AccueilHow much agreement does the society need?

How much agreement does the society need?

Observations on the interaction of consent and dissent in society's cultural evolution

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Publié le vendredi 27 décembre 2013 par Julie Abbou


Section of the 14th Congress of the German Society of Semiotics at the University of Tübingen, 24th to 27th September 2014.

For the 14th International Congress of the German Society of Semiotics, we are looking for speakers on the issue of social consent and dissent for our sociologically – and culturally – oriented section: How much agreement does a society need? It is concerned with a semiotic discussion about conflict-laden forms of communication, i.e. about the positioned dimension of signs of consent and dissent in the process of socialization within a society or between societies of different cultures.



In general, the agreement among members of a society is seen as its precondition or basis. Political and philosophical thinking is based on this assumption since the theories of social contract. From this perspective, conflicts, dissent or protests appear to be a threat to the stability of a society. Another tradition contradicts these assumptions by seeing dissent and conflict as the motor of social development or even as an important condition for the stabilisation of a society. These contradictory approaches have recently been discussed for example by Jürgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann. Habermas proposes that socialisation can only derive from rational agreement, while Luhmann also includes conflictual communication as an option to keep society together. Habermas bases communication on agreement, Luhmann's view allows negation as the expression of understanding a message.

The discussion of these contradictory assumptions has mostly been led on theoretical grounds. We welcome on the one hand contributions that enrich the theoretical discussion with a semiotic perspective and that shed light on the culturally rooted dimension of signs of consent and dissent in socialization. On the other hand we also welcome contributions observing the tension between agreement and conflict on concrete examples in past and present, in order to give new impulses to the theoretical debate.

Possible phenomena are:

  • new forms of socialization
  • consent and dissent in media forums
  • contemporary expressions of protest
  • signs of agreement and desagreement betwen cultures, subcultures, generations, social groups, genders
  • body as sign of agreement and refusal
  • consent and dissent as instrumentalised argument
  • theories of dissent and consent

Submission guidelines

Languages for papers and communications are english or german.

We will accept submissions until February 28, 2014.

The abstracts are limited to 1500 characters. Please add a short biography.

Scientific responsibility

Flavien Le Bouter:

Prof. Dr. Eva Kimminich:



  • Geschwister-Scholl-Platz
    Tübingen, Allemagne (72074)


  • vendredi 28 février 2014


  • semiotics, dissent, consent, conflict, subculture, protest, social movements, theory of systems


  • Flavien Le Bouter
    courriel : flavien [dot] lebouter [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Eva Kimminich
    courriel : eva [dot] kimminich [at] uni-potsdam [dot] de

Source de l'information

  • Flavien Le Bouter
    courriel : flavien [dot] lebouter [at] gmail [dot] com

Pour citer cette annonce

« How much agreement does the society need? », Appel à contribution, Calenda, Publié le vendredi 27 décembre 2013,

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