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This panel aims to conceptually, theoretically, and ethnographically examine cases where conformity in one social sphere is perceived as rule-breaking in another.
Since Emile Durkheim's foundational work, we have come to think of social life as being shaped by rules and norms, either through conformity or transgression. Indeed, membership of many social groups does, to a major degree, involve adhering to its rules. However, in some cases, abiding by such internal rules may involve transgressing the moral, legal, and/or cultural rules of the wider society in which these groups live. Therefore, this panel aims to conceptually, theoretically, and ethnographically examine cases where conformity in one social sphere is perceived as rule-breaking in another.
It invites papers that explore how rule-breaking within and between marginal and dominant groups shapes power relations, ordinary lives, and each other's social norms, while extending dichotomies such as structure/agency, mainstream/marginal, and power/resistance. Questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: How is rule-breaking mediated by groups for whom practices, such as those pertaining to economy, kinship, land use, conflict resolution, and child-rearing, differ from those of the mainstream? What new vocabularies can be deployed to conceptualise this kind of rule-breaking and adherence? In what ways are transgressions world-making? What kinds of sanctions exist for transgressors, why are these in place, and how are they mediated?
In particular, this panel seeks to address topics relating to the operations of power, boundary making/breaking, and transgressions of the mainstream as norms for the marginal, in the context of Gypsies, Travellers, and Roma, anarchists/societies against states, indigenous people, and subcultural groups. However, we also welcome papers that extend this scope.