Call for papers

20. Narratives and stories connecting local and global forms of conflict.

NB! THIS IS A PANEL. Only 4-5 papers or presentations will be selected

Coordinator(s): Iris Beau Segers and Cristina Archetti (Department of media and communication, University of Oslo)

When addressing global developments and conflicts, sociological theory tends to direct our attention to broad, macro level processes and conditions, for example related to economic trends, sweeping environmental change, or patterns of immigration. However, when it comes to local conflict and protest, highly contextual factors like identity construction, the framing of mobilization by specific political and social figures and networks, and contingent circumstances are most often the focus of analysis. Despite the increasing connection between distinctly local forms of conflict, and broader transnational developments, there is a lack of explicit commitment in research to developing the theoretical link between the micro and macro dimensions of conflict.

Within this conceptual context, and taking forward Charles Tilly’s work on the centrality of stories in politics and social life, the panel will explore the role of narrative and storytelling in bridging local manifestations of conflict and struggle to broader global and transnational upheaval. More specifically, issues such as (local, national or transnational) identity, resource distribution and (in)equalities, and (political) power can be explained in terms of a struggle that takes place within and between societies, and in particular between alternative narratives. Here, the focus lies not only on the stories that are told and end up organizing the reality we live in, but also those that are silenced, and whose absence from the broader public sphere may encourage stigmatization or disadvantaging of certain groups, or unfair distributions of resources and power.

In addition to this, current sociological theory lacks a qualitative toolkit to engage with narratives and stories that traverse communities and societies, and this panel would hereby like to make a contribution to further developing this methodological gap in the field.

This panel thus encourages a broad range of qualitative contributions that engage with narrative and storytelling in connecting local and global forms of conflict. Submitted papers can cover local and global narratives in relation to explicit forms of conflict such as street-based protest and violence, or less visible forms of struggle related to silence and stigma. We welcome a broad range of work that engages with micro, meso or macro levels of analysis, and hereby emphasize the narrative connections one can make between these different levels. We also encourage innovative and creative (including artistic, experiential and sensorial) ways of capturing multifaceted connections between narratives and stories, both in papers and presentations.