CfP: Mass Violence and Emotions in the 20th/21st Centuries

3rd ISA Forum of Sociology: “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World” – 10–14 July 2016 – Vienna, Austria

RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)

Session Organisers: Ilan LEW, PhD candidate in sociology, Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques, EHESS, Paris and Helmut KUZMICS, Emeritus  Professor of Sociology, University of Graz, Austria

Language: English

Session Abstract:

In this session, we would like to hear and discuss innovative works which focus on mass violence (Sémelin, 2008) and its aftermaths. We are also interested in the role of the state as a promoter or facilitator or origin of such violence.

Single or comparative analyses of the killings in modern war, of the violent persecution of “enemies” within a state or of terrorist actions on the territory of other states, belong to the category of state-promoted killings.

At least half of the presentations should address subjectivity – that is, the intentions and emotions of the perpetrators. This session is meant for those who primarily take up the challenge of considering how notions, perspectives or analytical tools which originate in various sociological traditions can help us gain further insight into mass violence. Mass violence of the 20th and the 21st centuries and its sociological understanding is the ultimate aim. Presenters can draw on cultural studies, cultural history or political science, provided they can show why sociological approaches do not suffice to explain the phenomena in question.


Semelin, J. (2008). « Our scientifical approach » in Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, Paris : CERI-Science Po.


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One Response to CfP: Mass Violence and Emotions in the 20th/21st Centuries

  1. Secret Shame as a Cause of All Violence
    Thomas Scheff and Steven Mateo (5300 words)
    Great is truth, but still greater…is silence about truth. …simply not mentioning certain subjects… influences opinion much more effectively than …the most eloquent denunciations. (Aldous Huxley).
    Abstract: This essay proposes that one cause of violence is secret shame. set in motion by threat to the social bond. If that is the case, we need to reclaim the many fields that so far have used alternate terms, such as honor, stigma, fear of rejection, disrespect, social pain, and so on. Although there is an actual literature on shame, it is dwarfed by the many studies that use other terms. The s-word, like the f-word, is usually taboo, both in the public and in publications. This essay describes at length five fields that hide their shame content, and also, more briefly, several more. The hiding of most shame studies suggests it is widespread, and may be a cause of violence.

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