25.01.2013 - 00:00:00
Joint Workshop New Directions in Comparative and Transnational Studies, Duisburg
Friday, January 25, 2013, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany,
Campus Duisburg, Building/Room LF 310 "Rotunda":
New Directions in Comparative and Transnational Studies
Comparative research is faced with a number of methodological and theoretical challenges, some of them old, some of them new. The aim of this workshop is to provide a forum for graduate students and scholars at the University of Tokyo and the University of Duisburg-Essen to discuss how they do research comparatively and transnationally. The focus will be on research experiences and how to deal especially with methodological problems.
Presentations focused on the more well-known challenges of comparative and regional studies research might address the following issues: the problem of "small Ns" and too many variables, ways to generalize from a single case, the theoretical use of history in comparative analysis, the question of convergence or divergence in relation to large universal processes of change such as modernization and globalization, the usefulness of "western" social theories to frame research questions about East Asian social contexts, and the necessity to "create" new concepts or theories to fully explain changing East Asian societies.
Comparative studies scholars now recognize that many social processes are transnational, i.e. they are no longer contained by the boundaries of nation-states. Yet many modes of analysis, including social surveys, discourse and content analysis, and case studies, among others, continue to take for granted that the nation-state provides the relevant unit of analysis. Though it is often difficult in practice to avoid "methodological nationalism" in empirical research design, some progress has been made in finding a way out of the national box. Transnational studies, with migration research taking the lead, have directed attention to the importance of cross-border social movements (or advocacy networks) and the role of non-governmental and transnational organisations in creating social order and regulating cross-border social processes, and they have grappled with the global reach of media, as well as religious and cultural movements.
Graduate students are invited to prepare a presentation on any of these aspects of comparative, historical, regional, or transnational studies. Proposed presentations may either focus on one’s own research or engage a more general question or literature for discussion. An abstract of the proposed presentation should not be more than 300 words (not including references) and should be sent to both the organizers in Japan and Germany electronically at the following e-mail addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The deadline for abstract submissions was Monday, December 17, 2012.
The workshop is organized by the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo, and by the German Science Foundation Research Training Group Risk and East Asia at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen.
Area map: http://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/content/dokumente/lageplaene/