CSA 2020: Call for Abstracts now open!

Presentation abstracts are now being accepted for the annual Canadian Sociological Association conference, taking place at Western University from June 1-4, 2020. The Internet, Technology, & Digital Sociology (ITDS) research cluster is affiliated with four sessions at the conference. Please see the session descriptions below:

ITD1: Sociological Insights on Cybercrime and Deviance (organized by Ryan Broll)

From communications to social media to the Internet of Things, there is little doubt that technology continues to occupy an ever greater space in our personal and social lives. As news stories and empirical accounts demonstrate, the continued expansion of technology represents both opportunities and challenges for Canadians. Cybercrime and deviance represent two broad categories of such challenges, and sociologists are among the foremost scholars investigating topics such as financial and security crimes, cyberterrorism, hacking, online harassment and cyberbullying, sextortion, and the dark web. This session aims to bring together those studying diverse topics at the intersection of the internet, technology, and digital sociology and criminology. Theoretical and/or empirical papers focused on offending, victimization, or policy are welcome.

ITD2: Understanding Fake News: Misinformation, Disinformation, and the Sociological Imagination (organized by Michael Adorjan)

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where information disseminated online was used to manipulate voters during the 2016 United States presidential election, concern has emerged over ‘fake news’ and its impacts, both online and offline. However, some argue that beyond the concept of fake news, it is important to distinguish between “disinformation”, which refers to “Information that is false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization or country,” and “misinformation”, which refers to “information that is false, but not created with the intention of causing harm”. Existing research is emerging, with some expressing a general rejection of journalistic ‘objectivity’, especially among young people, and others examining how fake news ‘bots’ operate. Sociological framing of fake news remains formative. Thus, this session invites scholarship on fake news from a sociological perspective. Theoretical pieces framing fake news within particular sociological theoretical frameworks, empirical examinations and everything in between are welcome, with the broad focus of how we can understand fake news, and people’s understandings of fake news.

ITD3: Internet, Technology, & Social Movements (organized by Andrey Kasimov)

The internet and other information technologies have become important staples in contemporary politics and social movements. For over two decades, online spaces have been able to provide security and refuge for political actors and groups facing censorship from their countries. The internet was a pivotal technology in anti-state movements such as the Arab Spring and Anonymous. At the same time, nation-states have attempted to employ information technologies to influence democratic processes globally to achieve their political ends. More recently the internet has also acted as a space where contested ideas of the far-right have gained traction and seem to be growing. This session invites papers that broadly engage with how the internet and information technologies are being used by social movements, individual political actors, and nation states to meet their goals. We are interested in empirical contributions that engage with the variety of ways technology has come to shape and reshape political and ideological debates and involvement at both the global and local levels. Theoretical contributions that aim to develop new theory or extend contemporary theories via engagement with the internet and information technologies are especially encouraged. We are interested in high quality research that engages critically with the impact information technologies are having on our understanding of social movements and political sociology. The main goal of this session is to foster a space where social movement research and digital sociology intersect to the mutual benefit of both fields.

ITD4: Technology and Society – General Session (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 such 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 platforms, information and communication technologies (ICTs), digital media, etc. We welcome empirical submissions using various 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 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 technology and other areas of sociology in order to reduce the current fragmentation of this discourse and foster its growth within Canadian sociology.

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Abstracts can be submitted online and must be received by January 27, 2020. Authors will be notified on the acceptance of their submissions by February 7. Abstracts should be between 100-200 words in length. Check out the full submission requirements for more information.

Call for Abstracts 2020 – ITDS (PDF)

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