Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RS14_10: Knowledge and Digitalization
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Sasa Bosancic, University of Augsburg
Location: BS.3.25
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Algorithms, Identification of Legitimation Statements, and Questionnaire Design

Vladimir Cvetković1, Jasmina Petrović2

1SSA, Serbia; 2Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, Serbia

The paper presents and discuses a particular multi-stage approach to use of legitimation statements and mechanisms in analysis of social institutions, relying on Berger’s and Luckmann’s work. In addition to theoretical and methodological considerations the paper particularly focuses on the technical aspects of identifying legitimation statements as propositions and using them in order to construct an instrument for survey style research. Operationalisation of institutions of property and market, which are interdependent and combine static and dynamic aspects of institutions, was a preparatory step towards designing an algorithm which would then identify propositional forms and their frequencies in which these two institutions are mentioned. The algorithm is applied to a corpus of online, publicly available, text in Serbian language in order to identify a number of propositional statements which were then used to design items/questions for a questionnaire. Test run of the survey is conducted on the population of students of three state universities in Serbia and data processed using cluster analysis, in order to assess how identified propositional statements are structured and how the observed population articulates the shape and role of the two institutions. Finally, the results are discussed in the context of the research design process as a whole, pointing at opportunities and particular issues, including broader consequences, to possibilities for using algorithms to design empirical research grounded in sociology of knowledge.

Big Data, Social Sciences and Politics. Critical Questions For Social Knowledge

Olimpia Affuso1, Antonella Coco2

1University of Calabria, Italy; 2University of Calabria, Italy

The increasing relevance of Big data constitutes a new challenge for social sciences, since it entails transformations in social knowledge production and redefinitions of several boundaries, in particular between different research centres in Europe and in the rest of the world.

We focus on the relationship between Big data and social sciences, addressing some emerging breaks and gaps, namely: 1) theoretical-methodological; 2) technological; 3) political-regulative.

With this regards, social scientists are required to explore potentialities and limits of new methods based on digital information in comparison to the tradition research methods. Are Big data challenging the role of theory in social research, moving towards the “end of theory”? According to us, we are quite far from this direction since the development of new technologies requires still theoretical knowledge. Furthermore, problems concerning data reliability, which imply the necessity of control and scientific validation, and problems regarding the power of infrastructures appear to be crucial (Leonelli 2014, 2018; Kitchin 2014; Mayer-Sconbergere, Cukier 2013).

In addition, we highlight some other aspects relevant to the use of Big data within social sciences, which require the regulative role of politics, such as inequalities in terms of data access, the power of big companies, the risks of personal data abuse, costs and financing of scientific research based on Big data (Giovannini 2014).

Digitalization and the change of Lifeworlds

René Tuma

TU Berlin, Germany

The increasing relevance of technologies of communication contributes to the transformation of the social structure of knowledge. Sociology of knowledge deals with this phenomenon on all levels, ranging from expert knowledge to everyday knowledge and the undoubted ground of natural worldview. The question is if digitalization effects only the societal variable structures or if it goes even deeper and changes our (inter)subjectivity.

So what are those changes caused by digitalization and how are can those be reflected in theory? The presentation takes the Schutz/Luckmann concept of lifeworld concept as an starting point for this debate and uses a number of examples to adress possible changes related to our conception of the essential dimension such as time/ space / social relations etc.

The Scenographic Construction Of Knowledge About Control Centres

David Joshua Schröder

Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

The contribution deals with recent developments in the global field of control centres as places that monitor and control an outdoor area using the latest technology. Looking at those, I address the relation between knowledge and architecture. It can be seen, that such centres mediate common knowledge about them with the help of scenographic spatial design. Especially within the framework of smart city initiatives that aim at a holistic integration of previously separated sectors, they become the bearers of increased expectations of a controllable future. The presentation will use marketing and public relation documents as well as initial ethnographic field data of such smart city control centres to illustrate how expectations are inscribed into their architectural design and how their public perception is shaped through certain scenographic assemblages.

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