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Sociology

COMMUNICATION, CRISIS, AND CRITIQUE IN CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM

Communication, Crisis, and Critique in Contemporary Capitalism
Conference of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network 18 – Sociology of Communications and Media Research

October 18-20, 2012.

University of the Basque Country, Bilbao

Details: http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/ESA_RN18_CfP2012.pdf

Keynote Talk: Professor Peter Golding (Northumbria University,UK) – Why a Sociologist should take Communications and Media Seriously

Abstract
In the presentation of this paper, Peter Golding will reflect on why the study of communications and media demands the insights and methods of sociology, and why RN18 therefore is an appropriate network within the European Sociological Association. He will present reflections on how such key sociological concerns as inequality, identity, power, and change are at the heart of the questions we should be posing in addressing the nature and role of the media as institutions and communications as a social process. The paper will also address how far changes in the technologies of media and communications alter, or should alter, our approach to generating research and insight in this field.
Peter Golding is pro-vice chancellor of research & innovation at Northumbria University, founder and honorary chair of ESA RN18.

Call for Submissions and Participation
We are living in times of global capitalist crisis that require rethinking the ways we organize society, communication, the media, and our lives. The current crisis seems to a certain degree be different compared to previous ones, among other reasons due to the role of mediated communication and information in establishing/changing economic, political, and social relations as well as the crisis itself. The crisis can also be seen as crisis of what has been called consumer capitalism or informational capitalism. More precisely it has resulted on the one hand in a hyper-neoliberal intensification of neo-conservative policies and on the other hand in the emergence of new popular movements that are critical of the commodification of everything and demand the strengthening of society’s commons. The second movement has in the social sciences been accompanied by a renewed interest in critical studies, the critique and analysis of class and capitalism, and critical political economy. The overall goal of this conference is to foster scholarly presentations, networking, and exchange on the question of which transitions media and communication and media sociology are undergoing in contemporary society. The conference particularly welcomes contributions that are inspired by sociological theories, critical studies, and various strands and traditions of the critical study of media & society.

Questions that can be covered by presentations include, but are not limited to:

* What is a crisis? What forms of crisis are there? How do they relate to capitalism and communication?

* How have the media presented the crisis? Which similarities and differences in crisis reporting are there between different media (television, press, and new media) or between media in different countries?

* How has the crisis affected various media and cultural industries? What is the role of changing media technology in the economic crisis? How has the media economy changed since the start of the crisis in 2008? How have advertising investments, profits, market values, etc developed in the media economy since the start of the crisis? How has the global expansion of media industries been reshaped by the crisis and what is the future of global media and news agencies? What changes can be traced in the production of news and other media content? Are there changes in the nature of media products?

* What is the role of media and communication technologies in the financialization, acceleration, and globalization of the capitalist economy? How can a post-crisis media economy look like? How has advertising favoured a climate of private consumer debt?

* What are the ideological implications of the crisis for mediascapes? Which ideological discourses do companies, CEOs, managers, or neoliberal politicians use for justifying their interests, lay-offs, high bonuses, inequalities, etc and how are these discourses represented by the media or in strategic company reports? How are hyper-neoliberal crisis policy responses (“socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor” in the form of bank bail outs and budget cuts in areas like welfare, education, social security, health care, etc) ideologically justified and how do the media represent such ideologies? What is the role of finance capital in the media and cultural industries? Which hegemonic, alternative, or contradictory interpretations and reception practices of media content that relates to the crisis are there? Which ideologies and myths underlie the capitalist crisis?

* What is the role of media, communication, critical journalism, and alternative media in contemporary uproars, riots, rebellions, social movements, protests, demonstrations, and revolutions?

* How do identities and mediated identities change in times of crisis? How should one think about the relationship of economy and culture in light of the capitalist crisis? What is the relationship of class and identities and of politics of redistribution and recognition today? How do we have to rethink and reshape the relation between political economy and cultural studies in the light of capitalist crisis in order to adequately study the media and communication?

* How is the public sphere changing in the light of the global crisis? What are perspectives for politics, participation, and democracy today and how do these perspectives relate to the media and communication? Is the role of media in democracy changing? If so, how? Are media a distinct player in politics? If the established media form an estate of power in democracy, do we today new a new estate of power? If so, how could it look like?

* What are the causes, realities, and consequences of the commodification of the communication commons? What are alternatives to the commodification of the communication commons? How can one strengthen and create public media and commons-based forms of communication? What are the relationships and differences between the commodity logic, the gift logic, and the logic of public goods and how do these logics shape the media?

* How do contemporary societal trends, such as integration, diversity and conflicts in Europe and the world, transnationalism and networking, digitization, informatization, globalization, glocalization, prosumption, neoliberalism, privatization and commodification, migration, racism, changing gender relations, consumer and advertising culture, warfare, terrorism, the new imperialism, surveillance, social movement protests, global societal risks, the strengthening of right-wing extremist and fascist movements, or the anti-corporate movement and other movements, shape media and communication and how do media and communication in turn shape society in times of crisis and transition?

* What are the tasks, roles, responsibilities, and identities of the sociology of media and communication in a society that is facing deep crisis? What is the actual or potential role of critique, ethics, struggles, counter-power, resistance, protest, civil society, and social movements in contemporary societies and contemporary communications?

* What are the major trends that shape contemporary society and how are these trends related to mediated communication and knowledge production? In what society do we live? What society do we desire to have? What forms of media and communication do we find in contemporary society? What forms of media and communication do we desire and how must society change in order to achieve these goals?

* What are the major trends in respect to crisis, communication, and critique in Europe? What are the major trends in respect to crisis, communication, and critique in other parts of the world?

* How do different companies and organizations make use of different information transmission technologies? What is the role of high speed financial flows and associated transmission networks in the finance industry? How (in)visible are these flows?

Submission

An abstract of 200-250 words should be sent to Dr. Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest, at the following e-mail address: bilbao.conference@yahoo.com. Please insert the words Bilbao in the subject. The deadline for abstract submission is May 31st 2012. 

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Socialism and Hope

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW 73

FROM REFORM TO REBELLION

http://www.isreview.org/

Issue 73: September–October
From Reform to Rebellion
Image and reality in the Bolivia of Evo Morales

Election 2010

Lance Selfa • Analysis in brief
Preparing for a Republican comeback? The political terrain of the mid-term elections

Phil Gasper • Critical Thinking
The Democrats’ broken promises: Obama’s progressive supporters have been disillusioned in record time

Immigration

Justin Akers Chácon
The preventable rise of Arizona’s SB 1070

Justin Akers Chácon
Free trade without free people: Politics of the U.S.-Mexico border

International

Antonis Davanellos
Crisis, austerity, and class struggle in Greece

Toufic Haddad • Interview
The future of the Palestinian movement

Jeffery R. Webber
From rebellion to reform in Bolivia: Image and reality under Evo Morales

The economy

David McNally
The mutating crisis of global capitalism

David Harvey
Explaining the crisis
Interview with the author of The Enigma of Capital

Books

Geoff Bailey
Searching for the new, resurrecting the old
Review of The Coming Insurrection

Jeff Bale
Making sense of modern imperialism
Review of Imperialism and Global Political Economy, by Alex Callinicos

Leela Yellesetty
How the racial caste system got restored   
Review of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow

plus Nagesh Rao on Marx’s approach to non-Western societies; James Illingworth on Marxism and history; Scott McLemee on Irving Bernstein’s books on workers during the Depression

Debate

Tom Wetzel, Sebastian Lamb, and Eric Kerl
Contemporary anarchism: An exchange

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Alternative Culture

CULTURAL LOGIC: AN ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF MARXIST THEORY AND PRACTICE

A NEW DOUBLE ISSUE

Dear colleagues and comrades:

I am pleased to announce that the new double-issue of ‘Cultural Logic: an electronic journal of marxist theory and practice’ is now available online at: http://clogic.eserver.org/

Below, please find the table of contents to each part of the double-issue.

Sincerely and in solidarity,

Joe Ramsey

Editor of the forthcoming 2010 Cultural Logic special issue on “Culture and Crisis” – jgramsey@gmail.com

Cultural Logic: an electronic journal of marxist theory and practice

New Double Issue 2008/2009

Issue 2008: http://clogic.eserver.org/2008/2008.html

Issue 2009: http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/2009.html

***********************

Cultural Logic, ISSUE 2008: http://clogic.eserver.org/2008/2008.html

Articles

Stephen C. Ferguson II: “Contractarianism as Method: Rawls contra Mills”

Melissa Hull Geil: “Shakespeare and the Drama of Capital”

Nigel M. Greaves: “Intellectuals and the Historical Construction of Knowledge and Identity: A Reappraisal of Gramsci’s Ideas on Leadership”

Sven-Eric Holmström: “New Evidence Concerning the ‘Hotel Bristol’ Question in the First Moscow Trial of 1936”

Nicola Masciandaro: “Consciousness, Individuality, Mortality: Basic Thoughts about Work and the Animal/Human Boundary”

John H. McClendon III: “The African American Philosopher: The Missing Chapter in McCumber on McCarthyism”

J. C. Myers: “Traces of Utopia: Socialist Values and Soviet Urban Planning”

Garry Potter: “Humanism and Terror: Merleau-Ponty’s Marxism”

J. Jesse Ramirez: “Rage Against the Dying of the Light: Herbert Marcuse and the Politics of Death”

Jacek Tittenbrun: “Between Subjectivism and Individualism: A Critical Appraisal of the Austrian Case for Private Ownership”

Reviews

Lukas MacKenzie: Mark S. Blumberg, Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior, and Michael Tomasello, Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition

Poetry

Bruno Gulli: “Hölderlin’s Window”

Howard Pflanzer: “The Endless War”

*********************** 

Cultural Logic, Issue 2009:
http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/2009.html

Articles

Jeffrey Cabusao: “The Social Responsibility of Filipino Intellectuals in the Age of Globalization and Empire: An Interview with E. San Juan, Jr. and Delia D. Aguilar”

Alzo David-West: “The Literary Ideas of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il: An Introduction to North Korean Meta-Authorial Perspectives”

Barbara Foley: “Rhetoric and Silence in Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father”

Grover Furr: “Evidence of Leon Trotsky’s Collaboration with Germany and Japan”

Bülent Gökay and Darrell Whitman: “Mapping the Faultlines: A Historical Perspective on the 2008-2009 World Economic Crisis”

Dave Hill: “Culturalist and Materialist Explanations of Class and “Race”: Critical Race Theory, Equivalence/Parallelist Theory, and Marxist Theory”

Michele Frucht Levy: “‘For We Are Neither One Thing Nor The Other’: Passing for Croat in Vedrana Rudan’s Night”

Gregory Meyerson: “Post-Marxism as Compromise Formation” (Foreword by E. San Juan, Jr.)

Michael Joseph Roberto: “Crisis, Revolution, and the Meaning of Progress: The Poverty of Philosophy and its Contemporary Relevance”

Spyros Sakellaropoulos and Panagiotis Sotiris: “Peter Gowan’s Theorization of the Forms and Contradictions of US Supremacy: A Critical Assessment”

E. San Juan, Jr.: “An African American Soldier in the Philippine Revolution: An Homage to David Fagen”

Daniel F. Vukovich: “Uncivil Society, or, Orientalism and Tiananmen, 1989”

Reviews

Paul M. Heideman: Michael E. Brown, The Historiography of Communism

David Schwartzman: Eileen Christ and H. Bruce Rinker, eds., Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis

Poetry

Christopher Barnes: Selected Poems

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski