2016 Symposium Theme

2014-15

The Sociological Research Symposium Committee is proud to announce our 2016 theme:

Mechanisms of Power:

Examining Tools of Social Change in the New Millennium

International House, Berkeley, CA

Friday April 8th, 2016

9am-4pm

It is with urgent concern that as we continue to move forward into the new millennium, we ensure that our research is not only keeping pace with current events, but also looking towards the future. In just the past decade alone, the world has seen the powerful ways in which new technologies have opened doors and created opportunities for challenging mechanisms of power. From South Africa to Ferguson, the role of social media has been instrumental in shaping the way individuals see themselves and the influence their respective movements have on the rest of the world.

However, it is not just concerned citizens on the ground that have access to these new tools. Institutions of power alike have access and the same tools used for liberation can also be utilized for oppression. Social media plays a large role in shifting power, but how have advancements or setbacks in education, technology, public policy, and other areas impacted the way social change is created? Proposed research should examine the shifting nature of power dynamics in the new millennium that ultimately alter social change.

The committee seeks research that asks and answers questions like:

  • How do the tools of social change utilized today differ from the past and why?
  • Has a precedent been set for changing or reifying oppressive conditions today?
  • How do we critique power outside of a Marxist framework?
  • Which new scholars are we using to challenge the way the discipline itself define social change, power, or the tools used to create and change structures?

As globalization stretches its way into the last corners of the world and new media works to connect billions, it is our duty as sociologists to document and interrogate the shifts. In line with our mission, the Sociological Research Symposium aims to cultivate a greater sense of community amongst sociology scholars. We aim to unite different voices and bodies in a space committed to not only the understanding but the practice of active scholarship.

See you in April,

Sociological Research Symposium Committee