XVII ISA International Laboratory for PhD Students

XVII ISA International Laboratory for PhD Students

Precarization and Resistance: Environment, Everyday Life and Citizenship
September 5-11, 2022
Tunis, Tunisia

The International Sociological Association (ISA) invites applications from PhD students in sociology or interdisciplinary programs (with a strong sociology component) to attend the XVIIth ISA International Laboratory for PhD Students in Sociology to be organised jointly by the ISA, Arab Centre for Research and Political Studies, Centre for Economic and Social Researches and Studies, and Research in Enlightenment, Modernity and Cultural Diversity Lab, Tunis El Manar University. Professor Mounir Saidani from the Tunis El Manar University will coordinate the Laboratory.

Recently, we witness a relentless literature in sociology on precarization. The concept is used to describe all the forms of making people experiencing precarity. Precarization is also associated with the conditions of life/work of precarious (people), (situations of) precariousness and (the social conditions outlived as) precariat.  Along the history of capitalism, downward social mobility and shifts in class stratifications and relations, vulnerability, displacement, and hopelessness have been viewed as manifestations of the precarization processes. Colonial and postcolonial expansions of capitalistic modes of producing and distributing of goods and resources made these processes more and more global, along with affecting the whole environmental conditions of life. Towards such sources of vulnerability some lives, and bodies could manage to resist, while others fail to do so, as some were protected, while others were denied protection.
As such, precarization excludes precarious people out of the field of politics. While giving opportunities to oligarchy and other social categories to be better armed towards vulnerability, various social, economic, and cultural conditions of life become unpredictable and out of the control of the majority. As a process of unequally distributed effects of climate crises, insecurity, harm, violence, forced migration, and political disempowerment, precarization launched novel social movements and political struggles.

Social class, gender, race, national origins, and belongings have been at the heart of the discussions on precariousness understood as a general and prevalent human experience, with which sociology can deal on the levels of Environment, Everyday life, and Citizenship.

The Laboratory will include a series of lectures delivered by leading sociologists from Tunisia and the international community. However, the core of the programme will be presentations by the students of their own work and subsequent discussion by students and faculty of the work. The theme for this Laboratory has been conceived in broad terms, and students’ research may focus on or be related in a variety of ways.
The working languages of the workshop will be English, Arabic and French with switching simultaneous translation. Participants in the workshop should have a minimum ability to understand and speak English well. The students who apply must be at an advanced stage of their doctoral studies; they should have made some progress with the collection of data and have commenced the writing their dissertations. The Laboratory is meant to contribute to the quality of each student’s research project and final dissertation and thus students with nearly completed PhD are not eligible to participate.
Because of limitations on places, participants in any previous ISA Laboratory for doctoral students should abstain from applying.

Each interested candidate is requested to submit the following documentation in a pdf format:
1. An application letter (in English) specifying the topic of her/his research, the expected date of degree completion, the motivation to apply, and email addresses of referees (one page)
2. An application form
3. A curriculum vitae (maximum two pages in English).
4. An abstract (maximum 1,000 words) of the applicant’s research project (in English), including information about the main theoretical approach(es) and the main methodological approach(es) that are used in the research
5. Two letters of recommendation (in English, French, Spanish, or Arabic).
(a) One from the student’s dissertation adviser or a dissertation committee member that comments on the research project (including the current stage of the research), theoretical and methodological approach(es) as well as the anticipated date of completion, and
(b) The other from the Department Chair or another professor that can comment about the applicant’s academic merits (in comparison with other students in the same programme) and about the candidate’s potential for leadership in the social sciences.

Letters of recommendation, addressed to the ISA Laboratory Selection Committee, can be emailed separately by referees to isa@isa-sociology.org

Applications and supporting documentation must be received (pdf format) by International Sociological Association at isa@isa-sociology.org not later than March 31th, 2022.

Late applications will only be considered if places remain available.

Selection criteria include excellence of research, diversity of theoretical approaches, gender and geographic diversity of the candidates. Selection results will be announced by May 10th, 2022.

The local hosts and the International Sociological Association will cover travel and lodging expenses (including meals at the Laboratory) for the participants.

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