citizens and their states. In the face of these challenges, community resilience attracts significant attention across the contemporary world. The citizenship rights, freedoms and obligations typically enshrined in national constitutions—regarding personal security, education, health, income, and association—may only be weakly maintained in rural places with small populations, where external actors deem it too costly or inefficient to deliver a universal standard of services and amenities. In this session, authors analyse such rural challenges through the lens of citizenship. The papers contain both empirical (i.e. fieldwork—interviews, surveys, ethnographic data, content analysis) and theoretical content.
Session | Regular Session | Social Policy And Social Equality
Sociologists have an ontological predilection to hold space still by normalizing rootedness and dwelling as a social ‘steady state’. Sedentarist ideas undergird dominant understandings of ‘society’, ‘social structures’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘governance’ in which static social relations are ostensibly produced, governed and bounded by the nation-state. Critical mobility scholars have critiqued this sedentarist ontology by documenting the interconnected and intensifying flows of people, animals, goods, information and waste, and the infrastructures and technologies that facilitate them, that fundamentally shape everyday life, regional and national processes and global and planetary orders. Global mobilities have thus undermined territorially-bounded social structures, launching what John Urry calls a ‘post-societal’ reality. Societies of flow are interdependent, edgeless, fluid entities shaped by global processes, and understandable only through an interrelationship produced through chains of connection. Living beyond the nation (mostly obviously through the internet, consumption, global money markets and world travel), we develop post-societal subjectivities, cultures and governance structures. If contemporary social relations are configured through mobilities, then global networks and flows (re)structure social inequalities. This insight calls for the simultaneous ‘unbounding’ of sociological conceptions of (in)justice because, as the territorial spatial frame of the nation-state produces and structures fewer and fewer dimensions of social inequality, national borders are no longer the borders of relevant power relations. A sedentarist ontology provides little interpretive space for describing such mobile social processes and operations of injustice, leaving its analytic usefulness open to question. Papers in this session will employ a mobile ontology to reformulate sociological understandings of ‘the social’ and justice as constituted through spatially diverse networks of connection, rendering them relevant to mobile life in the 21st century. By developing ‘post-societal’ analyses of social inequalities that employ mobilized notions of justice, papers help us to conceive of mobility justice as a critical analytic tool for the age of mobility.
Session | Regular Session | Social Theory
Human morality is a growing field of inquiry in both the natural and social sciences, as well as a topic of public interest. Researching ‘the moral’ presents unique challenges for sociologists, however, who are always already embedded in the social worlds they study, and whose undertakings may entail not only the analysis and description of social facts but also the (intentional or unintentional) promulgation of certain normative-ethical values, ideals, principles, and perspectives to its audiences. Classical and contemporary sociologies of morality have sought to address these challenges in various ways, developing a range of epistemological and conceptual frameworks to gain insight into the nature of our bonds with others, as well as how we ought to formulate forms of social ethics. This session invites papers concerned with the relationship between the social and the moral, and/or the ways in which the social sciences approach this relationship.
Session | Regular Session | Sociology Of Disability
The right of disabled people to quality inclusive education has been formally recognized by Canada within the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Yet, symbolic and institutional governance, violence, exclusion, and oppression continue to be reproduced by educational systems. Rather than education, these systems often recruit disabled students, educators and families into regimes that ‘fix’ disability not as a social problem, but an individual problem of broken bodies and minds. We invite submissions that innovate theoretical and methodological approaches to disability at the intersection of disability studies and the sociology of education. This means understanding disability as a political, cultural and social category, and education as a phenomenon that occurs within and beyond formal institutions of schooling. We seek papers that explore both the transformative possibilities of education and seek to disrupt hegemonic psychological, medical and deficit models of disability alongside the disquieting implication of educators, researchers, practitioners and families in paternalistic and often violent educational practices—such as segregation and residential schools—structured by ableist colonial logics and neoliberal capitalism. Papers that take critical, creative and intersectional approaches, including dialogues with other theoretical perspectives such as critical race, queer, and feminist theory, and creative research methods will be prioritized. Areas of investigation may include, for example - Social contexts of disability and education - Disability arts and education - Social stratification and educational attainment among disabled people - Methodology (e.g., who participates in education-related research) - Governance and oppression in education (e.g, medicalization, ableism, racialization) - Education policy and practice - Exclusionary practices across educational contexts - Innovative educational practices - Forms of disability activism - “Othering” of disabled studentseducators in higher education and public schools - Academic ableism in post-secondary education - Future directions and emancipatory opportunities in research, theory, practice. This session is jointly organized with the Canadian Disability Studies Association.
Session | Regular Session | Social Theory
Sociology is faced with a number of tensions. Some have been with the discipline since its inception—is sociology a science is value-neutrality possible? Others are more closely tied to our present moment of political, cultural, and academic fragmentation—can value-neutrality exist within our current political climates? How do we position ourselves relative to others when false knowledge shared through social media is treated as fact and the sanctioning of individuals due to their national and ethnic background becomes part of everyday discourse? Should sociology departments institute and police codes of discourse and behaviour to “protect” sociologists from that one well-timed cellphone video that could acts as a catalyst for the next right-leaning academic celebrity? Sparked by a call from CSA President Myrna Dawson to consider the state of our discipline, this panel invites contributions from scholars who are interested in not only the present and past of Canadian sociology, but theorizing its future(s). We are particularly interested in perspectives on the present identity of the discipline and how this might be used to formulate possible futures for Canadian sociology given transformations in the global, political and academic fields. These may include reevaluations of decolonization, globalization, political change, meritocracy, stratification, and status in our discipline. All submissions should wrestle with the question what future(s) for Canadian sociology and why?