Filed under Call for papers

Call for Papers: Doing Things with Stories

Deadline for manuscript submission: September 15, 2014

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

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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

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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.

Call for Papers: Motives and Social Organization

Motivating others, asking for their motives and offering motive accounts are central features of social organization (Blum & McHugh, 1971; Housley & Fitzgerald, 2008; Mills, 1940). Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology – Compaso invites papers that explore the uses of motives in various spheres of day-to-day, professional and scientific life, for its Winter 2013 issue.

Guest Editor: Richard Fitzgerald, University of Queensland

Deadline for manuscript submission (extended): July 31, 2013

Volume publication (online): December 15, 2013

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Asking for motives and offering motives

As a rule, people present motives if challenged to account for their behaviour. People make use of vocabularies of motive (Mills, 1940) to  present (meaningful and justified) actions to other people who stand to evaluate them. The motives asked for and motives given in return are shaped in three different contexts (Johnatan Potter & Hepburn, 2008):

-          A rhetorical context: one formulates motives with an eye to the plausibility of alternative versions, some of which one may want to entertain, and some of which one may want to undermine;

-          An interactional context: people give motives as specific answers to specific questions, as part of ongoing interaction in which they have something at stake;

-          An institutional context: the interactions in which people are asked to formulate motives may vary widely as regards their accountability rules; one can be in a school, at the doctors, in a Courtroom, with a counselor, at Alcoholic Anonymous, etc.

Some research questions that may address this topic include (without being by any means exclusive):

1)       What are the vocabularies of motive or interpretive repertoires (Jonathan Potter & Wetherell, 1987) associated with a given type of action (such as smoking, accepting a scientific theory, divorcing etc.)?

2)      How are motives used to coordinate interaction?

3)      How are motives rhetorically formulated, in order to support a version of reality in interaction with specific interlocutors in specific situations?

Motives and motivation

People often anticipate specific reactions to specific actions, including answers to questions about motives. They design some activities such as to ‘motivate’ other people in a certain direction, to frame their situations and environments in order to direct them. Such ‘motivational’ actions make visible the order on which they are based, the order that grounds expectations.

Possible questions related to this topic include:

1)       How do people present a specific situation or action to others, in order to motivate them to react in a preferred way?

2)      What are the lay and (quasi-)scientific theories of motivation that people bring to bear in their daily interactions with others?

3)      How are motives embedded in objects? How do users adapt and react to these pre-programmed motives?

Working with motives as a professional

There is a vast body of research and literature on motivation, including motivating oneself, in fields such as psychology, sociology, consumer research, human resources, human-computer interaction, education studies and so on. Some motivational schemes have reached global fame, including Maslow’s pyramid of motives or Hertzberg’s hygiene or motivational factors. Professionals in various fields design, apply and evaluate complex models of human motivation, and embed them in their more-or-less material products.

We welcome papers that discuss the production and use of professional vocabularies of motive, and the reactions of various publics to the socio-technical systems that put them into practice. Some guiding questions include:

-          How do we (and other specialists) study motives, in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research?

-          How do professionals’ public products (technologies, policies, clothing, scientific theories…) incorporate specific models of human motivation?

-          What is the ‘moral career’ of motivational classifications, in various spheres of life – such as Maslow’s pyramid, or the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

-          How do we encounter and react to professional motivational designs in various institutional environments?


Blum, A. F., & McHugh, P. (1971). The Social Ascription of Motives. American Sociological Review, 36(1), 98–109.

Housley, W., & Fitzgerald, R. (2008). Motives and social organization: sociological amnesia, psychological description and the analysis of accounts. Qualitative Research, 8(2), 237–256.

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

Potter, Johnatan, & Hepburn, A. (2008). Discursive constructionism. In J. A. Holstein & J. F. Gubrium (Eds.), Handbook of constructionist research (pp. 275–293). New York: Guildford.

Potter, Jonathan, & Wetherell, M. (1987). Discourse and social psychology: beyond attitudes and behaviour (p. 216). London: Sage.

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: Further reflections on (mis)understanding people

For the next issue of Compaso, scheduled to appear in June 2013, we invite articles, essays, and research notes that continue reflection on Ways of understanding, misunderstanding and not understanding people. We also invite commentaries on articles published in Issue 2/2012.

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: 6th of May 2013

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Please check the Journal’s website for guidelines on manuscript submission.

Call for papers: Ways of understanding, misunderstanding and not understanding people

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: 30 September 2012


This issue has been supported through POSDRU 2007-2013 project DOCSOC – Excellence, innovation and interdisciplinarity in doctoral and postdoctoral studies in sociology, contract PSDRU/21/1.5/G/27059.


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Social research relies on our claims of understanding people – which often rely, further, on the claims advanced by our research participants (as respondents, informants, subjects, or in other roles) of understanding themselves and other people.


At times, we are also confronted, as researchers and in other walks of life, with difficulties, failures, and outright impossibilities of understanding people.

We invite papers that reflect on forms of understanding, misunderstanding and not understanding people. Articles that have a comparative focus, by looking at different forms, instances, settings etc., are especially welcome.

Some of the questions that may guide discussion include (without being limited to) the following:

  • Different forms: What forms and claims of understanding, not understanding, misunderstanding, uncertain understanding, better understanding etc. have we encountered in our research?
  • Rhetorical use: How do people report their understanding of other people as arguments in conversations? How do claims of understanding, misunderstanding, not understanding, uncertain understanding, partial understanding etc. function as arguments that support one’s stance and undermine alternative versions? What is the rhetorical force of these various claims of understanding and lack thereof?
  • Social organization: How are these forms of understanding and not understanding socially organized? What social positions (such as professionals, parents, friends, spouses etc) are privileged in claiming understanding of particular other people? When and how do alternative understandings clash, and how are these conflicts adjudicated?
  • Professional versus common reason: How is our professional understanding of people related to the common-reason forms of understanding and lack thereof of the people that we rely on – as subjects, informants, respondents etc? How do we position our understanding to be better? How do we elicit their understanding?
  • Techniques and technologies: How do we operate with theories, schemes and models, methods, techniques, instruments of understanding people? How do other people operate with such tools? What do we (and others) take to be more or less reliable indicators of other people’s thoughts, personalities, motives, ways of being? How do we elicit and / or read CVs, photos, Facebook profiles, test results, biographies, obituaries, interviews, and other would-be ways of understanding people?
  • Different perspectives: How do different theoretical or disciplinary perspectives shape our understanding of people? What are the benefits and the threats of drawing on, and combining, different disciplinary perspectives in our research papers/studies?
Articles that engage in a comparative approach, connecting different concepts, materials, methods, situations, pieces of research or other social realities, are particularly welcome.
Please check the Journal’s website for guidelines on manuscript submission:

Call for papers: Object lessons

Guest editor for the special issue: Oana Mateescu, University of Michigan,

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: 20 February 2012

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In the early 19th century, Johann Pestalozzi introduced object lessons to encourage children to learn from direct experience, in a progression of touch, story and abstraction. His telling objects have been gradually replaced or insistently accompanied by photos, stories and theories: objects are recalcitrant and do not stick to authorized interpretations, they do not always give pupils the proper stories. Truth be told, objects are often dangerous – but also seductive, affording effective action, play and intimate knowledge.

Philipp Igumnov, Thoughtless

The Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology – Compaso invites articles attending to special objects and their distinctive work in social interaction, with a focus on learning and knowledge creation.

After a period of low profiling, objects in social research have gradually recovered their everyday life significance (Preda, 1999; Turkle, 2007).  Objects are found in many places and spaces (Law & Singleton, 2005) when inquiring into world-and-knowledge-in-the-making.  They may bear plain names in unorthodox theoretical stories, for instance (from A to D) anaemia, anthrax, alcoholic liver disease, canoe head, computer, denim, diabetes, door hinge, or Doppler apparatus. Some are special objects marked as such by dedicated names. Novel concepts point to their unfamiliar ontology or work. The much discussed immutable mobiles (Latour, 1986) and boundary objects (Akkerman & Bakker, 2011; Bowker & Star, 1999; Star, 2010; Star & Griesemer, 1989; Trompette & Vinck, 2009), fluid objects (Mol & Law, 1994), fire objects (Law & Singleton, 2005), affiliative objects (Suchman, 2005), or epistemic objects (Knorr Cetina, 2001; Rheinberger, 1997) are some of the notions that challenge previous theoretical threads as well as one another. Theorized objects thus become increasingly interlinked in research accounts – while also multiplying independently. All in all, a small army of objects scaffold knowledgeability (Orlikowski, 2006) and perform competing and heterogeneous realities (Law, 2010).

We invite contributions that guide reflection on objects-good-to-think-with (Turkle, 2010; 2008), including – but not limited to – the following topics:

  • Materiality of knowledge: the mutual constitution of objects and knowledge;
  • Temporal structures of objects and knowledge, and the materiality of time;
  • Boundary objects in learning and knowledge creation;
  • Objects in distributed cognition: aggregating knowledge in groups, environments and across time;
  • Affordances: how objects invite actions and knowledge by virtue of their sensory structures, inscriptions, aesthetics, and other features that orient action;
  • Objects that fade into invisibility and objects that rise to prominence: experiencing objects from the ordinary to the remarkable;
  • Observability of objects and their workings, in social research.

Articles that engage in a comparative approach, connecting different concepts, materials, methods, situations, pieces of research or other social realities, are particularly welcome. Please check the Journal’s website for guidelines on manuscript submission:


Akkerman, S. F., & Bakker, A. (2011). Boundary Crossing and Boundary Objects. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 132-169.

Bowker, G. C., & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. New Baskerville: MIT Press.

Knorr Cetina, K. (2001). Objectual practice. In T. R. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina, & E. von Savigny (Eds.), The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory (pp. 184-197). London: Routledge.

Latour, B. (1986). Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with Eyes and Hands. Knowledge and Society: Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, 6, 1-40.

Law, J. (2010). Reality Failures. Retrieved August 28, 2011, from

Law, J., & Singleton, V. (2005). Object Lessons. Organization, 12(3), 331-355.

Mol, A., & Law, J. (1994). Regions, Networks and Fluids: Anaemia and Social Topology. Social Studies of Science, 24(4), 641-671.

Orlikowski, W. J. (2006). Material knowing: the scaffolding of human knowledgeability. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(5), 460-466. Nature Publishing Group.

Preda, A. (1999). The Turn to Things: Arguments for a Sociological Theory of Things. The Sociological Quarterly, 40(2), 347-366. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1999.tb00552.x.

Rheinberger, H.-J. (1997). Toward a history of epistemic things: synthesizing proteins in the test tube. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Star, S. L. (2010). This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept. Science, Technology & Human Values, 35(5), 601-617.

Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional Ecology, `Translationsʼ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387-420.

Suchman, L. (2005). Affiliative Objects. Organization, 12(3), 379-399.

Trompette, P., & Vinck, D. (2009). Revisiting the notion of Boundary Object. Revue dʼanthropologie des connaissances, Vol. 3(1), 3-25. S.A.C.

Turkle, S. (2010). Object Lessons. In M. M. Suárez-Orozco & C. Sattin-Bajaj (Eds.), Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World (pp. 109-123). New York: New York University Press.

Turkle, S. (Ed.). (2007). Evocative Objects: Things to Think With. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Turkle, S. (Ed.). (2008). Falling for Science. Objects in Mind. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Call for papers: Empirical evidence

Extended deadline for submission of papers: June 30th, 2011

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The Journal invites contributions to its fourth issue: Empirical evidence.

Sociology and anthropology assume various epistemologies that inform the process of knowledge production. Frequently, yet seldom acknowledged, disciplinary protocols are premised on the idea that to do science means to employ a depersonalizing gaze on the social data that, simultaneously, evacuates the so-called subjective influence in the constitution of a research object.

The forthcoming issue of Compaso aims to interrogate polished accounts of social research by focusing on the idea that disciplinary protocols frame empirical evidence, which is, thus, relational and socially embedded. Contributors are invited to reflect on the possibilities to bring experiences and data emerging in particular research situations to bear on our inquiries. Relevant questions to this discussion include, among others:

-          How are research questions related to the empirical evidence that we mobilize to discuss them? How do questions shape experiences and data, and how are questions, in turn, shaped or created by our engagement in empirical pursuits?

-          What are we to make of the quantitative versus qualitative distinction? Is it, or not, a helpful tool to orient research?

-          What hidden realities may be pursued empirically? What are the assumptions, limits, risks and hopes in the investigation of un-observables – such as implicit meanings, true motives, intimate experiences, latent variables, or shared social norms?

-          In particular, can we investigate rationality empirically? How can we observe rationality and its evil twin – irrationality?  On the other hand, can we rely on an assumption of human rationality as an instrument for our empirical inquiries? After all, how can the rationality concept be useful in empirical research?

-          What are the strategies to convert a collection of evidence assembled for one research question into empirical data for other inquiries? How can empirical evidence be “recycled”?

Articles that engage in a comparative approach, connecting different concepts, materials, methods, situations, pieces of research or other social realities, are particularly welcome.

Please check the Journal’s website for guidelines on manuscript submission:


Appel à contributions: « Les arguments empiriques »


Date limite de soumission des communications: 30.06.2011

Les textes proposés (articles, notes de recherche ou comptes-rendus d’ouvrages) sont à envoyer au: journal[dot]compaso[at]gmail[dot]com

La Revue attend les contributions pour son quatrième numéro « Les arguments empiriques ».

La sociologie et l’anthropologie assument des épistémologies diverses qui nous informent sur le processus de fabrication du savoir.  Fréquemment, mais rarement avoué, les protocoles disciplinaires sont fondés sur l’idée que faire de la science veut dire considérer d’un regard dépersonnalisé les données sociales, en éliminant, simultanément, la soi-disant influence subjective dans la constitution de l’objet de recherche.

Ce numéro du Compaso a pour but d’interroger les comptes rendu des recherches sociales, en se focalisant sur l’idée que les protocoles disciplinaires encadrent les arguments empiriques, qui y sont donc relationnel et socialement ancrées. Les auteurs sont invités à réfléchir sur les possibilités d’apporter les expériences et les données émergeant dans des situations de recherche particulière, pour éclaircir nos questions. Ci-dessous, nous proposons quelques interrogations pertinentes pour notre débat, parmi d’autres :

-          Comment se rapportent les questions de recherche aux arguments empiriques dont nous nous mobilisons de discuter ? Comment les questions déterminent-elles les expériences et les données et comment, à leur tour, les question sont-elles influencées ou formulées par notre engagement dans la poursuite empirique ?

-          Comment pouvons- nous traiter la distinction qualitative – quantitative ? Est-elle un instrument utile dans l’orientation de la recherche ou pas?

-          Quelles sont les réalités cachées qui peuvent être étudiées d’une manière  empirique ? Quelle sont les suppositions, les limites, les risques et les chances dans les enquêtes sur les non-observables – comme, par exemple, le sens implicite, les vrais raisons, les expériences intimes, les variables latentes ou les normes sociales partagées ?

-          En particulier, avons-nous le droit d’analyser la rationalité empiriquement? Comment pouvons-nous observer la rationalité et son mauvais jumeau l’irrationalité ? D’autre part, sommes- nous en mesure de compter sur l’hypothèse de la rationalité humaine comme outil de nôtres recherches empiriques ? Finalement comment la notion de rationalité peut être utile dans la recherche empirique ?

-          Quelles sont les stratégies de transformer une base de données, assemblée pour répondre à une question de recherche, dans des données empiriques utilisées pour d’autres enquêtes ? Comment pouvons-nous « recycler » les arguments empiriques ?

Les articles qui s’engagent dans des approches comparatives, liant différents concepts, matériaux,  méthodes, situations, pièces de recherche ou d’autres réalités sociales sont les bienvenues.

Pour soumettre les manuscrits, consulter le site Web de la Revue: