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Discussion – Key Debates, Viewpoints & Interviews
Issue 42: 1968 - 50 Years On
Dear Fellow Sociologists,
In this new issue of The European Sociologist, we look ahead to August 2019 and the 14th ESA Conference in Manchester. In his contribution, Gary Pollock, chair of the Local Organising Committee, explains how locating the conference in Manchester means that sociology is returning to one of its central roots. ESA President Sue Scott introduces the six Plenary speakers Manuela Boatcă, Sari Hanafi, Michèle Lamont, Nasar Meer, Françoise Vergès and Michel Wieviorka.
In her President’s Message, Sue also updates you on the latest, very complex developments in the field of Open Access. We might be on the brink of quite radical changes in the world of publishing and it is the role of organisations like the ESA to ensure that sociologists, indeed that all researchers from Social Sciences and Humanities, are not put at a disadvantage.
Speaking of the world of publishing, don’t miss the contributions by the editors of ESA’s European Societies, Michalis Lianos, and Sociology, Alan Warde, who coincidentally both write about peer reviewing.
In this issue, you can also learn more about the activities of ESA’s Research Networks 01, 13, 19 and 34, and of the National Sociological Associations in France, Poland and the UK.
At the end of the year 2018, in The European Sociologist we look back at the year 1968 and reflect on its ramifications for today. Seven colleagues from the Czech Republic (Csaba Szaló), Finland (Risto Alapuro), France (Michel Wieviorka), Germany (Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey, Armin Nassehi) and Italy (Donatella della Porta, Lorenzo Zamponi) take the time to analyse sociologically the ‘cipher 1968’ as Armin puts it. Interestingly, all the authors relativise the outcomes of 1968 (especially Risto, Lorenzo and Michel), but most of them also point to at least one positive impact on societies: Michel sees 1968 as the end to authority in its most recognised, established, and traditional aspects; Ingrid believes that 1968 revolutionised our perception of the social world; for Donatella 1968 was a search for radical innovation in democracies; and Csaba stresses that with 1968, we can understand that the importance of freedom is not ridiculous at all. For 2019, we should resolve to be bolder and less afraid to come over as ‘ridiculous’ when campaigning for (political, academic, personal…) freedom. Our societies certainly need it.
Robert Fine was a colleague who was just that: bold and very much aware of the importance of freedom and what it entails. Many of you wish to pay him tribute and not only can you read a contribution about Robert’s work in the In Memoriam section, there will also be a Midday special at the 14th ESA 2019 conference in Manchester.
We have many things to think about. ‘Permanent reflection’ is what Armin considers to be the main legacy of 1968.
On that note:
Dr. Dagmar Danko, Editor of THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGIST