SCOS Conference 2022: STRANGER
4-6 July Krakow Poland

We are pleased to announce the SCOS 2022 conference held at Krakow, Poland.

We are working towards a face-to-face conference with the theme of ‘STRANGER.’ Please see the link below to register and/or submit abstracts.

The conference will run from the 4th to the 6th of July 2022. Obviously, we will be carefully monitoring developments concerning Covid-19 and are working hard for a safe face-to-face experience but will make changes accordingly if necessary.

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Conference 2022 Theme: STRANGER

Strangeness and otherness have always accompanied people. We usually feel strangeness in a dichotomy with familiarity. The tension between familiarity and strangeness is an essential element of the processes taking place in the emotional and intellectual sphere, leading to the organisation of the social world in which we function (Nowicka, 1990). This ordering is a universal and primary human need (Lévi-Strauss, 1969). All societies produce their own strangers, but each one of them produces strangers of their own kind and produce them in their own way (Bauman, 2000). At the same time, strangeness and strangers are not just negative categories – after all they cause curiosity of knowing and understanding. It is because in the intellectual sphere, familiarity is associated with a lack of reflection, while strangeness with reflection (Nowicka, 1990).

Reading the classic texts of Georg Simmel (1950), Robert Park, and Alfred Schuetz, we are fascinated by the idea of the stranger and discover that analysing and understanding the stranger as an ideal type is dealing with belonging, coherence, and separation (Fine, Hallett 2014). According to Simmel (1950, p. 402), the stranger can be both near and far at the same time – he or she is “a person who comes today and stays tomorrow”. Being a newcomer, the stranger, can share the present and future of the group, but he or she remains excluded from the past experiences of that group, i.e. from the group’s perspective, the stranger is a man without history (Schuetz, 1944). ”The stranger reveals the power of moral, social, and cultural boundaries. She illuminates social boundaries by standing outside, while stepping in” (Fine, Hallett 2014). The existence of the stranger is of a situational nature – there is no „stranger” who is such from within him or herself, there is no “strangeness” as such, there are rather conditions which create it (Znaniecki, 1990). According to Bauman (2016), the primeval reaction to the stranger manifested itself either in the form of anthropophagy or anthropoemia, but today, in the modern multicultural social world, there is a need to work out a completely new, third way – the path of dialogue with the stranger. Two enormous social “events” has radically changed humanity: migration crisis of 2015 and pandemic of coronavirus of 2020 increased fear, anger and the desire of isolation from unknown. Strangerness is an issue that we may work with in order to know ourselves. It is also important reference point for all researchers, educators and activist who aim at change – it is impossible to authentically change anything without inclusion of everyone who is involved.

We invite you to consider what is strangeness, alienation – in a group, organisation, and in societies. Who is the stranger when he or she becomes one of us, what happens when he or she ceases to be the stranger? This call encourages researchers who want to recognize, understand and tame the “stranger”, foreign space, places and finally “foreign” organisations. Contributors may find inspiration in the following themes:

• Cultural and interactive aspects of relationships with the stranger

• The organisation in a foreign culture

• Foreign culture in the organisation

• The human in a foreign place

• Foreign emotions in the human

• Communication with the stranger

• Strangeness in education

• Alienation in the workplace

• Alienation in the public sphere

• Alienation of the creator towards their work

• Social, psychological and economic effects of alienation

• Foreign markets

• Leadership in the context of strangeness

• Technological foreignness

Open stream and workshops

SCOS 2022 will also have an open stream, allowing for the presentation of papers of more general interest to the SCOS community. In addition, we are open to suggestions for workshops or similar events in line with the proposed theme. Outlines of workshops should be the same length as a paper abstract and should give an indication of the resources needed, the number of participants, the time required, the approach to be taken and the session’s objectives. Please identify “open stream” or “workshop” on your abstract, as appropriate.


Levine, D.N. (1977), “Simmel at a distance: on the history and systematics of the sociology of the stranger”,Sociological Focus, Vol. 10, pp. 15-29.

Meintel, D. (1973), “Strangers, homecomers and ordinary men”,Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 46, pp. 47-58.

Bauman Z, Obcy u naszych drzwi, przekł. W. Mincer, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2016.

Fine G.A., Hallett T., (2014) “Stranger and stranger: creating theory through ethnographic distance and authority”, Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 3 Issue: 2, pp.188-203,

Lévi-Strauss C., Myśl nieoswojona, tłum. A. Zajączkowski, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa 1969

Nowicka E., Swojskość i obcość jako kategorie socjologicznej analizy, w: Swoi i obcy, pod red. E. Nowickiej, Instytut Socjologii, Warszawa 1990, p. 5.

Schuetz,A ‘The Stranger: An Essay in Social Psychology’, American Journal of Sociology 49/6 (1944), p. 499. Simmel, G. (1950), The Sociology of Georg Simmel, Free Press, New York, NY.

F. Znaniecki, Studium nad antagonizmem do obcych, w: tenże, Współczesne narody, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warsaw 1990, p. 300.

Standing Conference on Organisational Symbolism