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SOCIAL THEORY and the Sociological Discipline(s) - page 13 / 44

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12 ESA Social Theory Conference, Innsbruck, September 11-13, 2008

abstracts

Zeynep Alemdar

Istanbul, Turkey

Working and Middle Class Perceptions of the European Union: Case of Turkey

Domestic civil society organizations (CSOs) that do not

have access boundaries and order to bring

to

their

states

transcend

use international organizations pressure upon their states.

national

(IOs) in These

transnational interactions transform changes in the domestic political

in parallel with

the

scene and in

the

domestic and structures. This changes through

international organizations’ own paper attempts to explicate these a class perspective, recently a rare

effort.

Through

a

structured

focused

case

study,

the

paper examines two types of

Turkish CSOs, three

workers organizations, and three women’s groups (taken as the representatives of middle class), and

their interactions with the European Union. Given the restrictive legal framework imposed on the Turkish CSOs and the EU’s liberal provisions for those, it is logical to suggest that CSOs will appeal to the EU to push the Turkish government to change its policies. Contrary to expectations, however, some women’s groups, choose not to appeal to the EU, arguing that tying their cause to the EU would limit their organization to a certain agenda. Turkish trade union confederations, on the other hand, appeal to the EU, depending on the organization’s position towards the EU membership. Thus, the working class and middle class have different approaches towards the EU. This paper attempts to explain the reasons of these attitudes, in an effort to provide new insights about the nature of these relationships, thereby, asking new questions about the transnationality of domestic social movements.

J. I. (Hans) Bakker

Guelph, Canada

“The Unity of Sociological Theory: A Peircian Semiotic Meta-Paradigm as the Overarching Perspective”

Fragmentation, specialization and sub-disciplinary “sections” in every nation-state make sociology appear as many disparate subfields. Meta-theories (Ritzer 2008: A-1) which attempt to be reflexive about that diversity result in three “end products.” Ritzer labels those ideal type model (ITM) results of Meta-theory: (1.) M-u, (2.) M-p and (3.) M-o. This paper is a contribution

to M-o, Meta-theorizing perspective.

to

produce

overarching

The overarching perspective can be accomplished by moving from a Cartesian dualist to a Peircian triadic epistemology. Bakker’s version of Peircian neo-modern semiotic epistemology is labeled the INSOR Meta- Paradigmatic model. The model is explained and several false dilemmas are critiqued. This level of M-o Meta-theory is only possible if we read Kuhn carefully

and apply Post-Peircian insights (Deely 2001). Earlier work by Bakker has attempted to apply a Peircian Semiotic Meta-Paradigm to the study of “the semioics of the book” and “symbolic interactional semiotics of the Club DJ.” But there is a need to further explicate the Meta-theory. Even the notion of a “Meta-Paradigm” that goes beyond Cartesian dualism is difficult for many sociologists to fully grasp. We are so used to thinking in terms of the relationship between a “subject” (Galileo) and an “object” (the moon) that we forget that Descartes’ epistemology and ontology is a limited product of his time and place. Peirce’s notion of the “sign” is much more universal. Moreover, the neglect of late Medieval Scholasticism means that Early Modern axiomatic assumptions are often reflected in twenty-first century social science. Even much of what passes as Postmodern social theory in sociology and in Cultural Studies is still firmly locked into de Saussure’s Cartesian assumptions about signification. Peircian semiotics has to be differentiated from French semiologie as well as Cartesianism.

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