PROPOSED FOR ISA CONGRESS
Brisbane, Australia -- 7-13 July 2002
This planning document supplements information posted on the ISA Home Page at: RC35 Panels Interested persons are invited to contact the panel organizers. Please keep Fred Riggs informed of progress so he can post additions and revisions.
PLAN . Globalization poses important new problems that require re-thinking what we already know and developing a new vocabulary that recognizes what the Program Committee calls: all aspects of diversity existing in the international sociological community, including variety of gender, languages, continental, regional and national traditions. Details can be found at the ISA Congress.
COCTA panels at the Brisbane
ISA Congress in July 2001 will take the growing diversity generated by
globalization into account. Most comprehensively, this means that the
diversity of interests, claims and pressures could lead to the terrors of
global disorder or, instead, to growing integration, something that hinges
on our capacity to promote global democracy in place of
anarchy and authoritarianism - Henry Teune will plan a panel on this concept.
Society has become a focus for political leaders in responding to
globalization. Global interconnectedness has challenged local ideas of
society. Both proponents and opponents of globalization invoke society,
but the concept's scope has never been so indeterminate. We need to draw
both from diverse cultures and other disciplines to shape a concept fit
for global challenges to humankind. Martin Albrow will raise such
questions in his panel on concepts of human society.
Society has become a focus for political leaders in responding to globalization. Global interconnectedness has challenged local ideas of society. Both proponents and opponents of globalization invoke society, but the concept's scope has never been so indeterminate. We need to draw both from diverse cultures and other disciplines to shape a concept fit for global challenges to humankind. Martin Albrow will raise such questions in his panel on concepts of human society.
These changes imply fundamental reorientations in the relationships between different classes and communities, social strata, the genders, age groups and sexual orientations - Volker Dreier will focus attention on them in a panel on social power. In order to cope with the monumentally complex problems generated by these changes, we clearly need to know much more than we have ever known in the past - Peter Ohly will put these questions into focus in his panel on knowledge society. Historical sociology has sensitized us to the fact that globalization has been a long-term process with an ancient past, but the pace of change has grown faster and faster in the context of electronic innovations such as the World Wide Web - Hartmut Rosa will consider such questions in the context of a panel on the concept of acceleration in a temporal context. At the methodological level, it is not possible to talk clearly about all these problems without an adequate vocabulary of concepts and terms - Fred Riggs will prepare a panel that focuses on methods used in the analysis of concepts.
Because the themes of these COCTA sessions are related to each other, it is hoped that those interested in any one of them will attend the others as well, thereby promoting the linkages among diverse themes that will support growing creativity and understanding in conceptual analysis.
Series Organizer: Henry Teune , University of Pennsylvania
PROPOSED PANELS AND THEIR ORGANIZERS
Asterisks following the names of panel organizers link to their abstracts
The Concept of Global Democracy The Concept of Social
Power The Concept of
Society Methods for Analyzing
Concepts Time and the Concept of
Henry Teune * University of Pennsylvania 211 Stiteler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone 898-4209, Email: email@example.com:
For some related thoughts see his paper, Globalization and Local Democratic Governance
Volker Dreier* Dr. Volker Dreier, Institut fuer Soziologie, Universitaet Jena, Otto-Schott-Str.41, D-07443 Jena, Germany;
Phone: ++49(0)3641-945543, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Albrow* , Roehampton Univ., UK (on leave, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC.:)
Peter Ohly ,* GESIS Informationszentrum Sozialwissenschaften, Bonn, Germany
Fred Riggs * , University of Hawaii, Political Science, emeritus (home: 3920 Lurline Drive, Honolulu, HI 96813)
Tel: (808) 732-5308; His Home Page
Preliminary draft of paper on Electronic Nomenclators for Brisbane Congess.
See also Electronic Term List -- and the digest -- not for quotation without author's permission.
Background information can be found at: Shelter Concepts for a COCTA panel at the Montreal ISA Congress, July 1998
Hartmut Rosa: * Institut f|r Soziologie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitadt, 07740 Jena, Germany
Tel.: 03641-945514 (945510), Fax.: 03641-945512, email: email@example.com
New School University, New York, Department of Sociology,
65 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.10003
from September 2001 to August 2002.
The Concept of Social
The Concept of
Methods for Analyzing
Time and the Concept of
The Concept of Global Democracy: Organizer: Henry Teune
Despite amibguities and contested meanings, the ideas of local and national democracy have entered social science terminological and conceptual discourse. What, however, does democracy mean at a global level? Does it require only individuals or can groups and nations be part of it? How can democratic values, processes, and practices be attached to transnational and global actors and institutions? What concepts used for local and national democracy--transparency, accountability, pluralism, competition of ideas--can be applied globally?
The Concept of Knowledge Society Organizer: Peter Ohly
In order to cope with the monumentally complex problems generated by globalization, we need to know much more than we have ever known in the past - the Internet has created unprecedented opportunities for the rapid diffusion of scientific sociological knowledge
The Concept of Social Power Organizer: Volker Dreier
The concept of power plays a fundamental role in critical reflection about society. However, even the most basic questions concerning the concept of power have been subject to ongoing debate. Furthermore, and especially in a rapidly changing world society which we denote by the term, globalisation, we can discern a new quality of * social power structures and changing relationships related to social classes and communities, social strata, ethnic communities, the genders, age groups and sexual orientations.
The Concept of Society Organizer: Martin Albrow
Society has become a focus for political leaders in responding to globalization. Global interconnectedness has challenged local ideas of society. Both proponents and opponents of globalization invoke society, but the concept's scope has never been so indeterminate. We need to draw both from diverse cultures and other disciplines to shape a concept fit for global challenges to humankind.
Methods for Analyzing Concepts Organizer: Fred W. Riggs.
A preliminary draft of the paper by Riggs on Electronic Nomenclators
Two definitions of concept can be found in the entry for this word offered in the Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems. According to the first, a concept is a word or phrase used in propositions purporting to describe real world relationships. The second defines it as the smallest unit of (conscious) thought processes. As understood here, only the second definition is accepted: words are viewed as symbols or lexical units capable of representing concepts, but they are not themselves concepts.
Sometimes concepts are confused with theories but it is important to recognize that, although all theories are composed of sets of interrelated concepts, no concept can be understood as a theory. Unfortunately, in ordinary usage, concepts often name a theory. For example, concept of evolution may refer, ambiguously, to a theory or a concept. Of course, a word used to name a theory may also designate a concept -- capitalizaation would help us make this distinction: e.g., Evolution names Darwin's theory but evolution represents his core concept.
Because concepts are so easily confused with the terms (words, phrases or symbols) used to represent them, we need methods that clearly associate the concepts we need with the terms used to represent them. To begin the analysis of any concept, we need a complete representation of its necessary or distinctive characteristics. This can be provided by text (description or definition) a picture or a diagram, that identifies its essential characteristics. For convenience, however, whenever we make frequent use of a concept, we need a short form such as a symbol, word, phrase, number or ikon --– i.e. a erm --– that can succinctly and unambiguously represent it. This inverts the familiar lexicographic context in which one defines the meanings of a word. Each sense of a word as found in a dictinary definition describes a different concept. Concept descriptions, therefore, are not the definition of a word, even though such definitions may contains several concept descriptions.
Many difficulties result from lack of agreement about which concept any particular term represents. Ideally, terms are unequivocal: that is to say that, in context, it is apparent to users just which of several possible concepts is intended. However, when terms are equivocal -- as they often are -- they may be understood as referring, in the same context, to two or more concepts. It is utopian to expect any term to be univocal, i.e. to have only one meaning in all contexts of use.
Moreover, many concepts can be described but lack any simple designation:– they are, therefore, termless . The development of clear discourse in the social sciences, especially in the formulation of theories and the growth of scientific knowledge, requires a methodology that permits us to use terms unequivocally. Although such expressions may be ambiguous out of context, in the context where they are used it is important for us to know their intended meanings. At a time when our world is globalizing and both invention and diversity generate novel ideas, it is more important than ever to respond to perplexity, diversity and confusion by being able to identify useful concepts and develop unequivocal terms to represent them.
Since concept can be used, equivocally, to represent a unit of thought, a word, or a theory, and we need all three ideas, the convention used in much COCTA discourse rests on using concept unambiguously just to represent a unit of thought, the first of these ideas. We can substitute term for concept when thinking about lexical items, and we can use theory instead of concept when we want to talk about propositions that link sets of concepts.
Time and the Concept of Social Acceleration Organizer: Hartmut Rosa
In current debates on Globalization and late-modern societies, it is often said that many social processes have accelerated and that the rates of social change themselves are changing. Thus, we find frequent allegations that society, history, culture or, curiously enough, even time itself are accelerating. However, pace Virilio and his likes, the concept of acceleration itself remains very fuzzy, elusive and ill-defined. The panel therefore aims to clarify the concept and thesis of social and historical acceleration by searching for answers to the following questions:
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