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A Spider's-Eye View of National Sociologies: Web 2.0 Technologies to Go Beyond Borders (ISA Forum of Sociology, 2016 Vienna) (under review)

Title: A Spider's-Eye View of National Sociologies: Web 2.0 Technologies to Go Beyond Borders

Author: TANAKA Sigeto (Tohoku University)

Abstract:

Sociology is divided into a number of “national” sociologies, which are usually bounded by national boundaries and which have developed their own theories, concepts, and political/cultural focus according to a specific historical context. Sociology is also divided by linguistic boundaries, which prevent us from knowing the discourses of an unfamiliar language. These problems hinder “international” communication among sociologists. However, such borders are a source of the power of sociology; they maintain the diversity in sociological research that allows it to address various local problems. We should seek a way to communicate beyond borders, without sacrificing diversity.

This paper proposes utilization of so-called “Web 2.0” technologies to go beyond those borders and establish a common basis for communication and mutual respect between national sociologies. Web 2.0 technologies offer functions for broadcasting information in particular formats, such as RSS/Atom feeds. Consequently, we can obtain updated information and aggregate it efficiently. We can thus prepare systems to monitor information for each national sociology, to make it easier for us to share cross-border knowledge.

I am building online news-feed systems using Web 2.0 technologies to monitor trends in sociological studies (http://tsigeto.info/ns/). A prototype for the Japanese version of the system has operated successfully. To get useful daily updates, I carefully selected target URLs from sociological associations and institutions, government sites, publishers, book stores, libraries, repositories, data archives, news sites, social bookmarks, personal blogs, and some useful Twitter accounts. I am also making similar systems for other societies.

This paper demonstrates the experiential know-how involved in developing the system. It also discusses difficulties in expanding the system to cover other societies: differences in interfaces of libraries/repositories, problems in using online translation services, and linguistic/cultural diversity within society.

Keywords: Internet, communication, information technology, language

Session Selection: Academic Discourse

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Dynamics of Ideology and Institution: Probable Scenarios for Changes in Beliefs about Gender and Family in Japan (ISA Forum of Sociology, 2016 Vienna) 2016-07-11

Date: 2016-07-11 (Monday) 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 34 (Main Building), Vienna University

Slides download: http://researchmap.jp/mun1bbek2-58901/
Handout download: http://researchmap.jp/mus6ubtp0-58901/

Title: Dynamics of Ideology and Institution: Probable Scenarios for Changes in Beliefs about Gender and Family in Japan

Author: TANAKA Sigeto (Tohoku University)

Abstract:

This paper put forward a proposal for elaborating ideology analysis. In parallel with development of empirical analysis to specify causality in the real social phenomena, we should develop methods for analysis of ideology to explore dynamics of what we perceive and think about the real society. Using them in combination, we obtain a powerful tool to foresee the future.

This paper proposes a framework of ideology-institution dynamics with causal modeling (IIDCM). IIDCM defines ideology as a system of interdependent beliefs classified into three categories: beliefs about facts (how the society is), about ideals (how the society should be), and about norms (what we should do). A feedback cycle is assumed as follows. We have beliefs about facts based on our observations of society. We have also beliefs about ideals as criteria to evaluate whether the social condition is good or bad. Such criteria and beliefs about facts jointly justify a norm to realize a better society. If the norm is institutionalized, it determines people’s action and brings social outcomes. And if we observe the social outcomes through empirical analysis, it will make changes in our beliefs about facts.

IIDCM theorizes relationships among ideology, institution, and people’s action. We can write a scenario and select the cast to predict social changes, using IIDCM as a basic framework. This paper takes an example of fertility issue in Japan. Political responses to low fertility in Japan since late-1980s have been too conservative to set ideological changes about gender and family. However, facing the population shrinking, the government (and people) are now seriously recognizing the necessity of drastic social changes. We can write probable scenarios, with the framework of IIDCM, according to what policy will be selected and how public opinion will change hegemonic ideology related to gender and family. (See http://tsigeto.info/iidcm/ for details)

Keywords: methodology, norm, policy, social change

Conference: 2016 Third ISA Forum of Sociology
Session Selection: Scenarios and Future Societies
Abstract URI: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/forum2016/webprogram/Paper78902.html

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