Call for Papers: Aging from beyond the skin

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: October 30, 2017

Send manuscripts at

For our Winter 2017 issue, we invite research articles and notes that explore how we are being aged from outside the contours of our bodies, through the presence and absence of interaction with others, in materially and technologically organized activities, by living in mediated worlds and incorporating mediated voices into ourselves.

We invite authors to reflect on the significance of media, discourses, material shapes and technologies for the form, intensity and diversity of ageing, addressing questions such as the following:

  • What forms of ageing are portrayed in children stories, films, textbooks, commercials, comics, and the thick environment of images and narratives in which we are immersed [1], [2]?
  • How do people age through gameplay? How are elderly characters included and animated in gameworlds, and how are elderly players imagined through game design [3], [4]?
  • How can one do age through clothing and body work [5]–[7]?
  • How do people learn to age as women and men? What are the old and new forms of the double standard of ageing across different media [8], [9]?
  • How do people age through scientific representations, models and methods? How does social and psychological sciences re-create age categories, influence and strength and how is it re-produced through public communication (Bodily 1994; Rughiniș and Humă 2015; Vincent 2008; Vincent, Tulle, and Bond 2008)?
  • How do new technologies shape old age and ageing – through inequalities of access and use, dis/empowerment in relations with the environment, new communities and self-images [14]–[17]?





[1]         D. G. Bazzini, W. D. McIntosh, S. M. Smith, S. Cook, and C. Harris, “The aging woman in popular film: Underrepresented, unattractive, unfriendly, and unintelligent,” Sex Roles, vol. 36, no. 7–8, pp. 531–543, Apr. 1997.

[2]         T. Robinson, M. Callister, and D. Magoffin, “Older Characters in Teen Movies from 1980–2006,”, 2009.

[3]         S. M. Iversen, “Play and Productivity: The Constitution of Ageing Adults in Research on Digital Games,” Games Cult., vol. 11, no. 1–2, pp. 7–27, Jan. 2016.

[4]        C. Rughiniș, E. Toma, and R. Rughiniș, “Time to Reminisce and Die: Representing Old Age in Art Games,” in Conference of the Digital Games Research Associagion – DiGRA 2015, 2015, pp. 1–12.

[5]         C. Laz, “Act Your Age,” Sociol. Forum, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 85–113, 1998.

[6]        J. Twigg, “Clothing, age and the body: a critical review,” Ageing Soc., vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 285–305, Mar. 2007.

[7]         J. Twigg, “The body, gender, and age: Feminist insights in social gerontology,” J. Aging Stud., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 59–73, 2004.

[8]        S. Sontag, “The Double Standard of Ageing,” The Saturday Review, pp. 29–38, 23-Sep-1972.

[9]        M. M. Lauzen and D. M. Dozier, “Maintaining the Double Standard: Portrayals of Age and Gender in Popular Films,” Sex Roles, vol. 52, no. 7–8, pp. 437–446, Apr. 2005.

[10]       C. Bodily, “Ageism and the deployments of ‘age’. A constructionist view,” in Constructing the Social, T. R. Sarbin and J. I. Kitsuse, Eds. Sage Publications, 1994, pp. 174–194.

[11]        C. Rughiniș and B. Humă, “Who theorizes age? The ‘socio-demographic variables’ device and age–period–cohort analysis in the rhetoric of survey research,” J. Aging Stud., vol. 35, pp. 144–159, Dec. 2015.

[12]       J. A. Vincent, “The cultural construction old age as a biological phenomenon: Science and anti-ageing technologies,” J. Aging Stud., vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 331–339, Dec. 2008.

[13]       J. A. Vincent, E. Tulle, and J. Bond, “The anti-ageing enterprise: Science, knowledge, expertise, rhetoric and values,” J. Aging Stud., vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 291–294, Dec. 2008.

[14]       R. P. Yu, N. B. Ellison, R. J. McCammon, and K. M. Langa, “Mapping the two levels of digital divide: Internet access and social network site adoption among older adults in the USA,” Information, Commun. Soc., vol. 19, no. 10, pp. 1445–1464, Oct. 2016.

[15]       T. N. Friemel, “The digital divide has grown old: Determinants of a digital divide among seniors,” New Media Soc., vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 313–331, Feb. 2016.

[16]       Y.-R. R. Chen and P. J. Schulz, “The Effect of Information Communication Technology Interventions on Reducing Social Isolation in the Elderly: A Systematic Review.,” J. Med. Internet Res., vol. 18, no. 1, p. e18, Jan. 2016.

[17]       S. Yusif, J. Soar, and A. Hafeez-Baig, “Older people, assistive technologies, and the barriers to adoption: A systematic review,” Int. J. Med. Inform., vol. 94, pp. 112–116, 2016.

Call for Papers: Science – Something Old, Something New, Something Blue

Guest Editor: Emanuel Socaciu, University of Bucharest

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: June 15th, 2017

Send manuscripts at


We invite research articles and notes that explore the interplay of science and daily life, the role of new technologies in scientific knowledge, the just-emerging and the strongly-persistent practice of science making and reporting, as well as other topics in the social organization and consequences of scientific knowledge.

Contributions may address questions such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • How is scientific research formulated, invoked and challenged in public debates about vaccination, homeopathy, GMOs, evolution, contraception, abortion, climate change and other deeply controversial issues of health, life and death?
  • How do various scientific methods and discourses shape our public knowledge of gender, age, race and other social classifications – from neurosexism (Fine 2010) to social research ageism (Bodily 1994; Rughiniș and Humă 2015) and new forms of racism in heritability studies or IQ research (Block 1995), among others?
  • How are we to understand and account for the replication crisis in science (Ioannidis 2012; Open Science Collaboration 2015)? How is scientific fraud and fabricated research socially organized and sanctioned (Fanelli 2009)?
  • How is Big Data transforming, challenging, or reproducing practices of scientific research across disciplines? How are representations of the world derived from Big Data re-shaping what we know and don’t know about patterns of behavior, inequalities, what is significant and what is negligible (boyd and Crawford 2012; Lazer et al. 2014)?
  • How are new search and communication platforms changing scientific methods, peer review or science communication – from dedicated platforms such as Google Scholar, and to Facebook, Twitter or other digitally-mediated forms of shaping and sharing data and knowledge?


Block, Ned. 1995. “How Heritability Misleads about Race.” Cognition 56: 99–128.

Bodily, Christopher. 1994. “Ageism and the Deployments of ‘age’. A Constructionist View.” In Constructing the Social, eds. Theodore R. Sarbin and John I. Kitsuse. Sage Publications, 174–94.

boyd, danah, and Kate Crawford. 2012. “Critical Questions for Big Data.” Information, Communication & Society 15(5): 662–79.

Fanelli, Daniele. 2009. “How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data.” PLoS ONE 4(5): e5738.

Fine, Cordelia. 2010. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference. WW Norton & Company.

Ioannidis, John P. A. 2012. “Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 7(6): 645–54.

Lazer, David, Ryan Kennedy, Gary King, and Alessandro Vespignani. 2014. “The Parable of Google Flu: Traps in Big Data Analysis.” Science 343(6176).

Open Science Collaboration. 2015. “Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science.” Science 349(6251).

Rughiniș, Cosima, and Bogdana Humă. 2015. “Who Theorizes Age? The ‘socio-Demographic Variables’ Device and Age–period–cohort Analysis in the Rhetoric of Survey Research.” Journal of Aging Studies 35: 144–59.

Call for Papers: Classifying people: From gender and age to zodiac signs and personality types

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: November 1st, 2016

Send manuscripts at

We routinely treat people as representatives of certain categories, bearing their typical traits even if diverging in significant ways. There are many classifications of people available to describe a person – from gender categories, generations and age groups, professions, to complex yet para-scientific typologies such as zodiac signs, and scientifically constructed classes such as personality or other psychologically-defined types.

We invite researchers to explore how we create types of people, modify them and use them in interaction. Possible research questions include the following, and any other related topics:

  1. What are the current representations of gender and age categories in various media – from textbooks to ads, movies, music videoclips, cartoons, graphic novels, or computer games? How are they influenced by medium and genre conventions?
  2. How are gender and age classifications changing in different societies and settings, including online arenas? Where can we see change and where can we see persistence?
  3. How are various institutions working with classifications of people – that is, how are such classifications interlinked with social practices that take into account these types of humans to apply differential treatment? For example, how is gender as a social institution shaping practices in education, human resources & employment, intimacy or family life? What about age? How are personality types and personality tests shaping recruitment in various industries? How are children classified in schools, and to what effects?
  4. What about less common classifications? How are zodiac signs relevant in the daily lives of people who care about them? How are classifications of people shaping diagnosis and treatment in homeopathic medicine?
  5. How is population ageing changing the way we classify people in age groups and the representations of various age-based categories? What is the diversity of portrayals of the elderly in various media and genres? How do generational classifications (from the Lost Generation to Generation X, Gen Y or Millenials, or Generation Alpha) shape creative industries and marketing?
  6. How are certain categories of people changing shape or visibility through professional or self-diagnosis of psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and autism, or categories of (dis)abilities in eyesight, reading, hearing, speech, or memory?
  7. How do people define and manage category boundaries, their strictness or permeability? What are the theories that underlie classifications? For example, what is the role of biology or even genetic determinism in understanding gender, age-based or psychologically-defined types of people?
  8. What is the role of objects in expressing, denying or modifying one’s relation with a category of people? How is gender or age expressed through clothing, toys, or access to technology? How are psychological conditions interlinked with medication regimes? How are types of people re-affirmed through material representations in texts or illustrations, in daily life or scientific settings?
  9. What is the role of science and technology in producing, refuting and modifying classifications of people?
  10. Last but not least, how is technology reshaping the generation, use and change in types of people? For example, how are gender & age related to the use and creation of digital technologies? How are people classified into personality or behavioral types based on their online traces?

Call for Papers: Living with(in) digital technology

Extended deadline for manuscript submission: November 1st, 2016

We invite research articles and notes that explore how we live with(in) digital technology, and we welcome texts from multiple disciplines and genres.

Send manuscripts at


Our reality is visibly and invisibly transformed through digital technology. Digitally mediated information flows structure increasingly deeper and broader layers of daily and professional lives. We live with and within the omnipresence of Wikipedia, Google Maps and Facebook – to name just the tip of the iceberg. Computational power is mobile, but increasingly fixed on our persons, from bags and pockets, to wrists and, occasionally, glasses. Information technology has gradually become an infrastructure, an ambient and a part of our extended, distributed selves.

We invite authors to reflect on the significance of digital technologies for our daily and professional lives, addressing questions such as the following – or any other related topics:

  • How are our experiences of time and place modified through digital technology? What about our experiences of friendship and relatedness, familiarity and awareness, membership and individuality?
  • How are social sciences shaped by widespread use of technology in generating traces of human behavior, collecting and analyzing big and small data?
  • How is authorship redefined in an era of human-technological collaboration – in diverse fields such as arts, sciences, blogging, wiki contributing, coding?
  • How is cognition and knowledge shaped in the interplay of humans and computers, and in the distributed networks of digitally mediated collaborative networks?
  • How does digital technology modify our relationships with different forms of information – such as medical advice, navigation tips, scientific publication, or knowledge of other persons?
  • What of our lives becomes more transparent and what becomes more opaque, in the interplay of surveillance and pursuits of privacy?
  • What are the shifting boundaries of the ‘real world’ as the counterpart of the digital worlds we visit – from gameworlds and virtual realities to augmented landscapes and continuous flows of digital snippets?
  • What are the ethical experiences and issues raised by our increased entanglements with digital technology?
  • How is digital technology socially stratified? Which are the digital gaps that constitute and reconstitute social stratification and mobility? What are the distinctive patterns of use and ignorance of technology for certain categories of people, such as children, young men, or older women?


Call for Papers: Sociology of Celebration

  • Guest editors: Ismo Kantola, University of Turku, Turku, Finland and Mihai Stelian Rusu, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Deadline for manuscript submission: February 15th, 2016
  • Send manuscripts at:

Celebration was at the nascent core of the emerging sociological discipline at the turn of the 20th century. It was Durkheim’s seminal insight on the supreme importance of rituals in integrating the social body, masterfully articulated in his sociological forays into The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1995) [1912], that placed the study of holidays in the very center of sociological focus. But after such a fulminant start, postwar sociology regrouped across the Atlantic lost its interest in the nature of celebration. As Amitai Etzioni (2000) has pointed out, neither the index of the sixteen volumes of International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (1968) nor that of the flagship American journals American Sociological Review and American Journal of Sociology between 1975 and 1995 mention the term “holiday.” However, after a long and undeserved hiatus, celebration is making a comeback in sociological theory. Unsurprisingly, a “sociology of celebration” is taking shape in European sociology, gaining institutional grounding in the European Sociological Association’s Research Stream bearing the ominous name.

Drawing of Berlioz conducting a choir by Gustave Doré, published in Journal pour rire, 27 June 1850

Drawing of Berlioz conducting a choir by Gustave Doré, published in Journal pour rire, 27 June 1850

In editing this thematic issue of The Journal of Comparative Research in Sociology and Anthropology, we seek to celebrate the long-overdue comeback of the sociology of celebration. For this purpose, we invite contributions that explore and reflect upon the following questions, without being limited to those listed below:

-        How is meaning produced in celebrations? What are celebrations designed to signify, and by what social means are they to act as semiotic signifiers in the social world?

-        How are the meanings that celebrations are purportedly meant to display performed in the public sphere (Alexander, 2011)? Which are the performative practices by which the meanings attached to celebrations are put on show?

-        How are religious and political holidays constructed by various celebrative agents and what political purposes are they to play (Zerubavel, 2003)?

In addition to these questions, we also welcome papers which critically engage with the following topics:

-        the social functions of celebration (integration, identity formation, development and maintenance of distinction and taste);

-        the modes and forms of celebration (be they political ceremonies such as national days and historical commemoration or non-political ones including carnivals, orgies, clubbing, and partying);

-        perception of and attitudes to different modes of and phenomena of celebration;

-        theoretical approaches to celebration, focused on deepening our current understanding of the nature of celebration.



Alexander, Jeffrey (2011). Performance and Power. Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Durkheim, Emile (1995). The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Free Press.

Etzioni, Amitai (2000). Toward a Theory of Public Ritual. Sociological Theory, 18(1), pp. 44-59.

Zerubavel, Eviatar (2003). Time Maps. Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Call for Papers: Age and gender codes in media and things

Age and gender classifications have changed through history, yet they remain relevant in many social situations. They are used by organizations in all walks of life, and they are part and parcel of the identities that we invoke and attribute in daily interactions.

Adventure Time Princess Maker

  • Guest Editor: Laura Grunberg, University of Bucharest
  • Deadline for manuscript submission: December 20th, 2015
  • Send manuscripts at:

Taking notice of both their persistent relevance and the significant changes in age- and gender-specific expectations, we invite contributors to examine how these powerful classifications are put to use through media (advertisements, textbooks, films, games, etc) and things – toys, clothing, tools, and other material arrangements.Some questions that might guide reflection include the following, without being limited to them:

  • How do people ‘do gender’ (West & Zimmerman, 1987) and ‘act their age’ (Laz, 1998) in various situations?
  • What is the symbolic and material equipment that people use to display their gender and age-grade affiliation in a variety of communication situations (Goffman, 1979)?
  • How are gender and age done and un-done (Deutsch, 2007) in social interaction?
  • What is the role of specific media – from school textbooks to films, advertisements and video games (Williams, Martins, Consalvo, & Ivory, 2009) – in reproducing and recreating gender and age classifications and resources for their display?
  • In particular, what is the role of social and human disciplines in shaping these classifications? How do current threads of research affirm or dispute the importance of these distinctions and their sources – for example in evolutionary psychology, gerontology, or history?
  • In particular, how do empirical age- and gender-difference studies work to re-construct these classifications?
  • How do specific scientific methods – such as the experiment, document analysis, interview, or the focus group – deal with these distinctions and possibly contribute to their re-creation?
  • Which are lay psychological theories of gender and age invoked in different situations, and to what effects? (Gubrium & Wallace, 1990)
  • What are the similarities and differences between these two social classifications, in different social situations?
  • How does information technology, in its many guises, contributes to shaping and re-shaping age and gender? (Oudshoorn, Rommes, & Stienstra, 2004)


Deutsch, F. M. (2007). Undoing Gender. Gender & Society21(1), 106–127.

Goffman, E. (1979). Gender Advertisements. Harper & Row.

Gubrium, J. F., & Wallace, J. B. (1990). Who Theorises Age? Ageing and Society10, 131–149.

Laz, C. (1998). Act Your Age. Sociological Forum13(1), 85–113.

Oudshoorn, N., Rommes, E., & Stienstra, M. (2004). Configuring the User as Everybody: Gender and Design Cultures in Information and Communication Technologies. Science, Technology, & Human Values29(1), 30–63.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing Gender. Gender & Society1(2), 125–151.

Williams, D., Martins, N., Consalvo, M., & Ivory, J. D. (2009). The virtual census: representations of gender, race and age in video games. New Media & Society11(5), 815–834.

Call for Papers: Video Games and Insightful Gameplay

Call for Papers – Video Games and Insightful Gameplay

Video games are increasingly used and discussed as a medium for creating and sharing meaning – be it as a form of learning [1], self-knowledge [2], persuasion in fields such as politics or advertising [3], or a way of mending a “broken reality” with a layer of meaning [4].

Gameplay has also been used for distributed problem solving in science, with ‘Foldit’ as a notorious example [5], public awareness of distressing psychological conditions such as depression [6]–[8], or for historical commemoration [9], among other goals.

We invite research articles and notes that explore the varied landscape of insightful gameplay, and we welcome texts from multiple disciplines, genres, and personal histories of gameplay.

Guest editor: Doris C. Rusch, DePaul UniversityExtended Deadline for manuscript submission: June 6th, 2015

Send manuscripts at:

Manuscript details: For this special issue there are no requirements concerning manuscript length or structure. We invite full articles, short papers, works in progress, essays, journals, and also fiction works and manuscripts in other genres that address the topic of insightful gameplay.

Some orienting questions include:

-          How can games stimulate players’ insights into the world around us, or how can they fail to do so?

-          How do players derive and formulate insights when playing? How do people make meaning from gameplay?

-          How can games occasion moral reflection and moral experiences [10], [11], or avoid it?

-          How can games encourage empathy [12] – or discourage it?

-          What is the role of various elements of a game (fictive worlds, mechanics, textual elements) and of the game paratext [13] (player forums, reviews, markets etc.) in shaping gameplay as meaningful experiences?

-          What is the diversity of meaning acquired by various people playing a game, or same persons in various instances of play? How do players relate to this multi-voicedness of gameplay?


[1]         J. P. Gee, What Video Games have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

[2]         D. Rusch, “Mechanisms of the Soul: Tackling the Human Condition in Videogames,” Proc. from DiGRA, 2009.

[3]         I. Bogost, Persuasive Games. The MIT Press, 2010.

[4]        J. McGonigal, Reality is Broken. Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. New York: The Penguin Press, 2011.

[5]         S. Cooper, A. Treuille, J. Barbero, Z. Popović, D. Baker, and D. Salesin, “Foldit.” [Online]. Available:

[6]        Z. Quinn, P. Lindsey, and I. Shankler, “Depression Quest,” 2013. [Online]. Available:

[7]         D. C. Rusch, T. I. Ing, and R. Eberhardt, “Elude.” Gambit.

[8]        D. C. Rusch and A. Rana, “For the records.” [Online]. Available:

[9]        Ubisoft, “Valiant Hearts. The Great War.” 2014.

[10]       M. Sicart, “Wicked Games: On the Design of Ethical Gameplay,” in DESIRE’10, 2010, pp. 101–111.

[11]        M. Sicart, The Ethics of Computer Games. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009.

[12]       J. Belman and M. Flanagan, “Designing Games to Foster Empathy,” Cogn. Technol., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 5–15, 2010.

[13]       M. Consalvo, Cheating. Gaining Advantage in Videogames. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.