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Identities and Identifications. Politicized Uses of Collective Identities

The Fifth Euroacademia International Conference


Conference venue
: Centro Congressi – Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy
Period: 9 – 10 December 2016
Deadline for submitting abstracts: 1st of November 2016

Description of the Conference

Identity is one of the crown jewelries in the kingdom of ‘contested concepts’. The idea of identity is conceived to provide some unity and recognition while it also exists by separation and differentiation. Few concepts were used as much as identity for contradictory purposes. From the fragile individual identities as self-solidifying frameworks to layered in-group identifications in families, orders, organizations, religions, ethnic groups, regions, nation-states, supra-national entities or any other social entities, the idea of identity always shows up in the core of debates and makes everything either too dangerously simple or too complicated. Constructivist and de-constructivist strategies have led to the same result: the eternal return of the topic. Some say we should drop the concept, some say we should keep it and refine it, some say we should look at it in a dynamic fashion while some say it’s the reason for resistance to change.

If identities are socially constructed and not genuine formations, they still hold some responsibility for inclusion/exclusion – self/other nexuses. Looking at identities in a research oriented manner provides explanatory tools for a wide variety of events and social dynamics. Identities reflect the complex nature of human societies and generate reasonable comprehension for processes that cannot be explained by tracing pure rational driven pursuit of interests. The feelings of attachment, belonging, recognition, the processes of values’ formation and norms integration, the logics of appropriateness generated in social organizations are all factors relying on a certain type of identity or identification. Multiple identifications overlap, interact, include or exclude, conflict or enhance cooperation. Identities create boundaries and borders; define the in-group and the out-group, the similar and the excluded, the friend and the threatening, the insider and the ‘other’.

Beyond their dynamic fuzzy nature that escapes exhaustive explanations, identities are effective instruments of politicization of social life. The construction of social forms of organization and of specific social practices together with their imaginary significations requires all the time an essentialist or non-essentialist legitimating act of belonging; a social glue that extracts its cohesive function from the identification of the in-group and the power of naming the other. Identities are political. Multicultural slogans populate extensively the twenty-first century yet the distance between the ideal and the real multiculturalism persists while the virtues of inclusion coexist with the adversity of exclusion. Dealing with the identities means to integrate contestation into contestation until potentially a n degree of contestation. Due to the confusion between identities and identifications some scholars demanded that the concept of identity shall be abandoned. Identitarian issues turned out to be efficient tools for politicization of a ‘constraining dissensus’ while universalizing terms included in the making of the identities usually tend or intend to obscure the localized origins of any identitarian project. Identities are often conceptually used as rather intentional concepts: they don’t say anything about their sphere but rather defining the sphere makes explicit the aim of their usage. It is not ‘identity of’ but ‘identity to’.

The Fifth Euroacademia International Conference ‘Identities and Identifications: Politicized Uses of Collective Identities’ aims to scrutinize the state of the art in collective identities research, to bring once more into debate the processes of identity making, identity building in both constructivist or de-constructivist dimensions. It is the aim of the Euroacademia conference to open the floor for dynamic multi-dimensional and inter-disciplinary understandings of identities in their historic formation or in the way they shape the present and future of organizations or communities.

Euroacademia aims to bring together a wide network of intellectuals, academics, researchers, practitioners and activists that are willing to share and open to debate their research on identity related topics. Disciplinary, trans and inter-disciplinary approaches, methodological assessments and recommendations, single case studies or cross-sectional analyses, reflective essays, experience sharing or works addressing new puzzles are all welcomed.

Eligible topics for the conference

The Conference is organized around but not limited to the following tentative panels or topics:

  • Welcome to the Land of Disputes: Theoretic Contributions to Understanding Identity
  • Modernity and Identity
  • Identities as Endogenous Factors in the Study of Organizations
  • Critical Approaches to Understanding Identity
  • Universal and Local in Identity Making
  • Processes of Identity Building
  • Practices of Identification
  • Identity and Inclusion
  • Identity and Exclusion
  • The Politicization of the European Identity
  • European Union and the Claims of an Emerging Supranational Identity
  • America as a Soft Power: Attraction Through Identitarian Constructs
  • Normative Powers and the Export of Identities
  • Identity and the Power of Naming the Other
  • In-Group – Out-Group Dynamics in Identity Formation
  • Identities as Endogenous Factors in Explaining Political Behaviors
  • Religion and Identities
  • Imagined Communities: Migration and Preserving Identity as A Foreigner
  • Art as an Identity Making Process
  • Folklore and the National Identity Narratives
  • History Reading and Identity Making
  • Ideal and Real Multiculturalism: How Inclusive Our Societies Are?
  • East/West – North/South: Imaginary Geographies of Identities
  • Core/Periphery Claims in Shaping Identities
  • Regions and Identities
  • Nested Identities
  • Identitarian Threats
  • Symbols of Identities: Flags, Coins, Stamps and Anthems
  • Cosmopolitanism and Supra-National Identities
  • Film and the Visual Narration of identities
  • Music, Dance and the Identitarian Signifiers
  • Literature and Identities
  • Groups, Gangs, Movements and Identities
  • Protest and Identities
  • Ethnicity and Identity
  • Regional Integration Projects and Identity Appropriations
  • Globalization and Identities
  • Uses and Miss-uses of Identities for Political Purposes
  • Organizations and Identities
  • Brands, Branding and Identity
  • Markets, Products and Identities
  • Consumerism and its Impact on Identity Building
  • Corporate Identity
  • European Symbols and Representations of a Common Identity
  • Identity and Conflict
  • Crises of Identity
  • Social Constructivism and Identity
  • Feminism and Gender Identity
  • Post-Colonialism and the Refurbished Other(s)

Registration and Fee

The Registration Fee is 245 Euro
The Participation Fee Includes:the registration fee, participant’s package with all the materials for the conference, eligibility for publishing of the presentation in the conference volume, a copy of the electronic volume, access to Euroacademia discussion group and newsletters, 2 daily coffee brakes with snacks and refreshing drinks during the conference, a welcome drink and snack on 9th of December 2016, a 3 course Italian specialties lunch on 9th of December 2016, a 3 course Italian specialties lunch on 10th of December 2016, certificate of attendance, access to optional social program

Guidelines for submission

Deadline for applications: 1st of November 2016

[In order to facilitate better travel arrangements for selected participants, the paper proposals are analyzed on a constant basis through regular meetings of the Selection Committee and therefore a response to the applications will be delivered in maximum 5 days after the application was received.]

Application Form



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