Call for Papers: Digital Communities: Social Proximity from am Spatial Distance, 18.-19.07.2024, Universität Kiel, Deadline: 31.03.2024

International Conference:

Call for Abstracts

Time: 18.-19.07.2024 (conference days) / 31.03.24 (deadline for the submission of abstracts)

Location: Kiel University, Germany

Organized by:

Centre for Sociological Theory (, Prof. Dr. Robert Seyfert

in cooperation with the Ferdinand Tönnies Society and the Section of Sociological Theory at the German Sociological Association (DGS).

Conference overview:

In 1887, the Kiel sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies published Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, one of the central classics of sociology. Since then, community and society have become some of the most influential and productive sociological concepts. However, the treatment of the two terms within social science research is quite different. While the concept of society has established itself as a central analytical concept, the concept of community tends to be confronted with affirmative references and normative criticism from the outset. This privileging of the concept of society can also be found in sociological studies on digital transformation.
Sociological research is dominated by studies on the digital society (Baecker 2018; Helbing 2014; Nassehi 2020). In contrast, studies on the digital community, especially in sociological diagnoses of contemporary life, are only marginal in nature or have so far only been scattered without a systematic theoretical context. The concept of the digital community is assumed rather than explicated, such as in the discussion about a supposed social polarisation through social media (Bruns 2019). Based on this realisation, the conference at Kiel University will explore the potential of the concept of community in the context of digital transformation. Three different levels of analysis will be distinguished:
1) digital community as new forms of social coexistence;
2) the role of digital commons as a concept for exploring the scalability of digital communities; and
3) the instrumentalisation of digital community, e.g. in currently discussed forms of community capitalism.
See more information and the full Call for Papers here.

The conference language is English. The aim is to publish the conference papers in English in a special issue or an anthology.
It is possible to apply for travel grants. For further information, please contact the organizers.

Send abstracts of no more than two pages by 31.03.2024 to