Call for Papers: Classifying people: From gender and age to zodiac signs and personality types

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: November 1st, 2016

Send manuscripts at

We routinely treat people as representatives of certain categories, bearing their typical traits even if diverging in significant ways. There are many classifications of people available to describe a person – from gender categories, generations and age groups, professions, to complex yet para-scientific typologies such as zodiac signs, and scientifically constructed classes such as personality or other psychologically-defined types.

We invite researchers to explore how we create types of people, modify them and use them in interaction. Possible research questions include the following, and any other related topics:

  1. What are the current representations of gender and age categories in various media – from textbooks to ads, movies, music videoclips, cartoons, graphic novels, or computer games? How are they influenced by medium and genre conventions?
  2. How are gender and age classifications changing in different societies and settings, including online arenas? Where can we see change and where can we see persistence?
  3. How are various institutions working with classifications of people – that is, how are such classifications interlinked with social practices that take into account these types of humans to apply differential treatment? For example, how is gender as a social institution shaping practices in education, human resources & employment, intimacy or family life? What about age? How are personality types and personality tests shaping recruitment in various industries? How are children classified in schools, and to what effects?
  4. What about less common classifications? How are zodiac signs relevant in the daily lives of people who care about them? How are classifications of people shaping diagnosis and treatment in homeopathic medicine?
  5. How is population ageing changing the way we classify people in age groups and the representations of various age-based categories? What is the diversity of portrayals of the elderly in various media and genres? How do generational classifications (from the Lost Generation to Generation X, Gen Y or Millenials, or Generation Alpha) shape creative industries and marketing?
  6. How are certain categories of people changing shape or visibility through professional or self-diagnosis of psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and autism, or categories of (dis)abilities in eyesight, reading, hearing, speech, or memory?
  7. How do people define and manage category boundaries, their strictness or permeability? What are the theories that underlie classifications? For example, what is the role of biology or even genetic determinism in understanding gender, age-based or psychologically-defined types of people?
  8. What is the role of objects in expressing, denying or modifying one’s relation with a category of people? How is gender or age expressed through clothing, toys, or access to technology? How are psychological conditions interlinked with medication regimes? How are types of people re-affirmed through material representations in texts or illustrations, in daily life or scientific settings?
  9. What is the role of science and technology in producing, refuting and modifying classifications of people?
  10. Last but not least, how is technology reshaping the generation, use and change in types of people? For example, how are gender & age related to the use and creation of digital technologies? How are people classified into personality or behavioral types based on their online traces?

Call for Papers: Living with(in) digital technology

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: November 1st, 2016

We invite research articles and notes that explore how we live with(in) digital technology, and we welcome texts from multiple disciplines and genres.

Send manuscripts at


Our reality is visibly and invisibly transformed through digital technology. Digitally mediated information flows structure increasingly deeper and broader layers of daily and professional lives. We live with and within the omnipresence of Wikipedia, Google Maps and Facebook – to name just the tip of the iceberg. Computational power is mobile, but increasingly fixed on our persons, from bags and pockets, to wrists and, occasionally, glasses. Information technology has gradually become an infrastructure, an ambient and a part of our extended, distributed selves.

We invite authors to reflect on the significance of digital technologies for our daily and professional lives, addressing questions such as the following – or any other related topics:

  • How are our experiences of time and place modified through digital technology? What about our experiences of friendship and relatedness, familiarity and awareness, membership and individuality?
  • How are social sciences shaped by widespread use of technology in generating traces of human behavior, collecting and analyzing big and small data?
  • How is authorship redefined in an era of human-technological collaboration – in diverse fields such as arts, sciences, blogging, wiki contributing, coding?
  • How is cognition and knowledge shaped in the interplay of humans and computers, and in the distributed networks of digitally mediated collaborative networks?
  • How does digital technology modify our relationships with different forms of information – such as medical advice, navigation tips, scientific publication, or knowledge of other persons?
  • What of our lives becomes more transparent and what becomes more opaque, in the interplay of surveillance and pursuits of privacy?
  • What are the shifting boundaries of the ‘real world’ as the counterpart of the digital worlds we visit – from gameworlds and virtual realities to augmented landscapes and continuous flows of digital snippets?
  • What are the ethical experiences and issues raised by our increased entanglements with digital technology?
  • How is digital technology socially stratified? Which are the digital gaps that constitute and reconstitute social stratification and mobility? What are the distinctive patterns of use and ignorance of technology for certain categories of people, such as children, young men, or older women?


Call for Papers: Sociology of Celebration

  • Guest editors: Ismo Kantola, University of Turku, Turku, Finland and Mihai Stelian Rusu, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Deadline for manuscript submission: February 15th, 2016
  • Send manuscripts at:

Celebration was at the nascent core of the emerging sociological discipline at the turn of the 20th century. It was Durkheim’s seminal insight on the supreme importance of rituals in integrating the social body, masterfully articulated in his sociological forays into The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1995) [1912], that placed the study of holidays in the very center of sociological focus. But after such a fulminant start, postwar sociology regrouped across the Atlantic lost its interest in the nature of celebration. As Amitai Etzioni (2000) has pointed out, neither the index of the sixteen volumes of International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (1968) nor that of the flagship American journals American Sociological Review and American Journal of Sociology between 1975 and 1995 mention the term “holiday.” However, after a long and undeserved hiatus, celebration is making a comeback in sociological theory. Unsurprisingly, a “sociology of celebration” is taking shape in European sociology, gaining institutional grounding in the European Sociological Association’s Research Stream bearing the ominous name.

Drawing of Berlioz conducting a choir by Gustave Doré, published in Journal pour rire, 27 June 1850

Drawing of Berlioz conducting a choir by Gustave Doré, published in Journal pour rire, 27 June 1850

In editing this thematic issue of The Journal of Comparative Research in Sociology and Anthropology, we seek to celebrate the long-overdue comeback of the sociology of celebration. For this purpose, we invite contributions that explore and reflect upon the following questions, without being limited to those listed below:

-        How is meaning produced in celebrations? What are celebrations designed to signify, and by what social means are they to act as semiotic signifiers in the social world?

-        How are the meanings that celebrations are purportedly meant to display performed in the public sphere (Alexander, 2011)? Which are the performative practices by which the meanings attached to celebrations are put on show?

-        How are religious and political holidays constructed by various celebrative agents and what political purposes are they to play (Zerubavel, 2003)?

In addition to these questions, we also welcome papers which critically engage with the following topics:

-        the social functions of celebration (integration, identity formation, development and maintenance of distinction and taste);

-        the modes and forms of celebration (be they political ceremonies such as national days and historical commemoration or non-political ones including carnivals, orgies, clubbing, and partying);

-        perception of and attitudes to different modes of and phenomena of celebration;

-        theoretical approaches to celebration, focused on deepening our current understanding of the nature of celebration.



Alexander, Jeffrey (2011). Performance and Power. Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Durkheim, Emile (1995). The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Free Press.

Etzioni, Amitai (2000). Toward a Theory of Public Ritual. Sociological Theory, 18(1), pp. 44-59.

Zerubavel, Eviatar (2003). Time Maps. Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Call for Papers: Age and gender codes in media and things

Age and gender classifications have changed through history, yet they remain relevant in many social situations. They are used by organizations in all walks of life, and they are part and parcel of the identities that we invoke and attribute in daily interactions.

Adventure Time Princess Maker

  • Guest Editor: Laura Grunberg, University of Bucharest
  • Deadline for manuscript submission: December 20th, 2015
  • Send manuscripts at:

Taking notice of both their persistent relevance and the significant changes in age- and gender-specific expectations, we invite contributors to examine how these powerful classifications are put to use through media (advertisements, textbooks, films, games, etc) and things – toys, clothing, tools, and other material arrangements.Some questions that might guide reflection include the following, without being limited to them:

  • How do people ‘do gender’ (West & Zimmerman, 1987) and ‘act their age’ (Laz, 1998) in various situations?
  • What is the symbolic and material equipment that people use to display their gender and age-grade affiliation in a variety of communication situations (Goffman, 1979)?
  • How are gender and age done and un-done (Deutsch, 2007) in social interaction?
  • What is the role of specific media – from school textbooks to films, advertisements and video games (Williams, Martins, Consalvo, & Ivory, 2009) – in reproducing and recreating gender and age classifications and resources for their display?
  • In particular, what is the role of social and human disciplines in shaping these classifications? How do current threads of research affirm or dispute the importance of these distinctions and their sources – for example in evolutionary psychology, gerontology, or history?
  • In particular, how do empirical age- and gender-difference studies work to re-construct these classifications?
  • How do specific scientific methods – such as the experiment, document analysis, interview, or the focus group – deal with these distinctions and possibly contribute to their re-creation?
  • Which are lay psychological theories of gender and age invoked in different situations, and to what effects? (Gubrium & Wallace, 1990)
  • What are the similarities and differences between these two social classifications, in different social situations?
  • How does information technology, in its many guises, contributes to shaping and re-shaping age and gender? (Oudshoorn, Rommes, & Stienstra, 2004)


Deutsch, F. M. (2007). Undoing Gender. Gender & Society21(1), 106–127.

Goffman, E. (1979). Gender Advertisements. Harper & Row.

Gubrium, J. F., & Wallace, J. B. (1990). Who Theorises Age? Ageing and Society10, 131–149.

Laz, C. (1998). Act Your Age. Sociological Forum13(1), 85–113.

Oudshoorn, N., Rommes, E., & Stienstra, M. (2004). Configuring the User as Everybody: Gender and Design Cultures in Information and Communication Technologies. Science, Technology, & Human Values29(1), 30–63.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing Gender. Gender & Society1(2), 125–151.

Williams, D., Martins, N., Consalvo, M., & Ivory, J. D. (2009). The virtual census: representations of gender, race and age in video games. New Media & Society11(5), 815–834.

Call for Papers: Video Games and Insightful Gameplay

Call for Papers – Video Games and Insightful Gameplay

Video games are increasingly used and discussed as a medium for creating and sharing meaning – be it as a form of learning [1], self-knowledge [2], persuasion in fields such as politics or advertising [3], or a way of mending a “broken reality” with a layer of meaning [4].

Gameplay has also been used for distributed problem solving in science, with ‘Foldit’ as a notorious example [5], public awareness of distressing psychological conditions such as depression [6]–[8], or for historical commemoration [9], among other goals.

We invite research articles and notes that explore the varied landscape of insightful gameplay, and we welcome texts from multiple disciplines, genres, and personal histories of gameplay.

Guest editor: Doris C. Rusch, DePaul UniversityExtended Deadline for manuscript submission: June 6th, 2015

Send manuscripts at:

Manuscript details: For this special issue there are no requirements concerning manuscript length or structure. We invite full articles, short papers, works in progress, essays, journals, and also fiction works and manuscripts in other genres that address the topic of insightful gameplay.

Some orienting questions include:

-          How can games stimulate players’ insights into the world around us, or how can they fail to do so?

-          How do players derive and formulate insights when playing? How do people make meaning from gameplay?

-          How can games occasion moral reflection and moral experiences [10], [11], or avoid it?

-          How can games encourage empathy [12] – or discourage it?

-          What is the role of various elements of a game (fictive worlds, mechanics, textual elements) and of the game paratext [13] (player forums, reviews, markets etc.) in shaping gameplay as meaningful experiences?

-          What is the diversity of meaning acquired by various people playing a game, or same persons in various instances of play? How do players relate to this multi-voicedness of gameplay?


[1]         J. P. Gee, What Video Games have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

[2]         D. Rusch, “Mechanisms of the Soul: Tackling the Human Condition in Videogames,” Proc. from DiGRA, 2009.

[3]         I. Bogost, Persuasive Games. The MIT Press, 2010.

[4]        J. McGonigal, Reality is Broken. Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. New York: The Penguin Press, 2011.

[5]         S. Cooper, A. Treuille, J. Barbero, Z. Popović, D. Baker, and D. Salesin, “Foldit.” [Online]. Available:

[6]        Z. Quinn, P. Lindsey, and I. Shankler, “Depression Quest,” 2013. [Online]. Available:

[7]         D. C. Rusch, T. I. Ing, and R. Eberhardt, “Elude.” Gambit.

[8]        D. C. Rusch and A. Rana, “For the records.” [Online]. Available:

[9]        Ubisoft, “Valiant Hearts. The Great War.” 2014.

[10]       M. Sicart, “Wicked Games: On the Design of Ethical Gameplay,” in DESIRE’10, 2010, pp. 101–111.

[11]        M. Sicart, The Ethics of Computer Games. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009.

[12]       J. Belman and M. Flanagan, “Designing Games to Foster Empathy,” Cogn. Technol., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 5–15, 2010.

[13]       M. Consalvo, Cheating. Gaining Advantage in Videogames. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

Call for Papers: Doing Things with Stories

Deadline for manuscript submission: September 15, 2014

Expected date for volume publication (online): December 30, 2014

Send articles, research notes, essays, and book reviews to:

The Mock Turtle's Story in Alice in Wonderland, by Mabel Lucie Attwell

It’s story time…

We tell, listen, and engage with stories at bedtime, in scholarly articles, when fighting, when flirting, while selling things or ideas, and in so many other occasions.  Stories formulate versions of reality and persuade others and ourselves.

We invite articles, research notes, and biographical essays that reflect on how we do things with stories in various places and times, paying attention to their productive and transformative power when applied to people, things, relationships, and time, among others.

Authors may address some of the following questions and related topics of interest:

  • How do people use stories in interaction, and to what effect? How are stories useful for managing social situations, in various institutional settings – from doctor-patient interactions to sales or job interviews and Facebook posts?
  • How do stories transform things, granting them added power or diminishing their force? When and to what effect do people tell stories about objects?
  • How do we use stories as resources for other creations, from scientific articles to digital games?
  • Last but not least, what do we accomplish, as scholars, by minding stories, inciting them, analyzing them, and using them to organize scientific accounts?

This Call for Papers is supported by the research project “Sociological imagination and disciplinary orientation in applied social research”, with the financial support of ANCS / UEFISCDI with grant no. PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0143, contract 14/28.10.2011.

Call for Papers: Stories in social organization

Guest Editor: Alexandra Georgakopoulou-Nunes, King’s College London

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: March 15th, 2014

Send articles, research notes, essays, and book reviews to:

Social organization relies, among others, on accounts of action, involving the use of social categories and vocabularies of motive (Mills, 1940) to portray meaningful characters engaged in intelligible missions. Stories are often used in accounts, offering a valuable form for rendering experience intelligible.

We invite contributions that explore the use of stories for social organization, at multiple levels and in various settings (De Fina & Georgakopoulou, 2012).

Some of the research questions that may guide reflections include, without being limited to, the following:

-               How are stories produced in conversation? How do speakers organize talk sequentially to mark the delivery of stories (Jefferson, 1978; Stokoe & Edwards, 2006), and how do they respond to storytelling?

-               What types of actions can be accomplished through story formatted sequences and what are their affordances compared to other formatting options (Sidnell, 2010)?

-               How can we analyze stories by taking into account the social interaction in which their authors are involved (Norrick, 2007)? How are ‘small stories’ (Georgakopoulou, 2006, 2007) designed for situated exchanges, and what are their interactional effects?

-               How are stories used in organizational settings (Blazkova, 2011)? How are stories resources for concerted action in organizations, portraying types of members, or actions that are possible, impossible, Quixotescue, or heroic?

-               How is storytelling learned, and how is it adapted to various stages and settings of life (Bruner, 1990)? How do adults tell stories to children, and how do children tell stories to adults? How is storytelling institutionally organized – in courtrooms, in hospitals, in schools, at workplaces?

-               How are selves sustained through storytelling (Dennett, 1992)?

-               How are stories used for identity making (Schwalbe & Mason-Schrock, 1996)  and display, including gender or age performances (West & Zimmerman, 1987; Laz, 1998) ?


Blazkova, H. (2011). Telling Tales of Professional Competence: Narrative in 60-Second Business Networking Speeches. Journal of Business Communication, 48(4), 446–463.

Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of Meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

De Fina, A., & Georgakopoulou, A. (2012). Analyzing Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Dennett, D. (1992). The self as a center of narrative gravity. In F. Kessel, P. Cole, & D. Johnson (Eds.), Self and Consciousness: Multiple Perspectives (pp. 103–115). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Georgakopoulou, A. (2006). Thinking big with small stories in narrative and identity analysis. Narrative Inquiry, 16(1), 122–130.

Georgakopoulou, A. (2007). Small Stories, Interaction and Identities. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Jefferson, G. (1978). Sequential aspects of storytelling in conversation. In J. Schenkein (Ed.), Studies in the Organisation of Conversational Interaction (pp. 219–248). New York: Academic Press.

Laz, C. (1998). Act Your Age. Sociological Forum, 13(1), 85–113. doi:10.1023/A:1022160015408

Mills, C. W. (1940). Situated Actions and Vocabularies of Motive. American Sociological Review, 5(6), 904–913.

Norrick, N. (2007). Conversational storytelling. In D. Herman (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Narrative (pp. 127–141). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schwalbe, M. L., & Mason-Schrock, D. (1996). Identity work as group process. Advances in Group Processes, 13, 113–147.

Sidnell, J. (2010). Conversation Analysis: An Introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Stokoe, E. H., & Edwards, D. (2006). Story formulations in talk-in-interaction. Narrative Inquiry, 16(1), 56–65.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing gender. Gender & Society, 1(2), 125–151.

This Call for Papers is supported by the research project “Sociological imagination and disciplinary orientation in applied social research”, with the financial support of ANCS / UEFISCDI with grant no. PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0143, contract 14/28.10.2011.