Appel à chapitres : Plural Modernities – Plural Gender Relations — LIMITE : 10/03/2015

Call for Articles

Book Project: Plural Modernities – Plural Gender Relations

The book project addresses two central strands in modern sociological thought that are still largely unconnected: the plural, multiple modernities approach and feminist theory. Both emphasize the context dependence of social relations and their dynamics of change.

The paradigm of plural, multiple modernities completely broke with the assumptions of classical modernization theory in the 1990s – contrary to the burgeoning convergence assumptions in some globalization theories. According to the plural modernities paradigm, western societies neither have a monopoly on modernity, nor are they by definition its starting point. Consequently, it is assumed that there are various paths into modernity and that various modernities existin as well as beyond the western world. Historical evidence shows that globalization arises from multi-centered origins, and this, in turn, has consequences for the understanding of modernization. Parallel, a change of perspectives towards shared and interwoven modernities was inspired by the study of global interdependencies. Finally, postcolonial approaches contributed to the decentration of western social theories and to a deeper understanding of sociology’s situatedness as a particularistic, western medium of reflexion. This led to a reconceptualisation of social theory that is related to the perspective of plural modernities. This approach emphasizes the notion that social change, development and transformation of modernity unfolds in different patterns all over the world, whether institutionally, culturally or structurally. This also means that historically specific realms of experience cannot simply be projected onto one another.

Although it seems natural for various reasons, the paradigm of plural modernities has not been examined from a gender perspective yet. The relation between western history of knowledge and western social history has been elaborated in gender theory in a very sophisticated and differentiated way. On the other hand, the research of non-western cultures tends to overlookthat the existence of asymmetrical gender relations does not necessarily indicate similar experiences of inequality. Hence, the book project aims to investigate the variety of global gender relations from the perspective of the plural modernities paradigm. This means to consider the social situatedness of gender as a spatially, temporally, politically and culturally varying category, and with that, its context dependence by using a social theory that is explicitly committed to study social relations in their institutional heterogeneity and cultural diversity. That way, the multiplicity of gender structures, and the forms and direction of their transformation, can be understood as an expression of plural configurations and dynamics of change. This includes asking for possible commonalities and structural similarities, without taking them for granted.

The paradigm of plural modernities allows for an expansion and diversification of theoretical and empirical horizons. Western societies are clearer recognizable as oneinstitutional and cultural configuration of modernity among many. This includes the dualistic structure of gender and its specific career as a category of social identity and social situatedness. The basic assumption is that different civilizational constellations result in different forms of modernity and herein embedded gender configurations.

Against this background, we cordially call on contributions that discuss the global diversity of gender relations from the perspective of plural modernities. Theoretically and empirically based proposals on European and especially on non-European societies, whether on South America, Africa, West or East Asia, are welcome. Analyzing patterns of change from the perspective of the plural modernities paradigm is supposed to be the centre stage, and here particularly the respective relationship between continuity and discontinuity. Instead of merely tracing the effects of western influence, the reconstruction of cultural (gender) programs in different socio-historical contexts and political constellations is central. From this perspective, seemingly counter-movements will be recognizable as independent variants of modernity. Hereunto, we welcome individual case studies that focus on legal, political, economic or other social fields. The primarily interesting issue of gender relations can be approached from a wide range of topics, such as social inequality, sexuality/ sexual politics, intimacy, family, work, law etc.

It is planned to publish the book in the book series of the Section for Women’s and Gender Studies in the German Sociological Association (Forum Women’s and Gender Studies).

Instructions for authors and deadlines:

We call for abstracts with a length of 750 words with the following information (plus bibliographical references), sent as a Word or PDF file until 10.03.2015 to each editor (,

Title of the proposed contribution, names of all authors and contact details

Relevance of the research question

Key concepts, research approach, with a reference to the paradigm of plural modernities, objective and methodology

If provisionally accepted, full articles (maximum 50.000 signs including bibliographical references) are to be submitted by 30.12.2015 for review.





PD Dr. Heidemarie Winkel
Technische Universität Dresden
Institut für Soziologie
- Mikrosoziologie -
01062 Dresden

Tel: +49 (0)351-463-37459
Fax: +49 (0)351/463-37113

Institut für Soziologie
Bürogebäude Falkenbrunnen
Raum: FAL 218

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