Prof. Clarence M. Batan, PhD of the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts and Letters presented papers and served as program coordinator and session organizer at the XIX World Congress of Sociology of the International Sociological Association held at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada from July 15-21, 2018.

Batan presented two papers, first on his research expertise on istambay phenomenon entitled, Unearthing Structural & Symbolic Violences in the Lives of Filipino Istambays, and second, as a documenter of history of Philippine Sociology entitled, Recent Developments and Prospects in the Teaching, Training and Practice of Sociology in the Philippines. 

The first paper interrogated the concept of structural and symbolic violences in the lives of selected self-reported Filipino istambays (on standbys) in relation to the widely perceived notion of “waithood” particularly experienced during youthhood, locally known in the Philippines as the “istambay” phenomenon. Using life course data from the Social Investigation on the Lives of Istambays in the Philippines (SILIP) project covering four marginalized research sites, this study examined how an istambay experiences constitute, shape, and influence what may be considered as experiences of violence impacting specifically their education and employment life trajectories. The paper argued that the limited education and employment experiences (and the lack thereof) of selected istambay respondents unravels both structural and symbolic violences that entrench the stereotypical perception of their idleness and inactivity. These violences appeared to constitute and engender varying dynamics of social interruptions that these istambays encounter, negotiate, and to some, able to overcome. The paper concludes with some research insights on how further analysis of violences and social interruptions as working concepts may offer new avenues in studying istambay phenomenon in the country.

The second paper interrogated on the history and development of Philippine Sociology in the context of Global South discourse. It directs attention to (a) contexts– the recent developments and prospects in the teaching, training and practice of Sociology in the Philippines; (b) contentions – the critical space of knowledge production and disputes between local and international sociologies; and (c) commitments ­– the promise of Sociology in responding to better understand contemporary social problems impinging Philippine society in relation to the global world. Using archival documents and ethnographic observations, this paper argues that while state regulation in the teaching and training of Sociology has relatively been in place, the pursuit to develop a more-grounded and contextualized Philippine Sociology (in terms of theory and methods) remains wanting. In so doing, the examination dives and thrives into Global South discourse to make sense of what Philippine Sociology has become and what it would be in the future.

Batan also served as program coordinator of the RC34 Sociology of Youth panels and as session organizer of Migration, Mobilities and Borders with youth sociologists from France, China, Spain, and Japan.

Batan is Vice-President for Asia of the Research Committee (RC) 34 – Sociology of Youth (2014-2018) and President of the Philippine Sociological Society (2017-2018).

The World Congress of Sociology brings together more than 5,000 sociologists and social scientists every four years. The next world congress will be held at Melbourne, Australia on 2022.