Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Frist: 31.05.2020

CfP – Analyzing Gender, Practices, and Social Change, Tübingen

CALL FOR PAPER: Analyzing Gender, Practices, and Social Change

Interdisciplinary Workshop; January 14. – 15., 2021; Institute for Political Science, Tübingen

In gender research, practice-based perspectives have developed into a veritable growth industry. Since Butler’s performative gender theory and Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinities, the number of related publications skyrocket. However, even twenty years after the practice turn in social sciences, the field still struggles with two core issues. From a theoretical angle, the question of how to explain both stability and change of social orders remains unsettled. This also holds true for the patriarchy and its transformation. Methodologically, we need appropriate tools to grasp the interconnectedness and dynamics of social change at different sites and scales. Moreover, we still lack the necessary instruments to trace the impact of agency and power on the reproduction and transformation of gendered practices in contemporary societies. By doing so, we will be able to avoid what others have called the micro-isolationism trap in practice theory.

In sum, it remains unclear how to empirically analyze practices with the prospects of social change. On a theoretical level, a practice-theoretical approach should be able to explain both, the stability of routinized behavior as well as its change. Accordingly, practice theory needs to develop the methodological means to detect the persistence and transformation of patterns of practices, for example the transformation of masculinities within the military.

With this workshop, we want to bring together different disciplines from social sciences like International Relations, peace and conflict studies, sociology, organization studies or gender studies which either address these methodological challenges of the practice turn or provide us with new empirical insights about the transformation of social order, for example the doing and undoing of patriarchy. Our aim is to further our understanding of how to practice practice theory empirically, and to open up new ways to translate its theoretical promises into rich analyses. Questions the papers can engage with include (not exhaustively):

  • How can we theoretically account for both, the change and the perpetuation of practices?

  • How can we translate this theoretical openness into methodology? How can we empirically grasp social change over time from a practice-theoretical perspective? Moreover, how can we

    account for relations of power in theses analyses?

  • Which insights do different disciplines from social sciences offer to better grasping social

    change and, thus, to contributing to methodological reflections of the practice turn?

  • Which methods are best suited for studying social change from a practice perspective? How

    can innovative research designs look like?


We intend to publish the results of the workshop as a special issue in a peer-reviewed international journal. Deadline for abstracts of approximately 600–800 words (withoutreferences) is May 31.,2020.

In order to guarantee productive discussions, final papers must be submitted no later than December 15., 2020. Travel expenses and accommodation can be covered.