CFP: International Conference: “Lifeworld Communication and the “Global Wo/Man”: New Perspectives on the Globalization Debate”, October 5th – 6th, 2017, Erfurt, Germany | Deadline: May 15, 2017

Globalization debate has entered a new phase which some already label as “third wave”. The debate faces manifold challenges since the last decade has demonstrated ambivalences and paradoxes of global developments. These include increasing as well as decreasing social inclusion, and globalizing as well as re-localizing processes on all social levels. Different understandings of globalization as either growing interdependence/interaction or universalization/interconnection still complicate coherent theory building. A timely, constructive, and integrating theoretical basis beyond the binary posi-tions of early “globalists” and “sceptics” is still pending. Revisionist voices, although not denying globalization at all, have already started to relativize the synchronicity and quality of global change in politics, economics, culture and communication on empirical grounds.

Globalization appears to be prevalent since possibilities of physical, digital, symbolic and material border-crossing have not declined. Yet, the extent and effect of global communication is hard to measure up until today. One of the reasons is that global media and communication studies have focused primarily on how media and communication systems are integrated or connected, for example in research about the global integration of media systems, the growth of transnational organizations, the flow of media and cultural products or the global public sphere. Besides systemic approaches, local adaptations of global cultural narratives have been investigated in the field of media cultural studies. Despite the importance to understand local adoption, it does not provide a profound explanation of the multilayered communicative interactions of individuals, groups or communities across borders either. We do not know very much about the implications and mechanisms of global communication in everyday social realities. Global communication studies tend to ignore global communication processes in the lifeworld of people. “Global understanding” as a social practice beyond systemic or structuralist approaches is a desideratum in theory building.

Especially in times of growing neo-nationalist, right-wing and post-truth politics, of returning rac-ism and discrimination in public space, of culturalism and xenophobia in national discourses, it is even more necessary to scientifically complement globalization processes in the very realm of the everyday. Recognition of and communicative interaction with the “global other” are the prerequisites for globalization that not only builds on co-orientation, but also on cross-border dialogues.

The international conference seeks to focus on the globalization processes of communication in eve-ryday lifeworlds: How does global dialogue look like beyond political and economic systems? Do individuals, groups and communities interact globally and how does that change their social and cultural life, their global knowledge and mutual understanding? How do people communicate across borders through both media and direct interpersonal communication in their everyday lifeworlds? In short: how global is the “global wo/man”?

Conference Organization:
The conference is based on two fundamental objectives: First, it aims at stimulating theoretical discussions about the communicative construction of lifeworlds beyond local realms. Second, it will collate various aspects of global communication in everyday social and cultural encounters. Through its different open panels, findings from applied research in the wide field of interpersonal, intergroup and inter/transcultural communication are welcome. Global communication can include all aspects of cross-border communication in non-organized social encounters, including both mediated as well as non-mediated interpersonal and intergroup phenomena. More concretely, the following panels are intended to structure and explore the theme of the conference:

Panel 1: Global communication in mediated encounters of everyday lifeworlds
This panel intends to discuss global interaction based on digital communication. Research on the development and social effect of virtual global/regional communities (diaspora, fan-cultures, reli-gious or interest groups), of interpersonal/-group contacts, or of global media usage and readings in everyday life are of interest. Analysis can range from global interdependence of virtual regular tables (facebook, twitter), global ethics of dialogue (“netiquette”), to the circulation of global knowledge and culture.

Panel 2: Global communication in non-mediated contexts of everyday lifeworlds
This panel will discuss non-mediated interpersonal/-group communication in global contexts. Discussions can focus on the construction and circulation of global knowledge in local lifeworlds (e.g. opinion leaders) as well as on various aspects of in/out-group dynamics and inter/transcultural contacts (tourism, migration, multicultural social settings). Aspects and functions of informal global communication in politics (diplomatic dialogues), science and education (academic exchange), business or arts (multicultural professional communities) offer further interesting topics.

Panel 3: Systems, media and lifeworlds in global communication
This panel is loosely based on Habermasʼ idea of the reciprocal influence of systems and lifeworlds. More concretely, the panel can include research on the relationships between politics, media and everyday discourses, global value orientation or stereotypes. Moreover, the impact of global communication in everyday life on politics (global civil society and global protest movements) as a reversed trend of the so-called colonization effect of systems on lifeworlds (Habermas) might be of interest.

Panel 4: Theory-building in global communication
This panel is dedicated to theoretical discussions, which aim at integrating and expanding theories of global communication with regard to cross-border interpersonal and intergroup communication and the communicative construction of everyday social and cultural realities. Aspects can range from the global actors in local lifeworlds to means and mechanisms of global communication in everyday life.

Submission and Selection of Papers:
Please send your proposal for a 20-minute presentation to the organizers no later than May 15, 2017, using a pdf file ( The abstract should not be longer than 8000 characters (including blank spaces) and should be clearly assigned to one of the panels. Sub-missions for the conference should be made in English. Please add a title page to the abstract containing the name(s) and address(es) of the presenter(s) and the title of the presentation. All submissions will be evaluated in an anonymous review process and submitters will be informed about the results of the selection process by June 30, 2017.

Further Information:
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Email Contact:
Organisation: Dr. Anne Grüne

Annual Conference of the International and Intercultural Communication Section of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)
The Conference is hosted by the University of Erfurt