Call for Chapters: Maritime Spaces and Society

Dear colleagues,

we are editing the book "Maritime Spaces and Society: Selected Studies in Maritime Sociology" and would like to invite you to contribute a chapter. The book will be published in 2021. If you are interested in contributing a chapter to our book you could submit an abstract of not more than 300 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until February 1, 2020.

We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts!

Best regards,
Agnieszka Kołodziej-Durnaś, Univerity of Szczecin, Poland
Frank Sowa, Nuemberg Tech, Germany
Marie C. Grasmeier, University of Bremen, Germany


Call for Chapters

Maritime Spaces and Society: Selected Studies in Maritime Sociology
(eds. Agnieszka Kolodziej-Durnas, Frank Sowa, Marie C. Grasmeier)

Sociologists’ interest in society and sea has a long and rich tradition. Some of the founding fathers of sociology did research on specific maritime spaces. For instance, in 1896, the German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies analysed the working conditions and wages of different maritime professions as well as the major strike of 1896/97 in Hamburg. Today, Tönnies is regarded as the founder of maritime sociology. But also, for other classical sociologists maritime spaces were not unfamiliar. Norbert Elias was interested in studying the careers of naval professions and intended to publish a book on that topic. In Poland, sociologists have been conducting research in the field of maritime research for over half a century now. Maritime sociology issues are also studied e.g. in the UK, Scandinavia and Mediterranean countries as well as in North America and East Asia with its main contributions from Chinese, Korean and Japanese ocean sociology and sociologists from the Philippines as a major source country of global seafarers.

Maritime spaces include oceans and ships as well as coastal areas. Ecological (overfishing, decline in biodiversity, climate change, ocean pollution), economic (de-industrialization, whaling moratorium, structural change, development of alternative industries) and cultural crises (destabilization of collective identities of seaside and island inhabitants, cultural practices of sharing, inhabitants’ knowledge, local traditions, transformations of maritime professions) cumulate in these maritime spaces. While research on maritime issues is dominated by natural science disciplines, the protection of maritime natural sources and the need for sustainable development also demands research on the ‘human factor’ and a social sciences perspective on maritime spaces as well.

The dynamics of economic development in recent decades has led to the disappearance of traditional images while new opportunities in the maritime sector are emerging. While the maritime economy in post-communist countries often experienced some collapse, in the western part of Europe it was exposed to intensive technological, economic and political changes as well as threatened by strong competition e.g. from Asia. These changes are associated with the emergence of open ship registers, an increased global division of labour regarding the separation of ownership and management and a global labour market for seafarers with the rise of labour supply countries of the global South. Due to the changing positions of maritime professions in the social structure as well as cross cultural, transcultural and postcolonial issues associated with the labour milieu of seafarers, fishermen, dockers and ship yard workers, gender discrimination and diversity management have emerged as topics of maritime social sciences.

The knowledge of marine ecosystems provides a good indication of the current status of the sea and is seen as essential in the field of natural resource management. This implies a profound and detailed knowledge of the marine ecosystems and marine animals. However, there are different types of knowledge – local, users’, indigenous, scientific knowledge – which should be integrated into decision-making processes or environmental governance. The so-called co-management regimes are institutional arrangements in which government agencies with jurisdiction over resources and user groups cooperate and agree on e.g. data gathering and analysis, harvest allocation decisions or enforcement of regulations. Co-management incorporating stakeholders offers major opportunities for incorporating tacit knowledge, skills, and practices into formal resource management regimes and takes place at a regional level that is more meaningful to most people. Various kinds of co-management regimes, case studies of knowledge-integration in practice and the analysis of asymmetric power relations must be considered by studies in maritime sociology.

Occupational and cultural identities of coastal communities and port cities are influenced by the sea and seaside activities. Hence, we welcome papers dealing with aspects of specific culture in seaside areas. Is there a maritime culture or maritime cultures? Are port cities a different kind of cities? Are social bonds in maritime regions different from those in non-maritime ones? Can social scientists speak of specific lifestyles, norms and values system and organizational culture referring to seaside communities and maritime industry companies?

As a sociological sub-field maritime sociology needs both the recapitulation of its proto-history and meta-theoretical elaboration of its future development in an academic world. Also, the prospects of applying various empirical approaches should be discussed by the researchers interested in exploring the mutual relations of society and sea. We have organized sessions during the conferences of the European Sociological Association in the past 10 years (Lisbon in 2009, Geneva 2011, Turin 2013, Prague 2015, Manchester 2019). Similar sessions took place at Polish and German national sociological conferences where they brought together scholars from sociology from all over the world to continue a discussion on the interrelations between society and the sea.

In our book Maritime Spaces and Society: Selected Studies in Maritime Sociology we would like to exchange theoretical perspectives on maritime issues from a historical point of view (from the founding fathers of sociology to recent theories) and present all fields of empirical maritime sociology research (e.g. sustainability issues, seaside local communities, construction of collective community identity) including a variety of methods (discourse analysis, grounded theory, qualitative interviews, quantitative methods, ethnography). We would like to discuss how sociology and related disciplines are approaching the subject of maritime issues and what kind of strengths and weaknesses are associated with such a perspective of maritime social sciences.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• History and Theoretical Foundations of Maritime Sociology
• Seafarers’ and Fishers’ Labour Milieu
• Seafarers’ and Fishers’ Families
• Port Cities
• Women at Sea and Gender Aspects
• Maritime Industry Organizations
• Maritime Communities
• Maritime Culture
• Maritime Education and Upbringing
• Maritime Policies

We welcome theoretical and empirical chapter proposals on a wide array of issues that address maritime spaces and society. Anyone interested in contributing a chapter to our book should submit an abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please submit your abstract of not more than 300 words in English language until February 1, 2020.