Dear Colleagues, Members of RC48,
I am pleased to present our first Grassroots newsletter for 2021. RC48 Members’ discussion on pandemic social issues, which started in the July 2020 issue of Grassroots, continues in this issue, too. The current issue is focused on the ‘Vaccine Question.’ Reflections concerning the different countries’ management of public health disparities in the face of vaccine shortages, and the role of social movements and citizen protests are presented in this issue, edited by our new editorial team, Camilo Tamayo Gomez and Kaan Agartan.
Contributions concern a wide and multidisciplinary range of topics focusing on aspects related to vaccine nationalism, analyzed through economic and psychological lens, an historical overview about ‘acting selfishly’ in different countries, the role of power in vaccination and, of course, the role of social movements in the vaccine question.
As the previous Covid-19 special issue, this issue addresses an important sociological debate that focuses on the consequences of pandemics on political choices and active citizenship protests, and on people’s life/health around the world. RC48 members can do a lot in this direction, contributing to the debate with very challenging reflections about protests and beyond, “boosting” through sociological analysis the phase of re-starting, renovation and challenges.
Furthermore, this Grassroots issue reports the several sessions of the Forum with short summaries, impressions and pictures provided by some session organizers and chairs. I am thankful to these members for having provided reports and impressions in order to compose a quick glance of the RC48 programme. All the sessions were amazing and it will be great to have the possibility to read some participants’ descriptions. These reports allow members who cannot attend the Forum to enjoy an easy but accurate summary, and then choose to watch session video recordings at this link: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/forum2020/meetingapp.cgi/S ymposium/614.
Even if online, the Forum was successful. The sessions had a good level of involvement and highlighted central issues and aspects of social movements around the world. Sessions stressed on recent debates and concerns on social movements research today from theoretical and empirical angles. The several joint sessions highlighted the efforts of our members in building relationships in order to widen RC48’s intellectual horizon. Difference in time zones was the main problem that affected participation in the sessions and business meetings at the Forum. Despite the time difference, members had a great exchange at the RC48 business meeting, and several proposals were discussed, including the development of a RC48 website — it will be present it at the end of this year—, a new format of Grassroots newsletter —starting from this number—, the will of attracting new members and planning outreach activities and events.
We also started to plan the RC48 mid term conference: it could be a blended event in Catania, co-organized by the University of Catania and University of Warsaw. Several conditions due to the pandemic crisis and the debate about postponing the World Congress to 2023 delayed this latter plan, but I am hopeful we will decide on a date soon. All the RC48 members are welcome to continue to send us information about 2021 publications and events, we would be glad to add them in each Grassroots newsletters and on the RC48 website, when ready.
Liana M. Daher
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