Notions of how power operates open up our understandings of the social as these unfold from earlier holistic and overly–humanistic images of society. Consequently fieldwork now embraces relations and affects that are not directly observable, but can be traced, and reported, through the circulation of artefacts, discourses, practices, and technologies. So too political inquiry becomes more nuanced and grounded in what Durkheim called social facts . Charting our everyday institutions and unseen forms of organising not only helps to show how (and when) lifeworlds are made stable and tractable, it permits closer examination and questioning as to who benefits from the feelings of security and belonging so granted.
Parts 1 and 2 explore the complex interrelations between the social and the political, through their traditional focus on the entangled themes of borders and belonging. The examination of discourse, Part 4, and social movements, Part 5, provide analytical routes through which the boundaries between theoretical and empirical research are also called into question. For all this, as the papers in Part 3 demonstrate, theoretical contributions –if taking a less central, legislating role– remain as important as ever. Taken together, the articles in this volume provide key insights into the many, many ways with which a commitment to the political affects understandings of the social in contemporary sociology.
Unfolding social construction: sociological routes and political roots (Rolland Munro)
Part 1: Borders
1. The Danube and ways of imagining Europe (Michael Schillmeier and Wiebke Pohler)
2. The art of narrating and the question of cultural acknowledgment: the case of Die Kinder von Golzow and a reunified Germany (Barbara Grüning)
Part 2: Belonging
3. Landscape, imagination and experience: processes of emplacement among the British in rural France (Michaela Benson)
4. The reproduction of cultural taste' amongst the Ukrainian Diaspora in Bradford, England (Oscar Forero and Graham Smith)
5. Forum for the Ugly People – study of an imagined community (Maria Adamczyk)
Part 3: Theory
6. Sociological analysis and socio–political change: juxtaposing elements of the work of Bourdieu, Passeron and Lyotard (Derek Robbins)
7. Cultivating disconcertment (John Law and Wen–yuan Lin)
8. Epistemology and the politics of knowledge (Celine–Marie Pascale)
Part 4: Discourse
9. Populist elements in contemporary American political discourse (Ritchie Savage)
10. Released from gender? Reflexivity, performativity, and therapeutic discourses (Katerina Li ková)
11. Embracing dependency: rethinking (in)dependence in the discourse of care (Bernhard Weicht)
Part 5: Social movements
12. Curious cases: small island states' exceptionalism and its contribution to comparative welfare theory (Zoë Irving)
13. The political–opportunity structure of the Spanish anti–war movement (2002–2004) and its impact (Isis Sánchez Estellés)
14. Between mobility and mobilization – lifestyle migration and the practice of European identity in political struggles (Michael Janoschka)
Notes on contributors
The British in Rural France (2011), and co–editor of the volume
Lifestyle Migration (2009).
Rolland Munro is Emeritus Professor at Keele University and was previously Director of the Centre for Social Theory & Technology, CSTT. He is internationally regarded for his path–breaking and interdisciplinary work on consumption, power and identity.