CSA 2019: Call for Abstracts now open!

Presentation abstracts are now being accepted for the annual Canadian Sociological Association conference, taking place at the University of British Columbia from June 3-6, 2019. The Internet, Technology, & Digital Sociology (ITDS) research cluster is affiliated with three sessions at the conference. Please see the session descriptions below:

  1. Internet, Technology, and Society (organized by Andrew D. Nevin and Anabel Quan-Haase)

The internet and digital technologies have become increasingly important to our understanding of contemporary social life. As this area in sociology continues to grow, there are many questions that remain unanswered regarding the effects of internet/technology on social interactions, relationships, culture, community, individuality, and inequality. This general session invites all papers examining the social implications of the internet and technology, broadly defined to include computers, social media and networking platforms, information and communication technologies (ICTs), digital media, etc. We welcome empirical submissions using various theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches to investigate how digital technologies impact our everyday lives, both through research related to cyberspace and online environments, as well as outcomes in face-to-face interactions due to technological interventions. We are also interested in theoretical papers that aim to rethink classical and contemporary sociological theory and methods in light of the historical impact of digital technologies. We are especially seeking submissions that creatively and critically engage with the role of the internet and technology in sociological inquiry as it pertains to Canada and abroad. Overall, our objective is to provide a centralized space for sociologists to share their diverse research at the intersection of internet/technology and other areas of sociology in order to reduce the current fragmentation of this discourse and foster its growth within Canadian sociology.

  1. Dating in the Digital Age: Sociological Studies of Digital Sexual Spaces (organized by Alan Santinele Martino, Emerich Daroya, and Nicole Andrejek; jointly sponsored with the Gender and Sexuality research cluster)

In our contemporary erotic sphere, digital spaces have become central sexual arenas. We have witnessed the emergence and burgeoning of a variety of digital sexual spaces where sexual actors can consume pornography, meet romantic and sexual partners, and explore fantasies and fetishes. From Christianmingle.com to FeetFetishDating.com, digital spaces have opened possibilities for new sexual desires, practices, intimacies, subjectivities, and identities. This session aims to contribute to the empirical and theoretical sociological literature on dating and the erotic sphere in this digital age. We welcome submissions that aim to expand and re-imagine current theories to push our sociological imagination of sex and sexuality into the digital age. Submissions that offer potential research methods for empirically examining digital sexual spaces are also welcome. We are interested in papers that take critical and intersectional approaches, addressing how social locations, such as race, gender, sexualities, and class, with/in digital spaces affect the ways in which desires are structured and how sexual ‘actors’ navigate digital sexual spaces. We invite scholars to offer ways of understanding the mutual imbrication between sexual fields/spaces, sexualities, and technologies. Areas of theoretical and empirical investigation may include, for example:

  • social groups who are excluded from digital sexual fields or marginalized within them;
  • forms of stratification and inequalities within digital sexual fields;
  • negotiations of erotic capital;
  • racism, dis/ableism, sexism in digital spaces;
  • hierarchies of desirability being negotiated in these digital sexual fields;
  • “niche” online spaces for a variety of sexualities, sexual desires, and sexual practices;
  • the regulation of these sexual spaces;
  • sexual harassment and violence in digital spaces;
  • the critical role of digital sexual spaces in enabling and constraining sexual preference structures based on age, race, class, body types, etc.;
  • the emergence of desires, subjectivities, and identities with/in online sexual spaces.
  1. Youthful Deviance in Mediated Contexts (organized by Ryan Broll)

The internet and related technologies are nearly ubiquitous in the lives of Canadian youth. And, as several scholars have noted, such technologies are deeply integrated into their lives. Although adults sometimes distinguish between their online and offline selves, as Collier (2012, p. 2) writes, for many young people social media and other forms of technology are “not separate from or in addition to ‘real life’; rather, all this activity is rooted in and part of it.” Accordingly, mediated environments are a source of both prosocial and supportive interactions and a site of deviance. For example, it is estimated that about one-quarter of all young people are involved in cyberbullying as victims, offenders, or both; sexting is normalized within many young peer groups; television, movie, and music piracy remain common; and there is increasing recognition about the presence and of digital self-harm. The implications of such behaviours may or may not extend offline. This session invites sociologically informed theoretical or empirical papers broadly aligned with the study of youthful deviance in mediated contexts, such as the internet, social media, apps, and text messaging, where youth is broadly defined to include children, adolescents, young adults, emerging adults, and so forth. Papers that focus on offending, victimization, and/or the implications of or construction of such deviance are welcome.

Abstracts can be submitted online and must be received by January 28, 2019. Authors will be notified on the acceptance of their submissions by mid-February. Abstracts should be between 100-200 words in length. Check out the full submission requirements for more information.

Call for Abstracts – ITDS (pdf)

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