Relational Sociology: What Are 'relations' and Why Does It Matter to Study Relations?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC35 Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (host committee)

Language: French and English

Relational sociology is a growing and diversified approach since the publication of the 'Manifesto for a Relational Sociology' by M. Emirbayer in 1997. It has been connected to classical and contemporary social thinkers and philosophers such as Simmel, Mauss, Bourdieu, Bashkar, Deleuze, Elias, White, Luhmann, Latour, Tarde and Whitehead. It has been used to study various social dynamics or issues – e.g. violence, agency, social movements, social inequalities, health, education and many others. Furthermore, there is an ongoing relational 'turn' in other disciplines such as psychology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, international relations, environmental studies and archeology. In sum, there is little doubt this approach is becoming a very important one in contemporary sociology. In this session, we would like to invite papers discussing the quality and the relevance of this relational ‘turn’ in sociology. How or why is it better to adopt a relational approach to study social phenomena? Is there anything specific or distinct here? What are 'relations' in relational sociology? What does it mean to say that societies (or any other social phenomena) are 'relations'? Empirical research and theoretical discussions are welcome from sociology and compatible disciplines.
Session Organizer:
Francois DEPELTEAU, Laurentian University, Canada
Jean-Sebastien GUY, Dalhousie University, Canada
Oral Presentations
Relational Turn in Inequality Research
Sergio COSTA, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Social Relations As Processes of Configurations of Events
Andre ARMBRUSTER, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Relationship Problems: A Systems Perspective
Boris HOLZER, University of Konstanz, Germany
Distributed Papers
Towards a Transactional View of Creativity in the Social Sciences, Education, and Everyday Life
Kevin NAIMI, Doctoral Candidate in the Sociology of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada
Transaction and the Crowd
Erik SCHNEIDERHAN, University of Toronto, Canada
The Relational Sociology of Technological Survival: The Exemplifying Case of Eco-Innovation
Martin DAVID, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany; Henriette RUTJES, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ, Germany; Alena BLEICHER, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany