This conference begins to build an infrastructure on the science of identities both within the sub-areas of the discipline of sociology and on a national level, and over time, across disciplines as well as on an international level. The conference will help identify shared concepts and common interests among sociological scholars that can serve as the springboard for collaborative research across the sub-areas in the discipline. Given the diffusion and adoption of the study of identities across the social sciences is rapidly growing, the group of participants will be expanded after this initial conference to include individuals from different disciplines and internationally, especially in Europe and Australia where identity research is prominent.
The conference will focus on how future work can develop the science of identity theoretically, methodologically, and substantively. This means developing innovative ways of measuring theoretical concepts and processes and exploring new areas of inquiry. The intent is to bring scholars in identity theory together to meet more regularly to share their work and the various challenges they encounter. The Identity Conference will be held every two years. Identity Conference 2016 will be held at Kent State University.
Each participant will present original research including theoretical refinement or advances, empirical research, and/or methodological innovations within identity theory. Participants’ papers will be available to everyone electronically before the conference. At the conference, participants will briefly present their work, and a more detailed gokken discussion by all audience members will follow.There also will be four “seminars” in which a younger scholar’s work will be discussed in more depth. The papers from the Identity Conference will be published in an edited volume tentatively entitled: Advances in Identity Theory and Research Volume II.
Overall, the goals of the conference and the impact of the conference on the broader discipline can be summarized as follows:
- Increase the breadth and pace of the development of theory and research on identities in sociology.
- Enhance the substantive and programmatic connections among a wide range of scholars in sociology to include promoting cross-boundary research so that concepts, theories, and methods are shared and useful across many sub-areas in the discipline.
- Build scientific infrastructure that will facilitate the advancement of theory and research on identities within the discipline, outside of the discipline, nationally, and internationally
- Identify the most pressing and important theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues for the future within sociology and connate disciplines.