CfP RSS International Conference 2016

New Societies, Old Minorities / New Minorities, Old Societies?
The 4th International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society (RSS)
Sibiu, 29th of September – 1st of October 2016


Societies and social actors constantly face challenges under the impact of many countervailing forces that act within the economic, demographic, political, educational and social realms. In their search for improving their living, people may adopt alternative life strategies and more flexible arrangements that profoundly affect the architecture and fabric of communities.

Some changes are easily discernible or self-evident: international migration permanently increased the stock of migrants, transforming, in various contexts, both immigrants and residents, into visible minorities. New waves of migrants and specific events where migrants are involved raise major questions about the nature and capacity of the security systems across European societies and their axiological foundations.

An increase in number of elderly members of the population creates, in turn, the perspective of new majorities and minorities forming. This raises important challenges to public social security systems and calls into question their sustainability.

In addition to demographic processes and trends, the global economic and financial turbulence of the last decades give salience to the voices of the particular: old minorities challenge the foundation and legitimacy of states almost across all Europe; at a different level both old EU members and new ones interrogate the status and relevance of the Union, its mechanisms, objectives and future.

Digitalization, teleworking, the accelerating pace of business, part-time contracts and job sharing transformed the rules of the labour markets and triggered fractionalization. The dynamics of the labour market (e.g. the creation of new jobs at the expense of other redundant qualifications,  segregation of gender, class and race within local and global labour markets), compounded by the limited capacity of the education systems to level the playing field, impact upon long-term youth unemployment and raise major social and societal challenges.

Eastern European societies concomitantly experienced democratization, with straightforward changes in the state organization and various civil rights, but also in terms of inequality and social structure, to mention only a few areas where changes were almost dramatic. The lesson of democracy was seldom learnt the hard way, starting with the simplistic rule of majority and slowly moving towards being receptive to minorities. More subtle transformations (such as changes in values) produced deep and long-lasting modifications, and also contributed towards the emergence of visible minorities and/or majorities. In addition, “counter silent revolutions” and corruption tended to counterbalance change and, somehow paradoxically, might have actually emphasized the visibility of “minorities”.

Scholars in the social sciences are invited to submit paper proposals (not exceeding 300 words) under one of the following panels:

  • Cherchez la… classe! The Relevance and Contours of Social Classes in Post-Communism
  • Classifying People: From Gender and Age to Zodiac Signs and Personality Types
  • Continuities and Discontinuities in 20th Century Southeast European Sociology
  • Educated Romania. România educată.
  • Electoral and Political Challenges in New Democracies
  • Elites as Ruling Minorities
  • Exploring Social Relationship Patterns Inside Organizations or Communities from a Social Network Analysis Perspective
  • In the Mainstream Social Dynamics: Disentangling Minorities or Prevailing Majorities?
  • International Migration Today: The Focus on Transnationalism and Gendered Processes
  • Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities in a Global perspective. Implications for Social Integration and Well-being
  • Labour Markets, Migration and Minorities in Developed Countries and New Democracies
  • Living with(in) Digital Technology
  • Methodological Tools
  • Minorities Being Majorities; Majorities Being Minorities
  • New Families, Old Societies – New Challenges of Migration for Families in their Countries of Origin
  • New Societies, New Families! Trends in Family Change
  • Politics of the Past, Politics of the Present: Uses and Abuses of Memory in CEE Post-Communist Societies
  • Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World
  • Sociology of the Internet
  • Sustainable Community Development: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities
  • Time and Social Policy: Imaging Welfare Futures
  • Work Changes and High Performance Organizations
  • Working after Cancer or Other Chronic Diseases? Benefits and Barriers of Working after a Major Disease
  • Youth and Elderly: Relations, Stratification and Values
  • General Session

A detailed description of each panel is available at:

We invite interested scholars to submit a paper proposal to one of the aforementioned panels. Registration is available on the conference platform at the following link:

The conference will be preceded by the Midterm Conference of the European Sociological Association RN36, with the topic “Social Transformations: New Challenges, Practices, and Critique” (September 28th-29th 2016). Both events will be hosted in the premises of the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu.

Important details:


  • Deadline for submitting paper proposals: 25.05.2016
  • Announcement of accepted papers: 15.06.2016
  • Registration deadline: 01.08.2016
  • Conference: September 29th – October 1st.
  • The 2016 Midterm Conference of the European Sociological Association RN36 will precede the main event (September 28th-29th).

Official language of the conference: English.

Keynote speakers:

  • Christian Welzel, Professor for Political Culture Research, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
  • Eric M. Uslaner, Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland
  • Merlin Schaeffer, Professor of Demography and Social Inequality, Universität zu Köln
  • Ferruccio Biolcati Rinaldi, Associate professor of Sociology, Università degli Studi di Milano


The conference will be hosted by the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu (LBUS).

The city of Sibiu is one of the most important cities in Transylvania, Romania. Transylvania is included by Lonely Planet on the list of “best places in the world to travel in 2016”. Its particular historical legacy made Sibiu a multicultural city. Romanians, Germans, Hungarians and Roma co-exist in a city which turned diversity into a trademark. Sibiu is a city of culture, hosting the third largest performing arts festival in Europe. In 2007 Sibiu was European Capital of Culture. The city’s airport is well connected to major European hubs, such as München and Vienna, as well as to Köln/Bonn, London (Luton), Stuttgart and Dortmund.

Participation fees: 60 EUR
SSR members: 45 EUR (link to become SSR member)
Participation fees for convenors: 30 EUR
ESA RN36 participants: 30 EUR

For more information please visit us at or contact us at:

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