Running from 10-14th August this year, the conference is one of the major events in the sociology calendar predominantly attended by Americans with hundreds of sessions and roundtable discussions. Among them our colleagues also presented their papers.
At the plenary sessions, the stars of the world of sociology (like Ronald Bird, Brad Borg, Arne Kalleberg etc.,) attempted to diagnose the current state of the social sciences and to ascertain its future trends. One of the participants, Senior Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory for Socio-Economic Research, Zoya Kotelnikova said, that the conference is useful because it lets us understand the direction that research is moving in and what the latest trends are because America is the homeland, the alma-mater and the engine of sociology.
The main conclusion that we can draw from the conference, thinks Nikita Pokrovsky, Head of the Department of General Sociology at the HSE Faculty of Sociology, is that sociology is becoming a civic movement. “We got the feeling that sociology’s prestige is falling in the US. In-depth analysis of social processes is becoming too expensive and unprofitable, and too much of a burden on society. The same goes for Russia. Subsequently, public sociology that doesn’t just explain the world but is involved in changing it, is on the rise.” Pokrovsky said that the lectures and discussions at the conference revealed a radicalisation of American sociologists, a move towards Marxism and political struggle which most likely is caused by cuts in financing and the lowering of sociology’s prestige.
Work presented by the HSE at the conference included the paper by HSE’s First Vice-Rector, Vadim Radaev «New model of state intervention in the competitive industry (the case of Russian retail trade)» , Zoya Kotelnikova’s «Structural embeddedness and contractual relationships of chain-stores and their suppliers in Russian emerging markets», and Nikita Pokrovsky’s «Alternative to Urbanization: Life after the City».