International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Economy & Society

RC02 Summer 2019 President's Letter

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

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.

Nadya Guimaraes (RC02 Board member, and ISA Forum program co-organizer) is also organizing a major pre-conference on Cultural Analyses of the Economy, to be held on 13 July 2020, the day before the ISA Forum begins, and at the same location. This pre-conference will enable scholars with congruent theoretical commitments to engage with one another’s work and to socialize in a more intimate setting. So, mark your calendars for 13-18 July 2020 in Brazil!

The World Society Foundation has generously agreed to fund two major RC02 conferences in Asia. From February through April, Christian Suter (RC02 Board member, and World Society Foundation board member) and I held an open competition among RC02 members to organize a funded, international conference on the leading edge of research. We received four meritorious applications—all of which would have made excellent conferences. From these we selected two, the precise dates of which have not yet been established. Both are anticipated for May or June 2021, with the conferences spaced so that scholars can attend both if you so desire, as they are within short flights of one another. 

One conference will be in Taiwan. The Institute of Sociology at Academia Sinica will be organizing a conference on Economy, Society & Emerging Technologies in the Global South. The conference will examine how new digitization and decentralization technologies are changing workplaces, industries, economies, and social life, particularly in the Global South. The organizers view the concept of “emerging technologies” broadly, but they are particularly interested in the social effects of automation, big data, artificial intelligence, social media, on-line platforms, the sharing economy, financialization, and green energy. The conference’s program organizers are led by Chih-Jou Jay Chen (Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the IOS, President of the Taiwanese Sociological Association, and member of the Executive Committee of ISA), Michelle F. Hsieh (Associate Research Fellow and RC02 board member), and Gwo-Shyung Shieh (Research Fellow and Director of the IOS).

The other conference will be held at the University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with an international scientific board. The conference title is  “The Political Economy of Migration: The Next Great Transformation? Current Developments, Future Prospects.” The conference will solicit contributions in three cross-cutting themes that explore the relationship between markets, states, and migrants: Governance, and the Making of Transnational Labor Markets; Transformation and Transnationalization of Care Work; and Regulation and Resistance. The program organizers collectively have a wealth of institutional and academic connections to diverse forms of political economy, including feminist scholarship, transnational labor markets, and comparative analysis of care work. The co-chairs are Heidi Gottfriend (Professor of Gender, Globalization and Work at Wayne State University and outgoing President of RC02), Karen Shire (Professor of Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society at the University of Duisburg-Essen University, and Vice President of RC02), Julie Greene (Director of the Center for Global Migration Studies at the University of Maryland and co-convener of the Global Labor Migration Network), and Nadya Araujo Guimarães, Professor of Sociology at the Universidade de São Paulo and RC02 Board Member).

Both conferences will have open and competitive calls for papers that will be announced on our website, via email, and through international listservs. Based on the organizers’ proposed budgets, most (or potentially all) of the presenters of accepted papers will have their travel and conference lodging reimbursed by the conference organizers. All papers from scholars based in countries in the Global South (B and C category countries) will certainly have these expenses reimbursed. Thanks to the support of the World Society Foundation, 2021 will be an opportunity to expand RC02’s presence in East and Southeast Asia, as well as to sensitize our members to these two important fields of research.

Almost a year ago, we launched our RC02.org website and transformed our weekly announcement emails to the membership. If you have any comments, questions, or feedback on this transition, please reach out to Dustin Stoltz, the RC02 Secretary who has spearheaded these achievements. And if you have any feedback, ideas, or requests on the trajectory of RC02, please email me.


Aaron Pitluck
Kuala Lumpur

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