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Issue 44: Opening Up Sociology


Dear Fellow Sociologists,

Opening Up Sociology to the non-European world, beyond its often ‘Western’ character and thinking; Opening Up Sociology to less traditional methods of data collection and presentation; Opening Up Sociology to the challenges posed by the changing world of publishing – all of these will remain exciting and demanding tasks for our discipline in this new decade and which are highlighted in this issue of The European Sociologist.

At the same time, TES issue 44 is a recap issue focusing on the 14th Conference of the European Sociological Association in Manchester. You can read about the myriad tasks that needed to be completed for its successful organisation – a helpful read, or so I hope, for those of you engaged in some kind of conference organisation or other. You can relive the stimulating and intensive experience of the pre-conference PhD Summer School, which was not, as one participant reports, yet another arena for academic competition, but rather an encouraging space for truly open exchange.

It was also the positive encounters at the Manchester conference which led our Plenary speaker Sari Hanafi, together with Stéphane Dufoix, to reflect on the further Opening Up of Sociology to what they call “universality”. And we could not have an ESA conference in the UK in 2019 and not talk about Brexit. In a Semi-Plenary co-organised with the British Sociological Association, speakers called for opening up the debate to the UK’s ignored overseas citizens and territories.

With this issue, we undermine and open up the main theme of the Manchester conference, namely boundaries and barriers. In the end, the experience of the conference itself was rather that of belonging to a global sociological community – daring the Barcelona conference in 2021 to do even better in this regard! 

We begin the new year with a new editorial team behind The European Sociologist. The ESA Communications Committee is now comprised of seven great colleagues from five different countries, led by the Chair Prof. David Inglis (University of Helsinki), and I am very happy to work with this new team on TES in what is already its 25th year. We are planning to ‘open up’ TES, as well: for example to new formats such as podcasts and videos (ESA has introduced a YouTube channel). Contact me editor [at] () if you have something you would like to share with the readership of TES.

One of the next issues should focus on Teaching Sociology. We are also curious about all the things sociologists do outside of their research work. Are you in a music band? Do you do volunteer work? Are you a triathlete? A craftsperson? An activist? Do you binge-watch TV shows? Let us find out about what keeps you going in your daily life and which you do not usually subject to rigorous sociological analysis!

Also, make sure to read Marta Soler's first President's Message, in which she calls for an Opening Up of Sociology to society, and of society to Sociology.

Remain attentive!

Dr. Dagmar Danko, Editor of THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST