How do we imagine the people that we advocate for, write about, and plan for? How do social differences around race, gender, class, ethnicity, and disability impact how we envision future worlds for others? How is the making of inclusive communities a cultural or societal process? How can research methods in anthropology and sociology inform the decisions of designers, planners and policy makers in constructing a more inclusive world?
This call poses these questions in the belief that socially grounded research is critical for redesigning and modeling livable worlds. It can uncover commonsense knowledge, cultural mindsets and philosophies of life that can reveal prospects for human-centered design and governance. It can contribute to improvements in urban environments, inclusive communities and sustainable neighborhoods by taking into account people’s everyday (lived) experiences, by exploring power relations and, ultimately, by learning from the perspectives, values, memories, imagination, and dreams of those whom we design for.
We suggest that when thinking about transforming the present, we need to draw on multiple conceptual frameworks – ranging from feminist scholarship, critical race theory, indigenous studies, and cultural studies to science and technology studies, (dis)ability studies, and approaches to the social aspects of technical-rational thinking. We seek to investigate how race, gender, class, and other forms of difference impact transformational thinking in various domains: from everyday urban life experiences to social systems and governing regimes. Planning or designing for people requires consideration of the social and cultural worlds inhabited by those desiring to transform a precarious present.
Scholars from a variety of disciplines and fields are welcome to submit research on interrelated topics as:
Part of the conference Local Cultures – Global Spaces: See Full Call
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology supports an interdisciplinary approach to the study of global, urban, historical, and cultural experience, practices, and change. Our faculty are scholarly experts in archaeology, cultural anthropology, economics, education, folklore, psychology, and sociology which represent academic disciplines dedicated to the understanding of human social life, past and present. We share a commitment to global justice, human rights, and sustainable futures. As faculty in historically related social science disciplines, our research and teaching crosscut important themes and social issues related to gender, class, race and ethnicity, exploitation, domination, and the multiple embodiments of power.
Uli Linke PhD, Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts