Middle-Term International Conference Culture and Education: Social Transformations and Multicultural Communication  RC04 Sociology of Education of International Sociological Association  (ISA)

The International Conference of the Research Committee 04 Sociology of Education (RC04) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) “Culture and Education: Social Transformation and Multicultural Communication” (hereinafter – the Conference) was held on July 24-26, 2019 at the Institute of Foreign Languages of the RUDN University.

The Conference was organized by the Research Committee (RC04) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and the Institute of Foreign Languages of the RUDN University. Co-organizers of the Conference: the European University of Cyprus, Institute of Sociology of FRSC RAS (Russia), Russian Society of Sociologists, Faculty of Philology of the Moscow State University and Moscow State Linguistic University.

The conference was held in view of summarizing and translating the results of the scientific search for solutions of current issues of social transformation and multicultural communication in the field of education and culture.

The problematic field of the Conference was formed by key directions of modern sociology of education and sociology of culture development.

The main forms of the Conference work were:

plenary session on the problems of the global sociological perspective of higher education massification and design thinking culture;

a special methodological seminar devoted to the theory and practice of studying the phenomenon of social changes, speaker – Kristina Szafranets (Poland);

 roundtable of editors of leading international scientific journals included in the Scopus database (Q1), speakers being – Susan Robertson (USA), Miguel Nasbaus (Chile), Tien-Huey Chiang (China), Elsa Varros (United Kingdom);

sessions proceedings providing for public and professional discussions:

  • the values of religion in modern education: intercultural communication and social reflection;
  • international education and migration issues;
  • issues of higher education in the context of globalization and neoliberalism;
  • global and local challenges of the modern world in relation to inclusive and special education;
  • formation of social capital and prestige of vocational education;
  • relationship between sociology of culture and  sociology of education;
  • intercultural communication and translation issues;
  • questions of the relationship between education and the labor market in the modern and future world;
  • issues of scientific leadership under academic capitalism;
  • changing the classic educational paradigm for Smart Education;
  • questions of education, science and culture existence in a digital society;
  • issues and educational prospects of modern languages development;
  • practices of scientific leadership formation in a modern university;
  • digital technologies in modern scientific communication;
  • issues of educational mobility and social inequality.

Welcoming address and presentations in the plenary meeting were made by:

Marios Vrionides – President of the Research Committee 04 Sociology of Education of the International Sociological Association (ISA);

Miguel Nasbaum – Professor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

More than 200 people took part in the Conference, of which 60 foreign scientists came from 30 countries of the World (Australia, Austria, America, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Greece, Israel, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Canada , China, Cyprus, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Serbia, Taiwan, Finland, France, Chile, Sweden, South Africa, Japan). Russian scientists represented 17 regions (Belgorod, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Kursk, Moscow, N.-Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Saratov, Tomsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk).

94 organizations, including 29 universities listed among TOP 300 of the QS World Ranking, Russian Academy of Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of Armenia, South African Government, European Committee of the Former Soviet Union Republics, Social Investment Fund and etc. sent their representatives to participate in the Conference.

Conference participants noted:

  1. The theme of the conference is the most important social issue, which determined the interested response of sociologists from thirty countries, representing 94 organizations, including 29 universities listed among TOP 300 of the QS World Ranking, Russian Academy of Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of Armenia, South African Government , European Committee of the organization of the former USSR Republics, the Social Investment Fund, etc. The status of the social issues identified reflects the rich spectrum of world sociology research presented at the conference.
  2. The wide range of scientific issues discussed recognized the scale and importance of social transformations in education and culture, occurring today in the form of global and local trends, based on the growing informatization and intercultural communication, and expansion of the use of digital technologies both in educational and cultural practices and methods of their study.
  3. The interdisciplinary approach took a special place in the conference proceedings. The representatives of different study fields such as sociologists, philosophers, philologists, linguists, cultural studies, and others took part in discussions which greatly enriched the subject of the conference and made it possible to consider more diverse proposals.
  4. Of particular importance was the trial-to-trial variability of research results the scientists from different countries both in terms of theories and research methods used and approaches to solving the identified issues, which undoubtedly increases the significance of conclusions and proposals and enriches sociology, cultural studies, linguistics, and organizational and practical activities, adjacent to education and culture.
  5. Scientists with a high scientific reputation both in their countries and internationally as well as young scientists, whose innovative potential is presented at almost every session, demonstrated their interests in the issues discussed.
  6. It is noted that at the present stage of innovation development, a process is underway to form an infrastructure of information and digital technologies, fundamentally new mechanisms for organizing and functioning education and culture. Researchers emphasize the importance of developing research on the identified issues in the digital society, based on new sociological methods, using the potential of digital infrastructure.

According to the results of the Conference it was proposed:

The conference participants note the importance of the held scientific forum, which promotes the establishment of new creative ties, the unification of scientific potential to solve actual problems in the field of education and culture, and thank the Organizing Committee of the Conference and the Institute of Foreign Languages of RUDN.

The following decision was taken by the Conference participants:

 – To continue the discussion of actual issues of education, culture and intercultural communication on the basis of the joint work of researchers of the related scientific fields  such as sociologists, philosophers, culturologists, linguists and others, and to use, in particular, the organizational and infrastructural capabilities of S04  Sociology of  Education  (ISA).

– To make efforts by the sociological community to study the problematics of education, culture and intercultural communication in the conditions of digital society development on the basis of a spectrum of new sociological and cultural methods of research, using the potential of the global digital infrastructure.

– To continue to study and disseminate positive experience of organizational changes in education of schoolchildren and students, implemented in particular countries (methods: Switch over from inspection culture to evaluation culture; School visual messages; Audiovisual environment as a “living” sociocultural space, etc.), and to  recognize that it is one of the possible ways to challenge new forms of inequalities which are not based on exclusion and which are inevitably brought to light by researchers everywhere where the policy makers have been to enhance countries’ human capital capacity.

– To approve Translanguaging as an emergent practice and pedagogy at multicultural and  multilingual Universities since it facilitates learning and affects students’ identities in a positive way. In the academic superdiverse spaces it is important to recognize that mixed multilinguality is prone to emerge. Universities’ policies and teaching approaches need to consider these emergent polylanguaging in order to increase students’ motivation and to create linguistically inclusive educational settings.

–  To recommend conference participants to widely disseminate its materials among scientists, cultural figures, educators, and all those interested in these issues.

– In pedagogical activity to rely on theoretical and empirical researches, revealing contemporary issues, trends and prospects of educational social transformation, culture and multicultural communication, as well as on domestic and international experience of relevant sociological researches;

– To place the emphasis on the fact that the main function of the education system is to increase human capital, while educational means implies regular modernization of educational institutions in order to achieve their maximum efficiency; in implementing the concept of human capital growth in relation to educational institutions, the competence approach has become a more flexible tool for determining the requirements for learning outcomes. The priority of the education system is the development of a harmonious spiritual personality, capable to navigate in modern social conditions and possessing the skills of intercultural communication and information technology;

– To promote the formation of schoolchildren, students and researchers positive motivation  to getting knowledge and  mastering the culture of their country and other peoples and to developing  their  know-how of  intercultural dialogue and international cooperation in the field of education and science;

– To make wide use of information and communication technologies that facilitate the interaction of participants in the educational process,  of access to information sources,  of effective monitoring of the research and publication environment, and of development of the international educational and research space.