Members of the Philippine Sociological Society (PSS) gather at the Finster Auditorium for their plenary session.

By Aivy Rose Villarba

Sociologists and researchers from all over the Philippines gathered at the Ateneo de Davao University for the 2016 Philippine Sociological Society (PSS) National Conference last October 7-8.

Dubbed as “Imagine Democracies: Transformation of power and knowledge in the Philippine society,” the conference aimed to take stock of current and emerging articulations of power, democracy and knowledge in Philippine society.

Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ was one of the plenary speakers of the event.

“The common good that we work together for, the democracy that we truly desire: if we want it, if we desire it, we must be able to imagine it,” Tabora said.

The annual conference featured paper presentations on all topics related to contemporary sociological research.

Six faculty members from Ateneo de Davao presented their research including Dr. Anderson V. Villa with his study titled “Negotiated Citizenship through Civic Association: Contestations of Collective Empowerment among Filipino Irregular Migrants in Japan.”

Dr. Lourdesita Sobrevega-Chan discussed her study titled “Gender Mainstreaming in the City Government of Davao,” while Airnel T. Abarra explained the results of his research, “Sociology of Sport in the Philippines: Seeking Its Pace within the Discourse in Physical Education Training and Practice.”

Moreover, Dr. Christine Diaz presented 2 researches including  “Governance, Peace and Order, Performance of Government Officials and Post-Election Views: A Davao City-wide Social Survey” and “Exploring Citizenship in People’s Daily Lives and Struggles: Social Constructs, Behavioral Expressionism, Symbols, Experiences of Inclusion and Exclusion.”

The delegates also participated in a special parallel session which discussed “Davao beyond the headlines: An interdisciplinary investigation” with delegates from Ateneo de Davao as the panel of speakers.

The paper presenters and participants of the conference reflected on the ‘future of power’ in the age of inequality, market-driven knowledge production, environmental catastrophe and protracted conflict.

Ateneo de Davao University hosted the said national gathering for the first time. This is also the first for Davao City and the third in Mindanao.

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