1. Cultural Diversity and Social Capital

Chair person: Adrian Hatos

Is diversity detrimental for social cohesion? This is a fundamental question in social thought given the increasing cultural heterogeneity in modern world. Contradictory perspectives share the theoretical arena, though, sustaining either that interactions, exchanges, participation or trust will be negatively affected by ethnic or racial pluralism or that the person’s availability to work together can be enhanced by some forms of diversity. This section will welcome empirical and theoretical studies discussing the relationships of cultural diversity with well known dimensions of social capital like social trust, collective self-efficacy, associative membership, community involvement and so on.

2. Qualitative Methods in the Research on European, National and Regional Identity

Chair persons: Bernáth Krisztina, Bögre Zsuzsanna, PhD.

In the context of permanent societal changes the structure of the identity is also permanently challenged. Biographies offer a glimpse to the imprints of personal life-events that could give us answers to some of the questions raised in terms of regionalization, nationalism, and Europeanization processes. The main questions of our section are: What does it mean to live in a specific region, to belong to a nation or the European community? How are these different levels of identity/identities present in personal values and actions? This session focuses upon biographical researches that can provide a better insight into the meanings of European, national and/or regional identity/identities. We warmly welcome papers - conceptual, methodological and/or research-based - that deal with these questions.

3. Social identity and well-being

Chair person: Sergiu Bălţătescu

While identity associated with membership in various social groups (such as ethnic, territorial, cultural, sexual, and professional) can bring social and psychological benefits that increase personal well-being, it is no less true that well-being of members of social groups can also increase the strength of ties between them and group self esteem. In this section we are interested in the rather unexplored links between different kinds of social identity and well-being (economic, relational, psychological and subjective). Multidisciplinary theoretical and empirical contributions will be welcomed if they attempt answers to questions such as: Which are the empirical evidences for these relationships? Which are the causal relationships and the mediators between them? How can identity be used efficiently to enhance individual and group wellbeing?

4. Identities, representations and prejudices

Chair person: Istvan Muranyi

Besides the possible interpretations of three different types of group identities (European, National and Local) this section focuses on the problem of the relation between identity and inter-group prejudices. Social scientific studies (mainly psychological, socio-psychological and sociological) describing distinct identities and built on the social representation theory are confusingly heterogeneous—similarly to studies focusing on the problem of the relation between identity types and prejudices. In this section, we call for presentations or research reports which enhance (and systematize) our knowledge about the three group identities from the viewpoint of interpretation and/or inter-group prejudices.

5. Identity and the idea of Europe as philosophical problems

Chair persons: Éva Biró-Kaszás, Tamás Valastyán 

As one of the classical notions of the European philosophy, the concept of identity has suffered a series of modifications which had followed the various historical changes of the European culture. In the course of this process, the theoretical accent has moved from the idea of a stable, substantial identity to the spontaneity of the subject and to the self-determination of the person, then to the inter-subjective and recognition-based constitution of identity. In the frame of this section, we call for papers that deal with the main turning-points of this conceptual history, as well as studies which represent the contemporary analytical, phenomenological and narrativist approaches of the problem. In the same section we welcome studies which treat the idea of Europe as philosophical programme which is inseparable from the self-interpretation of our philosophical tradition, with special regard on its modern phase.

Languages of the section: German, English

6. Levels of identity: Europe, nation, region

Chair persons: Attila Demeter, Zoltán Zakota

What does it mean Europe as not only geographical and cultural, but also political entity? Does it have any meaning to speak about European political identity when we deal with the fact that in the contemporary Europe the dominant form of political identity is the national one? Is it possible a not nation-based theory of political identity and civic loyalty, or nationalism is an insurmountable element of our European heritage? Does it have any meaning to maintain the classical, but nowadays criticized distinction between political and cultural nation, between ethnic and civic nationalism? Is multiculturalism merely a modish ideology, or a viable way to manage the (traditional or migration-related) ethno-cultural diversity in Europe? Is it desirable to replace the traditional European value of tolerance with that of the recognition, in the way as the different politics of identity reclaim it, or tolerance is the only political ideal which is consistent with the modern concept of political freedom? In the frame of the political philosophy, is it reasonable to speak about regions as not only geographical or administrative, but cultural or political units? This section will welcome papers which discuss, using  the methods and the approach of political philosophy, problems regarding the nature and the possible interrelations of European, national and regional identity.

7. Institutions and identity

Chair persons: István Bujalos, Beáta Kassai

Cultural identities and their interrelations are inseparable from the institutions they are connected with, either traditionally, or factically. In consequence, the most imperative contemporary problems regarding different phenomena of cultural identity and intercultural relations make necessary to deal with the importance and effects of these institutions. Which is the importance of symbols in the forming and maintenance of our cultural identities? Is the border between religious life and public space culturally determined? Are European institutions capable to manage the problems and conflicts that emerge due to the increasing European immigration? Which could be the basic rules of intercultural communication? In the frame of this section, we would welcome theoretical papers and case studies that analyze these problems.