Panels – Living in a Liquid Society, 5th RSS Conference, 2018

  2. MEDIATIZATION AND MEDIA EDUCATION: CHALLENGES AND PRAGMATICS Prof.Dr. Ileana Rotaru(, Tibiscus University of Timisoara
  3. VALUE CHANGE, SOLIDARITY AND IDENTITY ISSUES IN A CHANGING WORLD – Dr. Beatrice Chromková Manea (, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
  4. THE FIFTH ELEMENT – THE FAMILY IN A LIQUID MIGRATION SETTING – Viorela Ducu(, Mihaela Hărăguș, Centre for Population Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania
  5. THE HYBRID UNIVERSITY IN TODAY’S LIQUID SOCIETY – Prof. Dan Chiribucă Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca (, Prof. Adrian Hatos, University of Oradea (please address all inquiries to or
  6. FADE TO GREY. EXPLORING AGEING AND OLD AGE IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES – Dr. Adriana Teodorescu Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (, Prof.univ.dr. Dan Chiribucă, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (
  7. EBB-TIDES AND VISCOSITIES: THE FLUID SOCIAL ORDER – Silviu G. Totelecan Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca (, Adrian T. Sîrbu Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca (
  8. THE EXPANSION OF NEOLIBERAL GOVERNANCE AND THE LOGIC OF EXPULSIONS: EXPLORING THE INNARDS OF THE SYSTEMIC EDGE – Filip Alexandrescu ( Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Ionuț Anghel, ( Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy
  9. LIVING IN A LIQUID SOCIETY, LIVING IN TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL FIELDS – Marian-Gabriel Hancean ( University of Bucharest, Department of Sociology & The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, Jose Luis Molina, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona), Miranda Jessica Lubbers, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
  10. AUTOMATIZATION AND NEW LABOUR MARKETS – Norbert Petrovici ( Universitatea Babeș- Bolyai, Cristian Pop, Universitatea Babeș- Bolyai și Academia Română, Oana Mateescu, University of Bergen și Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai
  11. WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND RESEARCH IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT – Mara Stan, PhD, lecturer, ( Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, University of Bucharest, Roxana Brişcariu, PhD, teaching assistant, Faculty of Management and Public Administration, Academy of Economic Studies (ASE), Bucharest
  12. NEW CODES, OLD SYMBOLS – THE PATTERN OF COMMUNICATION IN DIGITAL ERA – dr. Delia NADOLU (, dr. Bogdan NADOLU (, West University of Timisoara
  13. URBAN SCENARIO IN A LIQUID FUTURE – dr. Melinda DINCĂ (melinda.dincă, dr. Dan LUCHEȘ (, dr. Bogdan NADOLU (, West University of Timisoara
  14. MAKING AND UN-MAKING HUMAN KINDS – Cosima Rughiniș (, University of Bucharest, Stefania Matei (, University of Bucharest,
  15. Revenge of the Populism: Parties, Voters and Inequalities in Europe – Aurelian Muntean SNSPA (
  16. Trends in societal change. New data from European Values Study and World Values Survey – Bogdan Voicu, Research Institute for Quality of Life & Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu,
  17. MISCELANEA – section dedicated to Ph.D. students



Ionuț Butoi (, Zoltán Rostás (, University of Bucharest

In March 1918, in dire circumstances, Dimitrie Gusti laid the foundation of the Association for the Social Study and Reform (hereafter ASSR). Claiming the names of great personalities such as Virgil Madgearu, Vasile Pârvan and many others, the Association was the corner stone of what it would become the most important School of Sociology in Romania. Although both the ASSR and the Romanian Social Institute (hereafter RSI) had as forum the journal „The Archive for Science and Social Reform”, the Association precedes the RSI both institutionally and ideologically, since the Gusti’s initiative had its roots in his lectures, seminars and organizational projects at the University of Iași ever since the pre-war era.
The purpose of this panel is to bring forth the atmosphere of that time and the debates that were animating the social science circles engaged into several projects of social reform, towards the end of the Great War. In this endeavor, ASSR is, without a doubt, a reference point. However, Gusti’s initiative can be thoroughly understood only if we take into account, not only his personal views, but the whole Romanian and East-European historical and social context. Therefore, we aim to find answers to questions such as the following:
How did the sociologists and the social reformers react to the radical changes caused by the War?
Which of the numerous social changes have picked the sociologists’ interest, prompting them to proceed to rationalize and study them?
How important were the national and the social questions? How were the proletariat and peasantry questions treated by the social scientists in 1918 Romania?
What are the continuity or discontinuity points with the sociology from the pre-war period?
What were the structural conditions that have influenced the scientific production and the subsequent social reform in 1918?
We consider that such contributions are of a paramount importance, since they cast light on the activity of the (well established as well as less known) Romanian and Central Eastern European social reformers and help us to better understand their reactions, initiatives, claims and disputes. In this manner, we get to have a more accurate overview of the importance the year 1918 held for the social sciences in this part of the world.



Prof.Dr. Ileana Rotaru (, Tibiscus University of Timisoara

Today we witness the ongoing mediatisation process that transforms our culture and society. The mediatized society transforms human interaction, institutions and core values. The transformation process is taking place not from one generation to another, but mostly it is instantly, online and undetermined. In the same time, mediatisation is defined as a concept to critically analyse the interrelation between the change of media and communication, on the one hand, and the change of culture and society on the other, implying quantitative and qualitative aspects, referring to the increasing temporal, spatial and social spread of media communication (Hepp, Hasebrink, 2013, 3-4). The society framework is designed by mediatisation, but its answer to this process should be formulated by media education. In the context of blue whale effect, of fake news and hate speech, of online civic rights and of freedom of speech, we argue the necessity of media education as a responsible answer, as a method and even a path for the individuals to answer to the mediatisation challenges.
Media and online media is used every day to persuade or to be persuaded as one of the communication fundamental objectives. All the digital genres of public and private communication – text messages, blogs, posts, twits, hashtags, to name a few- are used in different levels, by all individuals from digitally natives to the aged people. The gasps are dangerous as there is no link between the use of ordinary people in everyday communication and experts, companies and public figures. These cleavages are invisible but producing new forms of media effects. The academic reflection should accompany and tackle these challenges, using researches’ pragmatics: quantitative and qualitative methods on the investigation of our mediatized world. How does media education function in the mediatized world? How should media competence be trained? Is media education a method of establishing and maintain relationship between media and audiences? Which are the most affected social groups?
Media education can be seen as a new method of understanding the new Dahrendorf’s “decade of citizenship” and one of the main part to be played is of the teachers and academics in order to offer the creative answers and critical thinking on the messages of the “new” media.



Dr. Beatrice Chromková Manea (, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic

The concept of ‘value change’ has captured the interest of social scientists and other analysts. The idea that our values are shifting in response to economic, political and social development is one that has gained a lot of attention not only among large public, but also at the academic level and among policy makers. Inquiries into people’s values and their value priorities have become an important feature of endeavour for social scientists to understand human behaviour and functioning of human societies.
During recent years, Europe has been exposed to important dynamic forces that influenced its geographical, political, social and cultural spheres. At the same time, changes in the living and working conditions of European citizens could been observed during the last 25 years. While the last economic crisis calls into question intra-European solidarity, increasing migration from outside Europe challenges the unity and cooperation within EU and raises questions of security, responsibility for border controls, and for the distribution of wealth.
Although values, in general, are changing slowly, the pace of change is accelerating at certain stages of social development or at the time of social change. This assumption therefore conceptualizes values as an independent variable that stochastically affects human action.
The European and World Values Studies provide reliable data on the value orientations of Europeans as well as about their group affiliations, identities and understandings of solidarity.
The main goal of this section is to gain a better theoretically grounded and empirically supported understanding of the phenomenon of value changes, solidarity and identity in a changing Europe. There is no thematic restriction for contributors as long as the presented analyses are based on the EVS/WVS data. If possible, the papers should concern value shifts by means of comparison of all EVS waves (time dimension). We also encourage contributions that look at the interplay between socio-demographic, political and economic behaviour and personal values and attitudes.



Viorela Ducu (, Mihaela Hărăguș, Centre for Population Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania

Inspired by Bauman’s approach on liquid modernity, liquid love and liquid life, Engbersen and Snel (2013) develop the concept of liquid migration for analysing the phenomenon of post-accession east-west migration. This type of migration is strongly motivated by better work or professional development opportunities, but also by the chance to easily return home or change the destination country. The six dimensions of liquid migration are: temporality (circular migration; commuting; very short/medium/long-term stay); labour or professional development (students); legal residential status through EU agreements; unpredictability (moving between countries depending on opportunities or constraints); diffuse family (individualised life strategy with a limited family obligation); intentional unpredictability (migratory habitus are fluid without a fixed migration aspiration and with open options). (Engbersen and Snel, 2013, 33-35). Under this model, the role of family in the life of migrants is diminished, since it is assumed that family relations have lost part of their power in the case of Eastern-European migrants as well. If in the past, migration had its focus in the financial benefit of the family, now it becomes more individualized, only having the self-affirmation of the deprated as an objective. Grandparents used to be involved in childcare while parents were away. Now young migrants postpone their marriage, have very few or no family obligations and give no thought to the financial support of those at home. Bygnes and Bivand Erdal (2017) try to apply the concept within the analysis of the life-strategies of some older migrants and discover that if the migrant categories are not the young persons that Engbersen and Snel (2013) have built their explanatory model upon, the concept of liquid migration becomes limiting and specifically cannot explain the fifth element – family -, older migrants bearing responsibilities towards family members at home or towards people around them, hence they develop strategies towards a way of life that is rather grounded than liquid. Also, the authors consider that within a life story perspective, even the young from the model proposed by Engbersen and Snel (2013) would change their liquid strategies once children appeared within their lives.
The aim of this panel is to debate the way how the concept of liquid migration might be applied within research that focuses on family: What does its explanatory power consist in? What are its limits? Are the lives of EU migrants so liquid indeed? What is the role of children in this? What is the role of the elderly within these families? How are migrant couples formed? What are the strategies of bi-national couples within this so-called liquid migration? We invite researchers to this panel who possess an interest in family and migration and would like them to bring the results of their research into dialogue with the concept of liquid migration. We are also interested in papers that apply the term of liquid migration to an understanding of the family also when it comes to internal migration. We wish the contributions to this panel to create the basis for a published volume to discuss the role of the fifth element – family – within the model of liquid migration. Abstracts of no more than 250 words including authors’ names, titles, emails and institutional affiliations should be sent.

Engbersen, G. and Snel E. 2013. “Liquid Migration: Dynamic and Fluid Patterns of Post-accession Migration Flows.” In Mobility in Transition: Migration Patterns after EU Enlargement, edited by B. Glorius, I. Grabowska-Lusińska, and A. Kuvik. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Susanne Bygnes and Marta Bivand Erdal (2017) Liquid migration, grounded lives: considerations about future mobility and settlement among Polish and Spanish migrants in Norway, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43:1, 102-118, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1211004



Prof. Dan Chiribucă Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca (, Prof. Adrian Hatos, University of Oradea ( (please address all inquiries to or

Almost a decade ago, a UNESCO report argued that “higher education continues to be defined, as it has always been, by who enrols, who teaches, how knowledge is produced and disseminated, and by higher education’s societal role. What has changed quite dramatically is the context of higher education […]. Higher education now sits at the crossroad of tradition and new possibilities.” (Albach et all, 2009: 165). Nowadays, there seems to be an increasing perceived overlap between two rather opposing functions of the university, namely its academic function and its business one (Ballantine, Hammack 2016 :269). Crossing and/or blurring borders not only in instruction, but also in research, seems to be an underlying trend in the field of higher education, with interdisciplinarity gaining momentum across the world (Jacob, 2014). However, at the same time, the university, one of the traditional repositories of knowledge, has to interact today with the knowledge society, mitigating the “growing expectations of the use and utility of education and research in society” (Alvesson, Benner, 2016: 75) This, in turn, could trigger yet another re-assessment of the “knowledge ideal” and the roles the university plays in this respect (just like the one suggested by Evetts, 1973). Moreover, there is also a perceived need of “suiting higher education to the social requirements of today and of tomorrow” (Harlow, 2016), especially if are to take into consideration the liquid society, which brings new challenges for higher education: increased globalization, a changing labor market, constantly changing new technologies. These all create new contexts, opportunities, risks and challenges for higher education institutions.
Situated at the intersection of multiple fields of research and of several different perceptions and expectations, the university today can be confidently called a hybrid institution (a term inspired by Gumport, 2007), one that seeks to adapt to the new while still preserving as much as possible of its essence, traditions and ideals.
The conveners of the panel, prof. Dan Chiribuca and prof. Adrian Hatos are inviting participants to present and discuss contributions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Identities, values and cultures in nowadays universities
  • Effective leadership and managerial approaches in public and private universities
  • Higher education challenges in ICT environment
  • Ratings and rankings of higher education programmes, academic activities and institutions
  • Universities in the community: the third mission
  • Horizontal and vertical differentiation in higher education
  • Equity and social inclusion in higher education
  • Higher education and the labor market
  • University roles, opportunities and risks in knowledge society
  • Innovative practices in higher education field

If you would like to be a contributor to the section please send the abstract of the proposed paper to or to Selected papers will be published in a Special issue of the Journal of Research in Higher Education (



Dr. Adriana Teodorescu Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (

Prof.univ.dr. Dan Chiribucă, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (

Ageing is an extremely diverse, complex and multi-layered process, encompassing biological, psychological, social, cultural, economic, medical, political aspects. Thus, if it is undeniable that there are similarities in the ways individuals/societies age, assuming an essentialist view upon ageing would be inappropriate. The same goes for old age, when ageing becomes both truly visible and problematic. All over the world, the elderly enjoy the benefits brought by the steep growth in life expectancy, at the same time facing unprecedented challenges caused by ageism, increased social and economic inequalities, as well as poverty and health issues. While societies have to deal with the impact, mostly seen in a dismal light, of what was called the ‘graying of general population’, they also strive to find effective solutions to increase the social inclusion and to dispel the negative public narratives regarding the elders. Making sense of ageing and old age seems more difficult than ever in a climate of rapid structural changes, competing discourses and cultural inconsistencies, not only for people and societies, but also for scholars interested in this subject. Having in mind that, one way or another, fading to gray regards us all, we invite contributions on, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • social representations related to ageing and the elders
  • portrayal of the elderly in the media
  • cultural diversity and economic inequality among elderly people
  • old age in relation with work, technology, family, politics, medicine and death
  • social effects, social inclusion and public policies related to ageing
  • social and meta narratives of ageing
  • narratives of dementia and age-related disabilities
  • personal narratives of ageing: social stakes and methodological challenges
  • from successful ageing to ‘undoing/ending’ ageing
  • medicalization and de-medicalization of ageing
  • ageing in relation to the non-human (theories, concepts, objects, animals)
  • pop-theories of ageing (e.g.: age is just a number)
  • ageing and the entertainment industry
  • gender approaches and differences in making sense of ageing
  • ageing and old age in cinema, arts and literature



Silviu G. Totelecan Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca (

Adrian T. Sîrbu Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca (

At two decades time-span since we agreed to conceive the social through Z. Bauman’s sociohermeneutical lenses, taking on board also our own life-experience of the “Baumanian evolution” of the social world, it seems convenient to reexamine the socio-pragmatics of its core notion of liquidity. Twenty years after, it has become pretty clear that our society, by the very fact of its liquidity, presents, and also imposes, itself as a well-defined social order. The liquidity “makes” (an) order, a “fluid” one and with all around detectable constraints, from the level of social forms and institutions it reshapes to the intimacy of everyday life of each of us. Socio-analytically, the task of devising, more rigorously than it is usually done, a conceptual explanation of the liquid order asks for more epistemic and methodological saturation of the social liquidity argument; not just about the concrete manners in which this fluid order properly articulates itself, but also regarding what regulates the conditions of possibility for empirical research, as control keys for the veracity of the discussion. This would be the first strategic level where the need for a reevaluation of the notion of liquidity attests itself (albeit rather indirectly). In the end, taken in its widest socio-historic range, its heuristic productivity of discursive descriptions aside, the Baumanian notion is but a “negative magnitude” through which what is expressed is an indefinite, unqualified “resistance” at liquefaction, the (purely logical) opposition – at any given time or section within the society in general – to what liquefaction has to negate, to overcome. Thus, the pressures exerted by the dynamics of liquidity upon specific social “solids” (structures, classes, groups, institutions, patterns, frames, habitus, etc.) are to be empirically approached as definite modes of resilience to liquefaction (which could, possibly, be quantified) of both discrete social practices and micro-structures. At grass-root level, the social liquidity as it continuously presents itself as something concrete to be investigated is, in fact, viscosity; i.e. it is equally the social objects’ and processes’ inherent capability to subvert, from within and with its means, the generalized liquefaction, to the benefit of their (relative) homeostasis in the global flow. It is worth questionable if the “total homeostasis” of the global “liquid order”, that of the neoliberal stage in the world-historic march of Capitalism, with its customtailored Lebenswelt, does not efficiently perdure because, in order to prevail over sedimentation tendencies, it keeps fluid enough all its articulations by injecting (extra) “solvent” wherever it is needed… So, “liquidity” speaks for the moving principle of the contemporary sociality, while “viscosity” names the former’s grip on it, activating its latencies. We may then ask ourselves if, at the micro- and meso-levels of research, at the other end of the spectrum of the soci(et)al forms, the embodiments of this viscosity are not identifiable, and thus open to analysis, in, for instance: the social meaning and the cultural effects of the adaptive strategies of the neo-proletariat to the constraints of the organizational frameworks; the outcomes of the audit culture in terms of different meanings for personal success in life and/or career; the self-entrepreneurship and self-exploitation in liberal professions; the cognitariat and teleworking; uberization tendencies within certain economic sectors, etc.; or, why not, in the social movements which sell themselves as (post-)politic reaction to the all-pervading liquidity.



Filip Alexandrescu ( Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy

Ionuț Anghel, ( Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy

The session sets about to explore the theoretical interconnections and the empirical applicability of a conceptual pair (expulsions/systemic edge) advanced by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her recent work (2014, 2015). Her argument is that in contrast to the post-war political economy which sought to integrate people either as workers or consumers into an expanding system, the dynamics that accompany the drive towards neoliberalism are of an entirely different kind. The current logic requires only a small but highly functional economy, whose side effect is the effective expulsion of individuals and groups who inhibit the accelerated accumulation of financial capital. This process creates a space outside the economy of the haves, which Sassen calls the systemic edge. In this realm, a condition becomes so extreme that it is rendered ungraspable to the dominant scientific and bureaucratic forms of knowledge. The involuntary denizens of this space on the edge are very diverse and include the increasing numbers of refugees “warehoused” in huge camps, the growing number of people displaced – either physically or economically – by various forms of land-grabbing or the large number of incarcerated individuals. All these processes have the appearance of being highly acute and extreme. Sassen constructs a cogent argument about how expulsions are made and how their extreme nature reveals a deep systematicity across various realms (political economy, environment, public order). What is still missing from Sassen’s argument is the internal architecture of the systemic edge. Questions such as: “how is life on the edge stabilized and reproduced or ruptured and transformed? How are individualities on the edge empowered or blunted? Which forms of consciousness can arise through life on the edge and what strategies for action?” may offer a fertile ground for deeper exploration. We therefore invite theoretically, empirically or interdisciplinary-oriented submissions that address one or several of the following topics. We encourage their interpretation as varied instances of a new quality of human experience: that of being expulsed from one’s previous land, livelihood or life project.

  • Expulsions of ethnic/indigenous groups into marginal or segregated spaces
  • The dynamics of expulsions in Southern European countries (Portugal, Greece, Spain) since 2008
  • The thinning of the middle classes via austerity measures, reductions in public spending and the overall shrinking of local economic space
  • Land-grabbing through mega-projects (mines, infrastructure, plantations) and their impacts
  • Imprisonment and profit-oriented forms of policing and disciplining
  • (Networked) forms of resistance to expulsion and their varied outcomes
  • Expanding contamination and environmental degradation and the deepening of environmental injustice.
  • Qualitative, quantitative or comparative analyses of cases from the Environmental Justice Atlas (



Marian-Gabriel Hancean ( University of Bucharest, Department of Sociology & The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest

Jose Luis Molina, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

Miranda Jessica Lubbers, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

This session is focused on advancing and extending the understanding of how national and transnational social networks impact on the individual and group behavior as well as on social processes.
Researchers, academics or practitioners are invited to present their research work (early stage, ongoing or completed) providing that a social network analysis perspective was employed, either methodologically or theoretically. The session welcomes both theoretical work and empirical applications of network theories and social network analysis to a wide palette of topics.
This session is particularly interested in hosting presentations of research results that are focused on:

  • Transnational social fields;
  • Personal networks (e.g. typologies, relational patterns and composition analysis);
  • Qualitative network analysis (e.g. qualitative network data collection, analytical strategies and methodology);
  • Mixed-methods research (e.g. illustrations of applied research designs);
  • Political processes (irrespective of their individual, group, state or international level) approached from a social network perspective;
  • Network visualizations (e.g. big data, static or dynamic images, the usage of visualizations within the research process);
  • Static and dynamic networks (e.g. the factors and the effects of structural change);
  • Historical network research (e.g. the analysis of historical relational data sets; challenges of applying social network analysis to historical archives);
  • The multilevel network perspective over organizations (e.g. empirical work on organizations defined as a mix of individuals, groups, units, practices as well as of external environment elements);
  • Scientific collaboration networks (e.g. co-authorship and citation networks).

The above listed research lines should not be considered restrictive, but as examples of presentations fit to this panel. Generally, this session is looking forward to spurring the coalescing of presentations embracing ego-centric (i.e. ego-networks, personal networks), socio-centric research designs (i.e. whole networks) or mixed methods research of social networks.
As an aside, the authors have the possibility of submitting papers corresponding to their research project presentations to the International Review of Social Research (for a general overview of the journal, please inspect the following web page
Additional queries on this session or on the possibility of submitting manuscripts to the International Review of Social Research can be addressed to



Norbert Petrovici ( Universitatea Babeș- Bolyai

Cristian Pop, Universitatea Babeș- Bolyai și Academia Română

Oana Mateescu, University of Bergen și Universitatea Babeș- Bolyai

The information technology (IT) industry is one of the most important economic sectors in Eastern Europe, being a significant contributor to GDP growth for many countries from this region. In many cities (i.e. Prague, Warsaw, Lviv, Bucharest, Cluj, Sofia) the number of companies in the IT sector and consequently the number of employees is rapidly growing. However, much of the activity in the IT market consists in outsourcing work, deepening localdependence on the advanced capitalist economies. Simultaneously, investments in the IT sector aremaking investments in other industries less attractive, or even further depressing wages (in absolute or relative terms) in other parts of the labor markets. The global boom in the IT sector puts forward cheap new technologies of machine learning and mobile robotics, and ir its precisely peripheral markets, such as those from Eastern Europe, that are among the first to benefit from the new automatization. These peripheral markets are the very producers of the new technologies. Traditional industries are made obsolete by the fourth wave of automation, changing the landscape of the local markets. We invite papers to describe and explain the transformation of labor markets at city level in national, and more importantly, in international contexts.
We welcome papers that:

(1) interested in shape of IT industry and the major transformation regarding automatization driven by the new developments in IT;
(2) map the local and international structures and networks in which the different types of IT companies are embedded;
(3) investigate the various types of companies’ resources instrumental for building capabilities to negotiate complex projects and to advance in the global value chains, including financing, property rights and knowledge availability;
(4) analyze the business services that provide skills development and personal development for the employees and entrepreneurs.
(5) study the occupational and educational composition of cities and show the intra- and inter- generational mobility in the new economic milieu.
(6) understand the role and effects of the regulatory framework in which the new industries are developing and the effects on the old industries in terms of competitive advantages;
(7) show the interlinks between various sectors of the economy and the way investments and wages are linked in local ecosystems.



Mara Stan, PhD, lecturer, ( Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, University of Bucharest

Roxana Brişcariu, PhD, teaching assistant, Faculty of Management and Public Administration, Academy of Economic Studies (ASE), Bucharest

We currently witness workforce dynamics trends characterized by the proliferation of alternative work arrangements (e.g. part-time work, tele-work, project-based, determinate-period employment). Work-life balance (WLB) is an ‘evergreen’ topic of interest, all the more important nowadays for theorists and organizational practitioners alike. The fast-paced rhythm of change typical for the liquid society can facilitate balance, once it is achieved, in an analogical approach to riding the bicycle, i.e.: the more you move, the longer your balance endures. WLB is an umbrella concept that supports a multifold approach and multi-level areas of empirical research, including, but not restricted to: sociology of time (e.g. sociological inquiry into time tracking devices, time budgets and web-based applications), career counselling, sociology of occupations, research methods for human resource management, lifestyles, social psychology of attitudes and values that accommodate perspectives on work ethic.
This extensive family of research encompasses employer-led initiatives and organizational programs that promote staff health and wellbeing, best practice benchmarking in recruitment, on-boarding, training and performance appraisal, including online learning modules, stress management, mentoring and coaching, impact measurement and assessment methods developed for employee surveys. The ‘Work-Life Balance and research in human resource management’ panel welcomes papers that address such issues of concern, or focus on interrogating the fine dividing line between work passion and workaholism, employer branding and digitalized workspaces. Like liquid society itself, contemporary working models of WLB are daring, emerging, experimental and volatile, based on the constant readjustment and incremental fine-tuning of contradictory driving forces. Other contributions highly relevant for this panel involve downshifting versus upgrading as time use strategies, intercultural training, education for diversity, as well as multitasking.


  1. NEW CODES, OLD SYMBOLS – THE PATERN OF COMMUNICATION IN DIGITLA ERA – dr. Delia NADOLU (, dr. Bogdan NADOLU (, West University of Timisoara

Into a social reality significant defined by the using of the Information and Communication Technologies the patterns of the everyday life are continuous redefined and reshaped. The face-to-face communication is not any more a common approach, because it is live, it is difficult to control, to prepare, and to elaborate in a perfect shining sense. Technology mediated communication (by mobile phone and by other devices) is more accessible, and easier to do and to control. As a direct consequence, the non-mediated social interactions trend to become a more accessible way to express the need of socialization. Being together with other people is not any more conditioned by the spatial proximity. Having friends, social interactions, jobs, leisure activities are not any more dependent by a physical location. Professor Shery Turkle from MIT, into a famous TED talk pointed that: “We use technology to define ourselves by sharing our thoughts and feelings even as we’re having them. So before it was: I have a feeling, I want to make a call. Now it’s: I want to have a feeling, I need to send a text.
All of these are based on a complex extension of the patterns of communication. How much from the old sense and symbols of communication there are still available into a world where to be together is meaning also to be faraway? How deep affect the intensive use of digital technology the human nature? Can we talk about the Homo Interneticusas a direct result of the epigenetic effect of this technology? How much from the old symbols of sharing did we keep into the cotemporary patterns of communication? Are we connected but alone? These are just few questions that we intend to address into this panel dedicated to the social impact of the Internet. Scholars are invited to apply with papers related, but not limited, to:

  • Computer mediated communication
  • Social consequences of the digital technology
  • Virtual interactions, virtual groups
  • Homo Interneticus
  • Symbols and codes of digital communication
  • Digital social resources
  • Political communication into the virtual space


  1. URBAN SCENARIO IN A LIQUID FUTURE – dr. Melinda DINCĂ (melinda.dincă, dr. Dan LUCHEȘ (, dr. Bogdan NADOLU (, West University of Timisoara

Over the last three decades, European societies are facing transformations dominated by the demographic, social, economic and political phenomena difficult to predict by the scholars and often difficult to assume by the policy makers. One of these represents the shrinkage phenomenon present in all industrial cities of Europe, but hardly recognized by authorities. Another phenomenon with a direct impact on urban population is migration, in its several forms: migration of the labor force within the community space, from the South-Eastern European countries to the Western countries; dual migration from third countries to EU states; and with the war in Syria, the Mediterranean refugees’ routes connects the areas of conflict to the European states. Another relevant phenomenon is the collapse of the industry and the flow of the urban population into the suburbs. These phenomena have a direct impact on urban social development in all European countries.
Among the most observable effects, we mention the following: Imbalances of the real estate market, the appearance of dysfunctional industrial zones and brownfields in the middle of the cities, and imbalances between the demand and supply of social infrastructure (utilities, urban services, transport, commercial services).
In this panel we will focus on the various types of institutional responses, of the local authorities to these challenges, as well as policy models agreed at EU level in the field of regeneration and urban development.


  1. MAKING AND UN-MAKING HUMAN KINDS – Cosima Rughiniș (, University of Bucharest, Ștefania Matei (, University of Bucharest

We invite presentations focusing on the social production, reproduction and transformation of human kinds, examining old and new social types in various contexts. Authors are welcome to discuss, among others, what are the methods and resources through which we do and undo gender, age, race, (dis)ability, and various categories of professions and work, body configuration or psychic life.
In particular, how are human kinds rendered more or less present and absent, vocal and silent, visible and invisible? How do people organize the multiplicity of voices by selectively amplifying and muting them, by organizing collective messages, orchestrating controversies and adjudicating conflicts?
For example, presentations may address:

  • How are various categories of persons portrayed in diverse media and interactions, from film, video games, graphic novels, and commercials to laws, algorithms, social media and digital exchanges? What are the tendencies in representation? What is the specificity of each medium in re-representing age, and other social classification?
  • What is the role of science and its many disciplines in shaping the diversity of human nature? How do lay and expert actors invoke scientific arguments to assemble or disassemble categories and conditions of psychic functioning, such as the spectrum of autistic disorders, ADHD, or depression? How are scientists reformulating old ages and gender identities?
  • What is the emerging role of algorithms and artificial intelligence in doing and undoing bias, discrimination and inequality? How are novel forms of digital selves and algorithmic regulation influencing social classification?
  • How are noteworthiness and celebrity allocated in life and after death to various types of humans? How is social memory organized and stratified?
  • Who creates the above-mentioned portraits, science, and algorithms? How do authors’ profiles influence the selective creation of portrayals and models of human kinds?


  1. Revenge of the Populism: Parties, Voters and Inequalities in Europe – Aurelian Muntean SNSPA (

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, twenty-eight years ago, scholars have praised the new wave of democratic set-up in Central and Eastern Europe. With few, albeit notable, exceptions, the political elites of post-communist countries have embarked on and supported the tedious road towards democratization and, later, the consolidation of democracy and its institutions and practices. The profound reforms have promised economic, social and institutional performances. However, recent elections in the European democracies have cast doubt on the consolidation of democratic institutions and values in countries previously regarded as champions of democracy. The electoral success of parties with populist programs and leaders with messages focusing on the corruption of established political parties have been linked by some scholars to the unsuccessful management of the anti-crisis policies, to the increasing social and economic polarization, the migration waves, or the historical legacies. It increased the scholars’ interest in explaining the use and performance of populist messages in electoral campaigns, the use of electoral clientelism, as well as the variation in electoral behavior of voters, parties and candidates. European politicians have joined the populist bandwagon with much success. The options of the political elites for non-democratic governance, which some leaders call ‘illiberal democracy’, seem to be in accordance with the preferences of a larger mass of voters who support candidates accused of illegal practices. This panel invites scholars to submit papers which analyze issues such as voters’ behavior, party and candidates’ preferences for populist messages, the electoral systems and electoral clientelism, political corruption, voting behavior, legitimacy of elections and trust of population in the electoral process, new political elites and the electoral success of anti-system parties, institutionalization of party systems, representation of minorities, legislative policies and legislative representation. Proposals analyzing the use of public opinion polls in electoral competitions, in the government set-up and in the policy-making process, are welcomed. We encourage submission of both theoretical and empirical papers with single or mixed methods design, with an emphasis on new methods such as experiments. Case studies, cross-national empirical research, and methodologically oriented papers fit in this panel.


  1. Trends in societal change. New data from European Values Study and World Values Survey – Bogdan Voicu, Research Institute for Quality of Life & Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu,

The Romanian Group for Studying Social Values collected data for the EVS-2018 and WVS-2017/2018 waves in December-April 2017/2018. The WVS2017RO partly consists from a panel sample with respect to WVS2012RO wave (the size of the panel is about N=600, while the remaining sample is N=600). Data is planned to be available for our team in May 2012. After that, they will be under the usual embargo for several months. Our intention is to make them available to other scholars with anticipation (that is starting May, long before the embargo ends), under the condition that they present the result of their work in our session in the conference, and in case of publication they acknowledge the support of our project. If interested, please inform us of your intentions. The resulting section in the conference will focus on changes starting 1990s to present days and on the current values in the Romanian society. A special attention will be paid to the impact of international migration (specific migration-related modules are included in the questionnaire).

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