Sociological Weeks in Greece
In July, an international conference ‘Active Communities, Social-Economy Challenges and Local Knowledge’ and a summer school on ‘Sustaining Mutuality in Times of Crisis: Building Knowledge Alliances in Communities’ were held on Paros, Greece. Graduates of the master’s programme ‘Sociology of Public Sphere and Social Communications’ led by Nikita Pokrovsky, Professor at the School of Sociology, took part in these events.
The events were organized by the International Sociological Association Research Committee in cooperation with the Department of Sociology of the University of Aegean. Representatives from Greece, Russia, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, and Slovenia participated in the conference.
The participants presented reports on the following topics: innovations in social economy, social development and education, cellular globalization in local and global social dimensions (local and global social aspects), social cohesion and, finally, the creation and development of local communities and their sustainability. The main topic of the reports by the members of the 26th Research Committee is the role of local communities in the solution of large problems of economy and society. Examples of successful local communities in San Sebastian, Spain, were analysed during the conference.
The participants discussed the problems of economic crises and the social and economic situations typical for it, as it affects the world community due to globalization. The researchers came to the conclusion that Russia and Greece have similar ecological problems, for example, the problem of waste sorting remains pressing and yet, at the same time, ignored by society. This conclusion was confirmed by a mini-study that was completed during the summer school.
The participants from Greece showed great concern over the general social situation in the South of Europe, the problem of migration and the passive attitude of people to community regulation during times of economic crisis.
The conference and the summer school were not only related thematically, they also included excursions, so that the participants could not only present and discuss their research, but also learn more about the culture of the region and visit some places of interest. For example, the conference organizers managed to arrange a visit to a private Museum in Lefkes, established by an enthusiastic resident. This allowed the participants to better understand the specifics and challenges of local communities.