Global Forces and Local Life-Worlds: Social Transformations

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Edited by: Ulrike Schuerkens

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    About the Authors

    Nina Bandelj is both assistant professor of sociology and faculty associate at the Center for the Study of Democracy at University of California, Irvine. Her research interests are in comparative economic sociology, political economy, sociology of culture and change in Central and Eastern Europe. Her recent articles were published in Social Forces, Current Sociology and Sociological Forum. Address: Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. [email: nbandelj@uci.edu]

    Helmuth Berking is professor of sociology at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany. His research interests are in the fields of cultural globalization, political sociology and urban sociology. His recent publications include Sociology of Giving (Sage, 1999) and Städte im Globalisierungsdiskurs (Königshausen and Neumann, 2002). Address: Technische Universität Darmstadt, Institut für Soziologie, Fachbereich 2, Residenzschloss, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany. [email: hbe295@t-online.de]

    Lauren Langman is professor of sociology at Loyola University, Chicago. His interests include alienation studies, Marxist sociology and cultural sociology. Recent publications include: ‘Suppose They Gave a Culture War and No-one Came: Zippergate and the Carnivalization of Political Culture’, American Behavioral Scientist (December 2002); ‘The Body and the Mediation of Hegemony: From Subject to Citizen to Audience’, in Richard Brown (ed.) Body, Self and Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2002); ‘From the Poetics of Pleasure to the Poetics of Protest’, in Paul Kennedy (ed.) Identity in the Global Age (Macmillan and Palmore, 2001); with Douglas Morris and Jackie Zalewski, ‘Globalization, Domination and Cyberactivism’, in Wilma A. Dunaway (ed.) The 21st Century World-System: Systemic Crises and Antisystemic Resistance (Greenwood Press, 2002). Address: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. [email: llangma@luc.edu]

    George Morgan teaches sociology and cultural studies in the School of Humanities at the University of Western Sydney. His book on black/white reconciliation in Australia will be published in 2003. Address: Humanities/Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia. [email: george.morgan@uws.edu.au]

    Christine Müller studied sociology, social anthropology and the history of arts at the University of Basle (Switzerland). She received her PhD from the Sociology of Development Research Centre, University of Bielefeld, and is currently a research assistant in the project ‘Globalization of Knowledge – Development Experts in World Society’ at the Institute of Global Society Studies associated with the University of Bielefeld. Her main research interests are methodology, knowledge, gender, development politics and epistemic cultures. Recent articles are published in Markus Kaiser (ed.) Weltwissen, Entwicklungsexperten in der Weltgesellschaft (Verlag, 2002). Address: Graf-von-Stauffenbergstr. 7a, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany. [email: christine.mueller@uni-bielefeld.de]

    Eric Popkin is assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology at Colorado College. He has published a number of articles on various facets of Central American immigration in Los Angeles and transnational migration. Address: Department of Sociology, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA. [email: epopkin@ColoradoCollege.edu]

    Shalini Randeria is professor of sociology and anthropology at the Central European University, Budapest and a member of the working group on ‘Civil Society’ at WZB, Berlin. Professor Randeria's interests include globalization, law and public policy, development studies and postcolonial theory. Recent publications include chapters in Yehuda Elkana et al. (eds) Unraveling Ties: From Social Cohesion to Cartographies of Connectedness (St Martin's Press, 2002) and in Sebastian Conrad (ed.) Jenseits des Eurozentrismus: postkoloniale Perspektiv in den Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften (Campus Verlag, 2002). Address: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Central European University, Nador Utc. 9, 1051 Budapest, Hungary. [email: 100703.1663@compuserve.com]

    Ulrich Schiefer is a sociologist and professor at the Instituto Superior de Ciěncias do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE), Lisbon and researcher at the Centro de Estudos Africanos, Lisbon and the Institute Sociology, University of Münster (Germany). He has conducted field research in Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Portugal. His published books include Guinea-Bissau zwischen Weltwirtschaft und Subsistenz. Transatlantische Strukturen an der oberen Guinea Küste (ISSA, 1986) and Von allen guten Geistern verlassen? Dissipative Ökonomie: Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und der Zusammenbruch afrikanischer Gesellschaften. Eine Fall-Studie zu Guinea-Bissau (IAK, 2002). Address: ISCTE, Avenida das Forças Armadas 100, P 1649 026 Lisbon, Portugal. [email: schiefer@iscte.pt]

    Johanna Schmidt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her thesis, which will be completed mid-2003, is an investigation of the impact of westernization and migration on Samoan fa'afafine. Her teaching interests include globalization and popular culture. Address: PO Box 1869, Shortland St, Auckland, New Zealand. [email: schmidtjo@hotmail.com]

    Ulrike Schuerkens has doctorates in sociology and in social anthropology and ethnology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She received the diploma ‘Habilitation à diriger des recherches’ from the University Paris V – René Descartes. Currently, she teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She was a lecturer at Humboldt University Berlin (Germany). She has published extensively on development, social change, migration, multiculturalism, and colonialism. Her latest books are Changement social sous régime colonial: Du Togo allemand aux Togo et Ghana indépendants (L'Harmattan, 2001); Transformationsprozesse in der Elfenbeinküste und in Ghana (Lit, 2001). Address: 10, Jonquoy, F-75014 Paris, France. [email: ulrike.schuerkens@caramail.com]

    Willfried Spohn is adjunct professor at the Free University of Berlin, has been visiting professor at several American universities and is currently research director of an EU-funded Western/Eastern European comparative project on European and national identities (EURONAT) at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt-Oder, Germany. He has published widely in the area of historical and comparative sociology. His major publications include: Can Europe Work? Germany and the Reconstruction of Post-communist Societies (ed. with S. Hanson, 1995); Europeanization, National Identities and Migration: Changes in Boundary Constructions between Western and Eastern Europe (ed. with A. Triandafyllidou, 2002); Modernization, Religion and Collective Identities: Germany between Western and Eastern Europe (forthcoming). Address: Konradin Str. 5, 12105 Berlin, Germany. [email: Willfried.Spohn@IUE.it]

    Marina Padrão Temudo is an agronomist at the ISA, Lisbon and senior researcher at the Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT)/Centro de Estudos de Produção e Tecnologia Agrícolas (CEPTA), Lisbon. Her ethno-agronomie field research has been conducted mainly in Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe. Her article ‘A escolha do sabor, o saber da escolha: selecção varietal e segurança alimentar na Guiné-Bissau’ was published in Revista de Ciěncias Agrárias (Lisbon) 4: 69–95 (1996). Address: CEPTA, IICT, Tapada da Ajuda, Edifício das Agro-industrias e Agronomia Tropical, Apdo 3014, P 1300-901 Lisbon, Portugal. [email: Marina_Temudo@hotmail.com]

    Preface

    Global Forces and Local Life-Worlds assembles the most interesting contributions to the Research Committee 09, ‘Social Practice and Social Transformation’, of the International Sociological Association over the four years between the 14th World Congress of Sociology in Montreal, Canada (1998) and the 15th World Congress of Sociology in Brisbane, Australia (2002). These contributions thematize from different theoretical approaches and sociological perspectives current socioeconomic, political and cultural processes of ‘glocalization’ – the manifold entanglements of globalization, modernization and traditional life-worlds in various western as well as non-western regions, societies and localities. The focus here is less on macro-theories of globalization, though they are always implicitly or explicitly addressed, rather than on micro-sociological analyses of global macro-processes in specific social life-worlds. With this focus, we hope to transcend not only the methodological nationalism of most national sociological traditions, but also the Euro- or western-centrism of many world-system and globalization theories. In this methodological and analytical direction, the assembled contributions attempt to join the growing multi-perspective endeavours for an international, transnational and global sociology.

    This publication presents a summary of recent activities of RC 09 and simultaneously a prelude to a thorough reorientation and restructuring of its future research activities and organizational format. This is indicated by the planned name change of RC 09 from ‘Social Practice and Social Transformation’ to ‘Social Transformation and Sociology of Development’. At its creation in 1974, the RC 09 was named ‘Innovative Processes in Social Change’ and shortly thereafter (1980) renamed as ‘Social Practice and Social Transformation’. Originating from the impulses of the cultural revolution and its constitutive social movements in the 1960s, both names intended to bring together critical and participatory social research in the first, the second and the third worlds. The concept ‘social transformation’ was directed at the then predominating modernization paradigm and its focus on western-centred, teleological, macro-theories of social change and intended to open the sociological eye to contingent, open and actor-centred processes of social transformation. The concept ‘social practice’ referred to the then predominating notion of social engineering in the direction of western modernization. Its intention was to support – ‘emancipatory social movements’ by critical and participatory sociological research.

    In the meantime, however, both labels, ‘social practice’ and ‘social transformation’, have lost their critical self-evidence. The classical modernization theories and related macro-theories of social change, not at least as a response to their critics, have undergone a thorough self-critique and reconceptualization from neo-modernist to multiple modernity approaches with an analytical focus on social structure, culture and social agency or macro-micro links in social reality. As a result, the distinction between social change and social transformation has lost its critical implications. As well, the concept of social practice aiming at participation in emancipatory social movements, at least after the breakdown of Communist and socialist regimes all over the world, has often turned out as a naive romanticization of social movements – better to be replaced by a value pluralism of committed and disengaged sociological research. Furthermore, the emerging new world order in the context of intensifying globalization processes has dissolved the clear-cut distinctions between the first, second and third worlds, and has been replaced by a multilayered, multipolar, hierarchical, asymmetric and unequal global order of manifold social changes, developments and transformations.

    Under these new world conditions and their implications for and challenges to a transnational and global sociology, the envisaged title ‘Social Transformation and Sociology of Development’ of RC 09 wishes to invite particularly the growing number of sociologists who concentrate their work on the comparative sociological analysis of transnational and transhistorical macro- and micro-processes of social development and social transformation in the non-western world and its embedded linkages to the western world. This invitation is particularly directed to: (1) traditionally western or western-located sociological scholars who work in the fields of ‘developmental sociology’, ‘Entwicklungssoziologie’, ‘sociologie du développement’ or ‘sociología de desarrollo’ and related international or area studies; (2) scholars in the increasingly developing national sociologies in the non-western world in Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Latin-America and Eastern Europe; (3) scholars in the western and non-western world who concentrate their work on the transnational and global interconnections and interactions in the emerging global society in non-western and western world regions; and (4) sociological scholars who focus on related theoretical approaches of multiple modernities, globalization, world-system and postcolonialism in a civilizational, international, transnational and global comparative perspective.

    Global Forces and Local Life-Worlds assembles contributions in different theoretical, analytical and methodological orientations as interesting examples of such a reorientation of RC 09 ‘Sociology of Social Transformation and Social Development’. My special thanks for the materialization of this publication go particularly to Ulrike Schuerkens, the designated new president of RC 09 for the coming four-year period, who prepared the book with unremitting energy, and Julia Evetts, the editor of the Monograph Issues of the Sage Studies in International Sociology, without whose sympathetic support this idea would never have been realized.

    WillfriedSpohn President of RC 09 1999–2002

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