CfP: “Contemplative Sociology”. Gdańsk, Poland

Here is a call for papers for a panel at an upcoming conference in Poland.

‘Contemplative Sociology. Towards
the Mindful Sociological Research and Empathic Society’ organized during
XVI Polish Sociological Congress (14-17 September 2016 Gdańsk).

Panel description:
The goal of contemplative sociology is to understand individuals and
communities by taking into account the point of view of the Other, as well
as the interconnectedness of the world. Contemplative sociology questions
the common sense and scientific distinctions (e.g., internal/external,
micro/macro, self/other, solidarity/anomy, etc.), and among these —
telling the researcher apart from the researched.

A contemplative sociologist not only observes and analyzes the
connectedness of social worlds — overpassing one‘s own perspective — but
also bears in mind the validity of social interventionism. As a result of
openly expressed eco-humanistic values, s/he actively contributes to
changing the reality under study. Doing so, s/he takes into account the
issue of impermanence: how susceptible to changes social worlds and
identities are? One‘s ego and self – identity are here seen as illusive,
and the concepts we use are, for contemplative sociologists, no more than
mere mind‘s products of social and material influences.

Meditation and the mindfulness practices are here applied in order to evoke
a more insightful and compassionate approach to the study of social
activity and social life. These are also made use of to increase the
researcher‘s sensitivity, as well as to improve both methods and research
techniques s/he applies. Experimenting with the mind and the self is of
great importance in acquiring such social sensitivity, especially in case
of sociologists. Making use of spiritual inspirations in the research
practice may develop the understanding of social worlds and impact upon
building trust, as well as the visions and plans to improve the
socio-ecological system and the quality of life, and also the well-being
of humans and animals.

We invite contributions that address (but are not limited to) the
following themes:

  • Methodological endeavors aimed at applying the techniques of meditation,
    mindfulness, and breathing, as well as the work with the body. The sensory
    embodiment of the researcher‘s concepts. The role of intuition in the
  • The mindful research and analysis of data (Contemplative Grounded
    Theory, Mindful Interviewing, Mindful Ethnography, etc.).
  • Research methods — ‘the first-person perspective to study consciousness’.
  • Compassion and sensitivity in sociological research.
  • Intervention in the community, clinical research, hospitals,
    correctional institutions, et cetera — from the contemplative perspective
    and with the use of spiritual inspirations.
  • The self and ego as compelling but empty exemplifying the contemporary
  • The mindful and not-mindful organizations and management.
  • Spirituality in business and capitalist systems.
  • Social emotions and the mindful management of emotions in everyday life
    situations and organizations.
  • The mindful connectedness with the nature and animals. The issues of
    compassion and interactions.
  • The commercialization and commodification of spiritual movements and
    ideologies. Mindfulness and/or McMindfulness.
  • Engaged sociology. Spiritual inspirations. Sociology in the
    contemplative/mindful action research.
  • Towards the mindful/emphatic culture. Towards the mindful/empathic society.

We welcome reserachers from various disciplines. All details of Congress
are here:

Contact: Radosław Kossakowski (


About Jovan Maud

I'm a lecturer in the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. Interests include: transnational religious networks, popular religion in Thailand, religious tourism and commodification, and digital anthropology.
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