Historical Social Research

42.3 - Critique & Social Change / Community Transformation

HSR Special Issue
Critique and Social Change: Historical, Cultural, and Institutional Perspectives (ed. Thomas Kern, Thomas Laux & Insa Pruisken)

How does critique change society? What are the conditions for critique to emerge? These questions are the core of recent socio-logical debates. This HSR Special Issue seeks to contribute to the sociology of critique by empirically studying the historical, cultural, and institutional conditions of critique and social change. For this purpose, critique is approached in two ways: as an outcome of social change, on the one hand, and as a cause or condition for social change, on the other hand. The contributions include a broad range of empirical case studies that examine the articulation of critique and its consequences from different perspectives. They deal with topical debates on organ donation, the justification of social inequality, neoliberalism, new public management, various protest movements (Occupy Wall Street, the democratic movement in South Korea, the environmental movement in Italy, the commune movement in the United States), the transformation of institutional logics in the field of academic science, the role of public media debates during the banking crisis of 2008 and the influence of intellectuals on the critique of clientelism in Ireland.

HSR Forum 
Community Transformation in Asian Societies. Selected Case Studies (ed. Fumyia Onaka)

Communities in Asian societies are no longer hidden chambers of secrets, but wide and open halls heralding the future and the past of the changing world. This HSR Forum attempts to transmit this message by describing communities’ responses to labor migration, natural disaster, and non-elite movements. It illustrates the subjective and objective well-being of Thai migrant workers, the occupational prestige of Thai labor brokers, and the collective foreign worker policies agreements between employers and trade unions in Malaysia. It considers decision-making on implementation of mutual aid between local governments during the Great East Japan Earthquake. It discusses the possibilities of “grassroots”-type civil societies in Northeast Thailand, and the incessant upward mobility of Thai non-elite labor brokers. All articles are based on process-oriented methodology, characterized by a combined use of research-elicited and process-produced data.