Throughout the history of the mankind social problems, in the broader sense, have always been accompanied by social problems. Accordingly, we have been witnessing the emergence of of new social movements in the process of transition from 20th to 21st century. The first part of the 20th century witnessed the rise of labour movement which was partly inherited from the prvious century while peasant movement had characterised rural societies. Mass mobilisation of women’s movement in the second part of the 20th century characterised all societies, and the programme of feminism has been acknowledged widely though feminism as a concept was far from being recognised. Environmental movement, still lagging behind, has been defending its programme decisively in the 21st century. Although the history of the political struggles for the recognition of ethnic and cultural identities is relatively old, it has only been in the last two-three decades that these movements have been able to present their demends effectively. It has been the claims of ethnic, religious, sexual and other minority groups that have gained a legitimate ground. However, among all movements demands of the youth of the current century for freedom and democratic citizenship on the basis of a genuine participation and rights at global level are more significant.

It seems that in accordance with the development of the forces of production demands, the main issue and the form of social movements have been changing. Indeed well-disciplined labour movement characterised the nature of struggles within industrial societies and fordist production process while the rise of women’s movement followed the growing female labour force participation rate. The age of globalisation/information has witnessed two processes, that is, increasing significance of intellectual-emotional labour over manual labour force and the growing influence of white-collar labour in developing effective methods of struggles. Moreover, demands of those sections of labour cannot just be confined to workplaces, rather they aim at improving and guaranteeing the conditions necessary to secure their life-styles coresponding their cultural capital. It is the same section of labour that has organised in a continuous re-structured social networks as against centralised organisations which always display the tendency of bureaucratisation. In fact, today’s youth movement has emerged in territories such as Brasil, Turkey, South East Asia and Middle East within which there has been both an urgent need for participation and brodening the scope of rights, and also an intellectual force that has been able to claim such demands.

Social problems and social movements emerge out of conflicting interests. Social movements might be connected to the prevailing interests of the society, to the mankind though at different levels, to the majority, sometimes to one half of society or to a small minority. In that respect, the particular interests of the mankind or of specific sections in society can be in conflict with the interests of others at least in the short term. Nevertheless, we live in an age within which individuals, sections, communities, and societies are more likely to take advantage of cooperation than that of conflict. Indeed, it is the welfare promised by the development of forces of production that influences the ways in which economic interests shaped by the cooperation are decisive in the relation among nations,ethnic communities and different sections within the society. Rejection of civil/cultural rights of any community is in conflict with the economic rationality. The waste and instability caused by the non-economic conflicts can no longer be bearable at the level of prevailing forces of production. In fact, there are understandable reasons why optimism is advantageous for the capital accumalation. Globalisation and the capacity of the mobile capital have both cruelly imposed flexibility upon workers and also undermined the effectiveness of their struggle. However, it is of vital importance to improve the consumption capacity of masses who have already been integrated into capitalist prıduction relationships at global level. The tendency of equalising labour costs would provide a solid ground to wage an effective working-class struggle. On the other side, the process of globalisation spreads out productive economic activies throughout the world. In enhancing economic productivity there is a need for qualified labour force, that is, increasing female labour force participation in paid work, a continuous process of migration from rural to urban areas, and also a growing shift of employment from industrial to new service sector. The rise in the number of qualified work force, that is, intellectual-emotional labour should also be taken into account with respect to the time spent in education, and availability of opportunities of individualisation. This leads to the development of regulations and legal faramework which would enhance and guarantee individualisation and differentation within different spheres including families, schools, workplaces and subjective living spaces. Maybe it is the creativity that relies on productivity caused by the differentation in the level of development of prevailing forces of production that lies behind all these processes. However, the distinctive feature of the age is about the ways in which the claims of individuals and minority groups are raised and recognised as right-based demands.

The 6th of our conference series will attempt to explain and account for the socio-economic circumstances that have given way to the rise of today’s social movements and different aspects associated with this process. In this sense, other related topics and session proposals are welcomed as they would enrich the conference and expand the ground for further discussion. The language of the conference will be both Turkish and English. Abstracts and session proposals should be around 300 words, in Word format and 12 fonts, include paper title, the name(s) and full address (mail address, affiliated institution, e-mail, phone and fax) of the author(s), the purpose and the method of the work, expected results and suggestions, be submitted by June 15th, 2014, electronically submit to http://www.icopec.org/login.php Detailed information regarding the conference can be reached at www.icopec.org


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