Call for Abstracts through September 30, 2019
IV. ISA Forum of Sociology in Porto Alegre
By Götz Kaufmann, 2019-04-27
In the time from July 14-18, 2020, the Fourth Forum of the International Sociological Association (ISA) will take place in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The conference is named Challenges of the 21st Century: Democracy, Environment, Inequalities, Intersectionality, thus aims to cover "challenges we face for living together on a limited planet" as Geoffrey Pleyers, Vice-President of Research at ISA, puts it (click here).
We are pleased to announce that the session "(Critical) Environmental Justice As New Research Paradigm in Sociology" proposed by the Environmental Justice Institute (EJI) was accepted by the RC24 Environment and Society panel.
The session will consist of an introducing input by the chair followed by selected presentations and discussions. Operating language is English.

The following Call for Abstracts (CfA) is open through September 30, 2019.

Who can submit?
As (environmental) sociology overlaps with many other disciplines, we welcome submissions from any discipline linked to, dealing with, or working on issues of Environmental Justice concern, either as theorists, empirical researchers, or field-researchers.

Topic of the session
The CfA aims for abstracts related to the key concepts of environmental justice: (sociobiological) environment, justice, environmental justice, and environmental racism. This session will provide the floor for critical research beyond a sociology "as if nature did not matter" (Murphy). Dealing with questions of environment as social construction of reality and justice as contested concept between a theory of justice (Rawls, Nussbaum) and a variety of elements (Schmidtz), we are interested in research on environmental justice's limitations theorywise, like the necessity to replace 'environmental racism' by 'environmental intersectionality', and how to combine the theories on intersectionality and environmental justice? The session eventually aims to clarify (maybe even define) the need for a critical environmental justice research paradigm in sociology that opposes techocratic and accommodative analyses (cf. Dryzek 2008) of environmental phenomena.
Considering environmental justice's once radical conception as coming from grassroots and opposing existing (research) frames, we assume its 'radical reformism' (Herbert Marcuse) has faded into arbitrariness over the period of the last three decades. The now broad usage of the concept entails various mainstream derivatives (i.e. climate justice) but still is or can be an orientation for critical research. In search for defining columns of a research paradigm that confronts the existing academic environmental regime as well as the regime of inequality in society, the session allows for critical discussion and controversial debates with reference to outlined Tasks for Critical Environmental Justice Analysis.
Considering the huge impact of field research into theory building and development in sociology (Grounded Theory, Chicago School), we explicitly encourage researchers to present and locate (even in the following discussion) their bottom-up findings within a conceptual framework for environmental justice. Also young researchers, people of color, or otherwise deprived, are particularly prompted to submit!

We welcome abstracts about (but not limited to) the following aspects:
  • theory/theories of justice
  • dialectic of nature and society
  • intersectionality in environmental justice research
  • buen vivir, mother nature, indigenous struggles, environmental justice?
  • variety of environmental justice research
  • ecological modernization and environmental justice
  • Grounded Theory research in the field of environmental justice
  • Bottom-up (field) research on environmental justice

How to submit?
If you wish to answer the call, you may find steps and instructions here. To initiate the process of submitting an abstract, please follow the instructions of the website here after clicking on RC24 Environment and Society, or simply click here to be transferred directly to the RC24 interface of this session to fill in your data.

Any questions?
For content related questions regarding your submission, please make contact with the chairwoman of the session, Francesca Rosignoli. In case of technical issues with the submission, we kindly refer you the ISA secretary.
Image: © International Sociological Association