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9th Slovenian Social Science Conference: “Social Transformations: the Global and the Local”

Date: 21st to 23rd September 2017

Place: Ljubljana, Slovenia

by Ekaterina Chicherina

From 21stto 23rdSeptember, 2017, I took part in the 9th Slovenian Social Science Conference “Social Transformations: the Global and the Local” which was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This conference was organized by the Slovenian National Committee of the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Program (MOST) in cooperation with the Junior Sociological Network of the International Sociological Association (ISA), and the School of Advanced Social Studies.

At the conference the main focus of the discussion was made on social transformations and their influence on people’s lives, and the consideration of this question in local and global frameworks. One of the advantages of the conference was the participation of researchers from various countries all over the world: Australia, Philippines, Greece, Slovenia, Russia, Germany, Argentina, etc. This allowed the participants of the event to consider the questions of social transformations and their impact on different state forms and societies. Cultural, political, and economic issues were discussed by researchers from different fields of study and from different regions of the world.

The 9th Slovenian Social Science Conference was combined with another event, which took place at that time in Ljubljana – the international workshop on the role of social sciences in social transformations. The topic of this workshop was “Sociology and Cultural Political Economy of Post Socialist Transformations in Eastern Europe”. This event was available for all participants of the 9th Slovenian Social Science Conference. It was especially important for me to attend some sessions of this workshop, because in my dissertation I am studying the impact of social changes that Kyrgyzstan is experiencing on the formation of children’s aspirations. From this perspective, it was very interesting for me to listen to the cases of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova and to participate in the discussions. My presentation was among those which were a part of the panel “Individual and Social Transformations of Youth.” The papers presented at this session included discussions on young people’s reflexivity, adaptation, and self-perception in the changing social and cultural context. Particularly, in my paper I was considering the formation of children’s educational and professional aspirations in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan has been experiencing the processes of transformations and undergoing different reforms. The unstable political and economic situation in the country has brought insecurities to the lives of many people, and they cannot rely on the support of the state. The preliminary findings of my study have shown that these changes have made a significant impact on children’s aspirations and plans for the future. Children of the 2000s in Kyrgyzstan have got new opportunities brought by global, transnational processes, but at the same time they have come across new challenges which force them to develop multiple ways to ensure success in the future life. One of the strategies which is selected by many young people is the achievement of high-level education. The intention to get the best attainable education was mentioned by the majority of children, their parents and grandparents in the interviews of the study.

I was very glad to have an opportunity to share and to discuss the obtained data from my study. My paper got a good response from the audience, and I got some interesting questions which led to the discussion afterwards. The questions from the audience, comments and further exchange of ideas was very valuable for me, because it allowed me to identify some issues which require further deeper investigation and more attention from my side. The participation at the conference and the workshop will help me a lot in the continuation of my work at the thesis.