From ESA – Strategies & Activities
ESA Office Communiqué – Dagmar Danko
Dagmar Danko, Editor of The European Sociologist
In October 2016, I took up the position of Executive Coordinator at the European Sociological Association. For me, a true European, joining an international organisation acting for and operated by academics from some 50+ countries might have seemed unsurprising, but there is hardly anything coincidental about me working for the ESA.
I studied sociology, the history of art and European law at universities in Freiburg (DE) and Paris (FR), specialising early on in the sociology of arts and culture. My PhD focused on the role of contemporary art in social theory. After obtaining my doctorate, I spent a few years simply working as a sociologist. But nothing is simple when you work as a sociologist. What struck me about the art world was just how precarious the situation of creative workers is – so many talented people going through so much trouble in order to do what they want to do: competing for funds, struggling for recognition. Does this ring a bell? It did to me. I switched from science to science management because if I cannot make the work of people involved in arts and culture easier, I can at least make the work of sociologists easier by investing my knowledge and organisational skills in supporting them.
So this is what I would like the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST to be: A vehicle for reporting the ESA’s activities (the conferences, the summer schools, the work of its journals, what the Research Networks and National Associations do), a service to show how doing sociology can be enabled or improved (with a focus on teaching, funding and other opportunities) and a platform for discussing live topics, whether they concern our societies or our discipline. I would like to position the EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST as a place where, much like at ESA conferences, you can present as yet unpolished theories, test your own views and analyses and where you can interact with others without the feeling of being examined, assessed, evaluated, and ranked – as shown in this issue’s DISCUSSION articles there is more than enough of that in our daily work.
This endeavour can only be achieved with the help of many others. In my work, I am supported by the ESA Executive’s Communications Committee: in this term (2017-2019), Milica Antic Gaber (SI), Teresa Consoli (IT) and Lena Näre (FI), complemented by the ESA president, Sue Scott (UK). Also, the fantastic look of this website owes a lot to Arndt Lau and Bogdan Strecker from Sinnoptics, our reliable web developers. And then there is you: Do you also want to be reporting on ESA’s activities? What advice do you have for doing sociology? What topics should we be discussing? Issue 42 will centre on ‘1968’ 50 years on. Do you want to contribute? Please email me at editor [at] europeansociologist.org !