In the Summer 2019 RC02 Newsletter we have a letter from the RC02 President Aaron Pitluck and an interview with a senior scholar. The interview, “A Conversation with Arnaud Sales,” is our inaugural interview with a senior scholar in the field and includes the interesting details surrounding the founding of RC02. We have also included an article written by William Carroll, “Mapping the Power of Fossil Fuels,” originally published at Work In Progress.

None of the G20 countries are on track to combat climate change under the UN 2015 Paris Agreement, and among them, Canada stands out as the country with the worst carbon emissions per capita. The Corporate Mapping Project has found out why. Canada’s fossil fuel industry is a cohesive corporate community driving a ‘new denialist’ story deep into the federal government and into key institutions such as the University of Calgary. But we can change that story.

Over the next two years, RC02 is organizing four major international conferences, two of which have fast approaching deadlines. RC02 is one of the largest research committees in the ISA, and this large membership base permits us to have a significant presence at ISA’s Fifth Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre, Brazil on 14-18 July 2020. At the Forum, we are organizing or co-organizing over 22 sessions on a wide range of topics, the far majority of which are open calls for abstracts, all of which you can find listed in this issue’s newsletter. The deadline for submitting an abstract is 30 September 2019, 24:00 GMT.

DS: Can you tell me the story of how you got into sociology?

AS: I began to take a degree in psychology, at the same time there were some common elements of the program with sociology. Because my engagement with the student movement, I found sociology to be more political in some ways and so I finally chose to do a master’s degree in sociology. After that I did a Doctorat d’Etat (the highest doctorate in France, but it doesn’t exist anymore). 

The story behind the financial crisis is relatively well known. By cutting-up and repackaging mortgage risks, banks could make more profit. At the same time, they amplified their financial losses which expanded to financial institutions all over the globe. Ten years after the global financial crisis, a new one is never far away but where will the risks come from next time? In order to know that, as economic sociologists we need to know more of the object itself: financial risks.

How can RC02 help you connect, collaborate, and create? Send me your ideas. If you are interested in organizing a conference on a theme connected to economy and society, particularly in 2019 or 2021, we can provide institutional support and some funding. Again, please reach out to me with your ideas.

Social action not only mobilizes people; it materializes or manifests itself in collective acts that are simultaneously interpreted by those who observe or experience them as well as those who carry them out. These interpretations shape narratives based on values (beliefs) and classifications (dichotomous) that generate meaning in the civil sphere, including communicative and regulatory institutions.