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University of Wroclaw

Institute of Sociology

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The General Sociology Department of the Institute of Sociology, University of Wroclaw, together with the Sociology of Work Section of the Polish Sociological Association and the Wroclaw Department of the Polish Sociological Association, with the support of Student Club for Social Initiatives and the University of Wroclaw (KISS UWr) and the Research Committee 44 on Labour Movements of the International Sociological Association would like to invite you for the 1st International online seminar[1]:

Digital realities: work, mobilities, and new opportunities and risks in Central and Eastern Europe in the (post)pandemic period.

The seminar will be organised online on the 13th and 14th of May 2021.

The participation in the seminar is free of charge, but it will require registration. The link to the platform will be sent to participants following the registration. Please register at: https://forms.office.com/r/n9DvPxT4gt

Conference programme:  Digital-Realities-programme (PDF / 183.94 kb) 

Book of abstracts:   Digital-Realities-book-of-abstracts (PDF / 475.90 kb) 


Call for papers

Digitalisation understood in terms of the growing role of digital technologies in organising and managing social life is a trend which has been discussed by various scientific disciplines for at least three decades. The terms such as economy 4.0, platform economy or gig economy have been used to describe the process in which human and non-human agents interact bringing about accelerated social changes.

While digitalisation affects virtually all spheres of our life, we are particularly interested in role of digital technologies in the sphere of work and human mobility. Our seminar series intends to bring together sociologists and the representatives of other disciplines to study the processes of social embeddedness of digital transformations. The central focus of the seminar will be Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as the region in which digitalisation overlapped with social, political and economic transformations in the last 30 years. However, we would like to discuss the CEE developments in a broader context of global trends and processes.

 We are interested in the ways in which technological change interacted with other kinds of social transformations, in particular with respect to the area of work and mobility. How does digitalisation affect the existing and new institutions of our social life? How are digital tools and platforms used by social actors as a tool for their adaption, coping and resistance strategies? If and how digital platforms and digital tools legitimize social, political and economic inequalities and ideologies in the sphere of work and mobility? How does digitalisation influence the emergence of social institutions?

The obvious context for addressing the aforementioned questions in 2021 is the COVID-19 pandemic and (post)pandemic socio-economic crisis and recovery. It can be safely assumed that pandemic is likely to accelerate the digitalisation trend in the sphere of work leading to the further expansion of remote forms of working, platform economy and other forms of organisational and technical innovation. Its impact on the migration flows is less evident since contrary to initial predictions it did not contribute to their stop and reversal. Yet, in relation to the topics of digitalisation, it raises questions such as, for instance, how digital platforms facilitate the job search, building social networks, or maintaining the bonds with the country of origin?  What is the role of digital tools in both monitoring and facilitating migration in the pre- and, possibly, (post)pandemic period? More broadly speaking, we can consider pandemic as both a threat of further expansion of precariousness, uncertainty and risks typical of high modernity and an opportunity for social, organisational and technological innovation in many areas of social life.

We invite paper proposals to one of the four thematic sessions on (1) (productive and reproductive) work, new technologies and labour market changes in Central and Eastern Europe in (post)pandemic period; (2) migration from and to Central and Eastern Europe in the context of digitalisation: how is migration managed, mediated and controlled by new digital technologies in the (post)pandemic period? (3) new opportunities and risks: what is the role of new technologies in the creation of (post)pandemic social order? (4) work, technology and biographical turning points: what is the role of new technologies in problem solving-skills in the (post)pandemic period?

The paper proposals should be sent in the form of an extended abstract (approx. 500 words plus literature, in English) until 28th of February with the indication of name, affiliation, title, keywords and intended stream (1-4).

The registration form for participants with a paper and for all other participants is available at: https://forms.office.com/r/n9DvPxT4gt. .

Please note that we plan to stream the conference in the Facebook profile of the Sociology of Work Section of the Polish Sociological Association (https://www.facebook.com/SSPPTS). By registering for the conference, you agree that your name and contributions to the discussion will be video-recorded and streamed.

The decision on the acceptance of the papers will be made by organising committee by March 15th. The authors of the papers selected to presentation will be invited to contribute to a book proposal related to the topic of the seminar. 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the secretary of the conference, Szymon Pilch, at: szymon.pilch2@uwr.edu.pl

Organisational committee:

Important dates:

February 28th 2021 deadline on submission of the paper proposals (via the link: https://forms.office.com/r/n9DvPxT4gt. )
By March 15th 2021 sending the decision on the acceptance of the papers to the authors.  
By May 7th 2021 sending the ppt /pdf presentation of accepted papers to the address: zso@uwr.edu.pl
May 13th -14th 2021 - the date of the conference


[1] The seminar is linked to the project „COV-WORK: Socio-economic consciousness, work experiences and coping strategies of Poles in the context of the post-pandemic crisis”, funded by the National Science Centre in Poland, the NCN project number UMO-2020/37/B/HS6/00479.