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.

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

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

Please distribute this CfP: pdf version

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

Send articles, research notes and book reviews to:

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

New issue: Ways of understanding, misunderstanding and not understanding people

We are happy to announce the online publication of the sixth issue of Compaso – Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. The issue addresses a variety of sociological and anthropological approaches to the ways in which people knowledge is distributed across  various social contexts and institutions .  

You are kindly invited to read and comment on the articles, which are available at the following addresses:


Issue 2 / 2012: Ways of understanding, misunderstanding and not understanding people

Volume 2, Number 2, December 2012


Research articles

Aleksandra Biernacka / A case of auteur cinema in a changed cultural context:  “Funny Games” (1997) and “Funny Games, US” (2007) by Michael Haneke

Brian Campbell / Enacting trust: contract, law and informal economic relationships in a Spanish border enclave in Morocco

Miriam Cihodariu / Narratives as instrumental research and as attempts of fixing  meaning. The uses and misuses of the concept of “narratives”

Lucie Cviklová / Advancement of human rights standards for LGBT people through the perspective of international human rights law

Sean O’ Dubhghaill Reduction and representation: the function(s) of understanding and comparison in, and between, Anthropology and Literature

Andra Letiția Jacob Larionescu  / Migrants’ housing in the homeland. A case study of the impact of migration on a rural community: the village of Marginea, Romania

Benjamin Žohar  / Misrepresentation of the Bosnian War by Western media

Plainer Zsuzsa / „They took personal data and some pictures, yet they found nothing for us” – misunderstanding and suspicion in a marginal Roma neighborhood from Romania


Review essay

Alina Petra Marinescu / Saleem Sinai – Number one of the 1001 Midnight’s Children. The display of inner and outer dimensions of understanding and not understanding within one of Salman Rushdie’s most read books


Book reviews

Alin Croitoru / Book review: Schumpeter, J.A., 1934 (2008), The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest and the Business Cycle, translated from the German by Redvers Opie, New Brunswick (U.S.A) and London (U.K.): Transaction Publishers

Aura Matei / Book review: Paul Dragoș Aligica and Peter J. Boettke (2009). Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development. The Bloomington School. London and New-York: Routledge

Lucia Popa / Book review: Piotrowski, Piotr. (2012) Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe. London: Reaktion Books


List of Compaso reviewers in 2012 

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.


Send articles, research notes and book reviews to:

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:

New issue: Empirical evidence – varieties of sociological argumentation

We are happy to announce the online publication of the fourth issue of Compaso – Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. The issue publishes a variety of sociological and anthropological examples of the ways in which argumentation work develops during and after research.  

 You are kindly invited to read and comment on the articles, which are available at the following addresses:


Issue 2 / 2011: Empirical evidence- varieties of sociological argumentation

Volume 2, Number 2, November 2011


Invited commentary

Ionela Băluță / Fermeture sociale, différence et diversité: des enjeux identitaires


Research articles

Ana Maria Borlescu / Being a homeopath. Learning and practice in a homeopathic community

Iulia Gheorghiu / Truth or story or true story? The self in the interview situation

Andrada-Mihaela Istrate / From pathological to professional: gambling stories

Andreea Lazăr / Transnational migration studies. Reframing sociological imagination and research

Ștefania Matei / Media and migration. Layers of knowledge in Romanian written press

Bogdan Mihai Radu / Parental involvement in schools. A study of resources, mobilization, and inherent inequality

Cătălin Pavel / Rational choice in field archaelology


Book reviews

Simona Ciotlăuș / Matthew Engelke (ed.), 2009, The Objects of Evidence. Anthropological approaches to the production of knowledge

Andra Letiția Jacob Larionescu / Bauman, Zygmunt, 2011, Culture in a Liquid Modern World, Cambridge and Malden, Polity


Lecture reviews

Alin Croitoru / Carl Christian von Weizsäcker, 2011, Homo Oeconomicus Adaptivus

List of Compaso reviewers in 2010-2011