Critical Mass — Spring 2016

PDF version of Critical Mass — Spring 2016

Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Working Class Self-Organization Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State

Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Working Class Self-Organization Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State

IMMANUEL NESS, Brooklyn College CUNY, USA, manny.ness@gmail.com
ROBERT OVETZ, SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY, USA, rfovetz@riseup.net

The Journal of Labor & Society, in it’s 21st year, is issuing a call for
the special issue “Workers Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State?”
to rethink how workers organize and struggle. Co-edited by Robert Ovetz,
Ph.D., a political science lecturer San Jose State University, and
Gifford Hartman, an independent San Francisco, USA based scholar, the
issue seeks submissions from scholars, organizers, and activists
critically reexamining the multiplicity of forms of class struggle
outside of and inside unions, parties, NGOs, and the state happening
around the world.

The rapidly declining power and influence of unions are source of great
concern. Their coninuous decline have presented both a threat and an
opportunity. As the number of contingent workers explodes and union
density worldwide remains stagnant or declines, the effort of workers to
self-organize continues to grow. The absence or weakness of unions does
not mean the absence of class struggle. Freed of the contract, workers
are engaging in short, sharp disruptive direct action and strikes to
shift the balance of power on the shopfloor and in the community. But
these actions are often ad hoc, locally focused and unsustainable.
Despite these limitations, workers are finding new ways to self-organize
on the shopfloor and circulate their efforts throughout the social
factory. The composition of capital’s power over the past 40 years has
been a continual effort to respond to the dynamic recomposition of
working class struggle.

This issue would explore what working class recomposition looks like by
examining case studies of efforts to devise new tactics and strategies of
self-organization. Ideally, this issue will include critical analyses of
a diversity of self-organized workers struggles from several critical
regions. Among the struggles that could be potentially covered would be
the following:

Brazilian Landless Workers Movement’s efforts to seize land and build a
parallel social system
Spainish workers blocking evictions and foreclosures
Mexican workers seizure of an entire neighborhood to reorganization of
it into an autonomous community
Bolivian miners, coca growers, and street sellers in El Alto who formed
community councils that shut down the entire country in the early 2000s
and propelled the MAS into power
Latin American women struggling over the Bolsa Família social wage in
Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela
Industrial workers and miners in India, China, and South Africa who
bypass established unions to self-organize their own wildcat strikes
Kurdish workers self-organized local governance and militias in Rojava,
Syria during the civil war
Wildcat strikes in Egypt during the Arab Spring
Union backed service workers in the US who have been organizing to
disrupt production, protest contingency, and raise wages without seeking
to collectively bargain
Wildcat strikes by logistics workers (eg, truckers, longshore,
warehouse, etc.) and public employees
European anti-austerity movements

Why This Issue is Important

The focus of this issue of the Journal of Labor & Society will be on
worker organizing beyond unions, parties and NGOs that channel and
constrain organizing over the “contract” and into the state through
advocacy, elections and reform. These examples above are rich with
several vital lessons for worker self-organization we wish to see
explored in this issue. First, workers are contesting the organizational
dominance of unions by bypassing and challenging the traditional model
of unions limited to bargaining over wages, hours, grievances, working
conditions, and labor law. Second, these struggles are also transcending
parties, NGOs, and the state at a time of growing widespread resistance
to the imposition of neo-liberal policy by labor, social democratic and
left leaning parties backed by NGOs, unions, and ruling elites in Europe
and Latin America. Such institutions divert conflict by harnessing
workers to the state and capitalism thus diluting the power of
self-organized workers. (S. Marcos, R. Zibechi, M. Glaberman, G. Esteva,
and G. Rawick)

Drawing on the autonomous marxist, anarchist, and syndicalist critiques
of unions and the self-organization of workers (V. Burgmann, S. Lynd, H.
Cleaver, and P. Linebaugh) this issue would explore how workers are
devising new forms of organizing to confront capital at work and
throughout the social factory (S. Federici, S. James, M. Dalla Costa,
and M. Tronti) signaling a turning point in what it means to organize a
“union.”

The debate over whether unions should follow the “service” or “member
organizing” model or through parties, NGOs or the state is moot. Workers
are transforming their organizing into a global uprising that continues
to disrupt the global accumulation and circulation of capital by
transforming the struggle over work into a struggle to circulate class
power into all spheres of life. As capital seeks to colonize all aspects
of life so has working class struggle expanded to meet this threat. The
question this issue seeks to explore is what is the form of the
currently emerging recomposition of working class power?

Publication Plans
After the solicitation of abstracts we will invite full manuscripts for
publication in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Labor & Society.
Abstracts (maximum 500 words, attached as .pdf or .docx files) due by
August 1, 2016
Invitation to submit full manuscript will be sent August 21, 2016
Manuscripts (5,000-7,500) due February 21, 2017
Special issue of the Journal of Labor & Society will be published in
June 2017

Call For Papers: The Precariat & The Professor

In the past 25 years, higher education has seen some major transformations. The percentage of college students who are Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and Native American has increased steadily while the percentage of white students declines. Unfortunately, increased enrollment and newfound visibility does not necessarily translate into a seat at the table. University administration and faculty do not reflect the demographic shifts seen in student populations. In 2013, 84 percent of full-time professors were white, and 53% white male. At the same time, tuitions continue to rise, but rarely do those funds trickle down to the classroom. More money is being funneled into administrative positions and away from tenure-line hires. Most teaching positions are now part-time and low-paid adjunct positions. According to a 2012 report from the American Association of University Professors, contingent faculty make up over 75% of all instructional staffing. In 1975 only 25% were in these positions.

The most active individuals addressing these institutional shifts, are the contingent faculty members themselves. Unfortunately, their marginalized positions limit their ability to participate in campus governance. In addition, the culture of insularity and individualism challenges any attempts at solidarity building and delegitimizes the experiences of the precariat when they take their concerns out into the public sphere. Their work, their experiences, and their contributions to scholarship and teaching are often dismissed, mislabeled, misunderstood, or entirely ignored.

The Precariat and The Professor addresses common misconceptions and will serve as a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand the effects of recent transformations in higher education. In order to address the many false premises and beliefs currently circulating about contingent faculty, we welcome submissions from all those affected by the reliance of precious labor in higher education, and especially welcome the work of students and the contingent. We anticipate that the volume will attract a wide readership. It will speak to scholars, activists, parents, students, teachers and laypeople interested in higher education, pedagogy, activism, identity politics, and advocacy.

Committed to presenting a body of work that recognizes the fullest possible range of experiences, The Precariat and The Professor encourages traditional scholarly submissions (historical, demographic, and sociological), as well as more interdisciplinary, creative, and self-reflective contributions. Moreover, we want to look to the future. Can we envision positive change? Is there a way to “fix” the issue of contingency? How can faculty off the tenure-track transition to other jobs that recognize and utilize their talents? What is the role of the public intellectual, and what relationship does that have with precarious faculty? Can we envision a path towards transformation and revolutionary solidarity?

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The history of labor and unions in the academy
  • Contingency and the tenure process
  • Interactions between contingent faculty and graduate and undergraduate students
  • Personal memoir and creative writing (short fiction, poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction) by and about adjunct or contingent faculty experiences
  • Affect and the neoliberal university
  • Landscapes of power and privilege on campus and in the classroom
  • Organizing, activism, and labor unions
  • Gender, race, and class (or other intersectional perspectives) while contingent
  • Mythologies and ideologies of success, tenure, and advancement
  • Collegiality and departmental politics

The manuscript will be divided into three roughly sketched sections:

  1. The Teacher: Ways that contingency shapes, or changes, your experiences as a classroom teacher. This can broadly cover the literal experience of being inside the classroom space; the experience of working on multiple campuses; teaching online, or hybrid teaching; or the way classroom teaching as contingent faculty shapes, or changes, your day to day life.
  2. The Scholar: The ways that contingency affects scholarship, i.e., being “othered” by the academy, and lacking real institutional support, both fiscally and logistically, or ways outsider status allows for views and scholarly work not traditionally held or practiced by academics.
  3. The Human: Effects of contingency on one’s personal life. Includes but is not limited to finances, mental, physical, and emotional health, family life, professional relationships, and relationship with scholarly or creative work.

Submitted contributions may include full-length academic essays (about 5000 – 7000 words), shorter creative pieces, cultural commentaries, or personal narratives (about 500 – 2500 words), poetry, and photo-essays.

300-word abstract/proposals are due 7/1.

Submit proposals, inquiries, or questions to the editors:

Jillian Powers: jpowers03@gmail.com
Emily Van Duyne: emily.vanduyne@stockton.edu

We look forward to your submissions.

In Solidarity,

J&E

Original CfP: https://theprecariatandtheprofessor.wordpress.com/

CFP: Sociopedia.isa

Call for papers

Sociopedia.isa is an online peer-reviewed journal that publishes state-of-the-art review articles in the social sciences. The journal was founded in 2010 as a joint venture of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and SAGE. Since then, Sociopedia.isa has published more than sixty entries on a variety of topics. Every year the 8-10 best entries of Sociopedia.isa are selected for inclusion in an annual Review Issue of Current Sociology, one of the two flagship journals of the ISA.

We invite scholars to submit their review entries on any subject in the social sciences. Articles should give an overview of theoretical approaches on the subject, review existing empirical evidence, provide an assessment of the research to date and end with a discussion on the future direction(s). Entries are written in English and should not exceed 7000 words. For PhD students, Sociopedia.isa provides an ideal opportunity to turn the theoretical chapter of their dissertation into a journal article.

Once submitted, review entries are subject to a thorough peer review process. After acceptance, entries are published quickly. As entries can be commented on, and scholars are requested to update their entry every few years, Sociopedia.isa offers ‘living social science’.

The published entries of Sociopedia.isa are freely accessible online. Please visit our website: http://www.isa-sociology.org/publ/sociopedia-isa/. Sociopedia.isa is now also on Twitter!

https://twitter.com/Sociopedia_isa

If you have any questions, or would like to submit a paper, please contact the editorial office at sociopedia.isa.fsw@vu.nl

Kind regards,

Bert Klandermans, Editor in Chief

Teodora Gaidyte, Editorial Assistant

Sociopedia.isa, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

CFP: Ethnographies of Security

Ethnographies of Security

A special issue of Qualitative Sociology

Guest Editor: Rebecca Hanson

The policies and strategies that governments, organizations and communities employ in the search for security have changed dramatically within the past few decades. Advanced technology; wars on drugs, terror, and crime; the global diffusion of policing models; and the rise of mass incarceration and mass surveillance are just a few developments that have transformed the landscape of security. These changes have profound implications for democracy. Just like threats to security, attempts to ensure security can constrict, deteriorate, and circumscribe citizenship. More concretely, security for some often puts others’ right to life at risk, particularly marginalized and stigmatized “others.”

Recent research has emphasized the need to pay closer attention to how people interpret and negotiate security strategies. We need more qualitative research to understand how actors—whether state, non-state, or illicit—resist, appropriate, repurpose, or acquiesce to security strategies, and how these actions shape outcomes. In the banlieues of Paris, Fassin has shown that the regular deployment of anti-crime police units has created “infra-citizens,” who often acquiesce to arbitrary searches that “put them in their place.” Scholars working in Africa and Latin America have shown that, depending on socioeconomic status, one’s security might be provided by a criminal organization, a community group, or a private firm. And ethnographies of urban poverty in the United States and Europe have documented the exponential growth in the state’s capacity to punish and expel, but have also documented survival strategies used by people to evade incarceration and deportation. This qualitative work is key to understanding how the boundaries of citizenship are redrawn and democracy is redefined on the ground.

This special issue will bring together work that analyzes how changes to security alter environments, creating new possibilities for and constraints on state, non-state, and criminal actors and, more broadly, on democracy, citizenship, and survival.

Contributions are welcomed on all related themes and topics. Manuscripts may be submitted anytime before November 1, 2016.

Submission Details:

The papers will undergo Qualitative Sociology’s normal double-blind peer-review process. Manuscripts should be submitted through Editorial Manager (at http://www.editorialmanager.com/quas/Default.aspx). When submitting, choose “Ethnographies of Security” as the article type. For more information, please contact Rebecca Hanson (beccara606@gmail.com).

“We are seeing you”: protesting violent democracies in Kosova

By Michael D. Kennedy and Linda Gusia

On November 28, Albanian Independence Day in Albania and the ‘Day of the Albanian Flag’ in Kosova, Albin Kurti, the spiritual leader of the major opposition movement called Vetëvendosje, addressed the public on Mother Theresa Street in the centre of Prishtina. He declared that Kosovar citizens should continue to struggle against a controversial piece of legislation over Serbian municipal organization in the north of Kosova. He, and nearly 100 others of his supporters, were arrested by new special police forces; Kurti is slated to be imprisoned for 30 days.

On November 30, shortly before a session of the Parliamentary Assembly dedicated to ratifying this legislation, the embassies of France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States declared that “demonstrations have passed peacefully and we would like to praise everyone, especially the Kosovo Police, involved.”

In other parts of the world, embassies do not normally evaluate the qualities of protest and police behaviour, but in Kosova, the “International Community” assumes a kind of tutelage over the political process. This was already evident in the realization of the international agreement, the object of protest, itself.

More at openDemocracy: https://www.opendemocracy.net/michael-d-kennedy-linda-gusia/we-are-seeing-you-protesting-violent-democracies-in-kosova

Critical Mass — Fall 2015

PDF version of Critical Mass — Fall 2015

Calls for Award Nominations

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Mayer N. Zald Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Student Paper Award

Anyone without a PhD in 2015 is considered a student, and any paper (published or unpublished) written in 2015 by a student or students (i.e., no PhD coauthors) is eligible.  A previously submitted paper may be resubmitted only if significantly revised.  Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members. No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  This award includes a $500 prize.  Send a copy of the paper electronically to each of the committee members by March 1, 2016:

Mayer Zald Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award:  Kenneth Andrews (chair), kta1@email.unc.edu; Drew Halfmann, dhalfmann@ucdavis.edu; Catherine Corrigall-Brown, corrigall.brown@ubc.ca ; Robert Braun, rb529@cornell.edu.

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award

Articles and chapters from edited books with publication dates of 2015 are eligible. Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members.  No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  Send a copy of the article electronically to each member of the prize committee by March 1, 2016:

Best Published Article Award James M. Jasper (chair), jjasper@gc.cuny.edu; Neal Caren, neal.caren@unc.edu; Elizabeth Borland, Borland@tcnj.edu; Justin Farrell, justin.farrell@yale.edu 

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award

Section members, authors, or publishers may nominate books with publication dates of 2015. Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members or publishers.  No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  Send or have publishers send a copy of the book to each member of the prize committee by March 1, 2016:

Charles Tilly Award for Best Book:  Belinda Robnett (Chair) brobnett@uci.edu, (University of California, School of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA. 92697-5100); Lee Ann Banaszak,lab14@psu.edu, (Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 31 Pond Lab, University Park, PA 16802); Edward Walker, walker@soc.ucla.edu, (Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 228A Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA. 90095); Katrina Kimport, katrina.kimport@ucsf.edu, (UCSF-ANSIRH, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612)

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Dissertation Award

Any doctoral dissertation completed (i.e. successfully submitted, defended, and approved) in calendar year 2015 is eligible. Only nominations from the student’s dissertation chair or co-chair will be accepted. Nomination letters should not exceed two typed pages in length. The nomination letter should be accompanied by the dissertation in electronic form. Please direct all questions to the committee chair. This award includes a $1,000 prize. Send a copy of the nomination letter and dissertation to each of the committee members by March 1, 2016:

Outstanding Dissertation Award: Wayne Santoro (Chair), wsantoro@unm.edu; Tanya Saunders, saunders.425.osu.edu; Steven Boutcher, boutcher@soc.umass.edu; Melissa Wooten, mwooten@soc.umass.edu

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL NOMINEES MUST BE REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE ASA
TO BE CONSIDERED FOR SECTION AWARDS

 

Mobilization 20(3)

Dear Colleagues: Below I list the contents of the Mobilization’s latest issue, with short descriptions of the articles and contact information of the authors. This is an excellent issue. For submission information and inquiries, please contact Neal.Caren@unc.edu

Continue reading

Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

The Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville invites applications for one tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level in the area of the environment, beginning August 1, 2016. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in applied social science research on socio-environmental factors impacting communities in the United States. Teaching interests and collaboration with others in promoting community resilience; renewable energy, alternative agriculture and food systems, green economic development and technology, and other projects related to the human dimensions of ecosystem management and environmental policy would also be welcomed.

Our environmental faculty collaborates on educational and research projects with variety of departments and groups within the university (e.g., Offices of Sustainability, the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, the Sustainable Studies Working Group, the Water Resource Research Center, the Center for the Study of Social Justice, the Human Dimensions Research Lab, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, Environmental and Global Studies and Geography). The Department helped to establish environmental sociology within the discipline and we are looking for a scholar who will add to its reputation as a leader in this field. We are particularly interested in candidates who can contribute to our strength in social justice and whose research resonates with our other programs in political economy, globalization and criminology. The Department has a strong international reputation for excellence, has a vibrant intellectual culture, and is undergoing a period of expansion. Applicants must demonstrate promise of distinguished scholarship and excellent teaching, as well as experience or strong commitment in seeking external funding. Situated near the Smoky Mountains, our department offers a supportive and collegial atmosphere in which scholars make a variety of important contributions to the world. The Ph.D. in Sociology or a related discipline is required at the time of appointment. The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University. Review of applications will begin October 12, 2015 and continue until the position is filled. Please send a letter of application, CV, three letters of reference, two samples of writing, and a teaching statement to the Chair of the Search Committee, Dr. Robert Emmet Jones (via email to: nloftis@utk.edu). For more information on the department, please see our website. (http://sociology.utk.edu).

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.