Archives de catégorie : Actualités / News

Production, Retailing and Consumption of Food. Commodity Chains before and after Covid-19

Conference 16./17.06.2022, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Organizers: Elmar Kulke, Linda Hering and Jakob Engel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany), Nina Baur and Lara Espeter (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)

Aims of the Conference

During the last decades, global economic interactions have been strongly influenced by the development of global commodity chains (GCC) which are linking different steps of production, transportation/logistics, retailing and consumption at different places all over the world. In the beginning, only manufacturing industries were organized on a global level. Today more and more fresh food, vegetables or flowers are coming from new-established export-oriented farming in countries of the Global South. All in all, in a globalizing world, how these global commodity chains are organized and develop is of great importance for the functioning of the economy and society. This is especially true for agricultural production in general and the production of fresh produce in particular which are especially sensitive sectors both for producers and consumers: While agriculture is only a minor economic sector in highly industrialized countries, in the Global South, agricultural production remains an important sector. Agriculture thus remains an important source of the livelihoods for large parts of the world population. Regional-, supra-regional and export-linkages open farmer reliable incomes and enable them to invest in improving the production; but they also have to obey social and ecological standards defined by retailing and consumption. However, the system also makes farmers vulnerable, if they face sudden changes through competition with new developing production clusters or external shocks like Corona. For highbrow consumers in the Global North, fresh produce such as flowers or exotic fresh fruit served out of season have been a source of distinction for a long time. More importantly, for not-so-well-off consumers, food is especially sensitive because eating is not only a necessity but in many parts of the world, poverty is still linked to lack of food. Even in Europe, the experience and fear of starvation is deeply engrained in cultural memory, as for long periods of European history, everyday lives were characterized by lack of food and famines. Before the Corona crisis, this seemed a thing of the past: Modern-day consumers experienced food and other fresh produce as a commodity like any other to be bought securely on a regular basis all over the year in the local stores without having to worry about their origins and availability. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought this seeming security to an immediate end: The sudden and ongoing lock-downs and restrictions of transport have shown how fragile and vulnerable global commodity chains in general and commodity chains of fresh agricultural products in particular are. Understanding how commodity chains, logistics, transport and communication for agricultural fresh products are organized and have been re-organized during the last decades, as well as comprehending the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on commodity chains thus is of utmost importance. Such analyses of should not only be based on theoretical considerations but also on empirical evidence and more detailed analyses. The conference will provide this empirical evidence. The main objective of the conference is to analyze how production, retailing and consumption of food interlock as well as how external shocks induce the (re-)organization of the commodity chains for agricultural fresh-products. We will particularly analyze the Covid-19 -down-induced) and the long-term (induced by attempts to establish of reliable and robust chains) positive and negative effects both on 2 the organization of commodity chains and the individual actors of the chain. We will inspect how the spatial distribution of commodity chains interacts with actors on the actor levels by combining the economic geography approaches of global value chains (GVC) and global production networks (GPN) with the economic sociological approaches of convention theory and world systems analysis. The Papers address one of the following questions:

  1. How were commodity chains organized and spatially structured before the Covid-19 crisis and what challenges did they face during the crisis?
  2. What are the driving forces of these changes? That is: Who are powerful actors in the chain(consumers, retailers, intermediaries, agricultural producers, policy-makers) and where are they located? Who acted when, why and with what effects as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis?
  3. What short-term effects (during the crisis) and long-term effects (after the crisis) does this have on the spatial organization of the chain and on the actors of the chain? What effect does the organization?

Please register until 10.06.22. Contact: linda.hering@hu-berlin.de

Bildung und Soziale Ungleichheit. Deutungen und Erfahrungen von Lehrer:innen an Gesamtschulen

Education and Social Inequality. Interpretations and Experiences of Teachers at Comprehensive Schools

Laura Behrmann (2022)

PhD thesis. Frankfurt: Campus

Über das Buch. Lehrer:innen sind zentrale Akteure im Bildungssystem: Sie vermitteln Inhalte, gestalten Bildungsprozesse und bewerten Leistungen. Aber spielen sie auch eine Rolle für die Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheiten im deutschen Schulwesen? Dieser weitgehend ungeklärten Frage geht die vorliegende Grounded-Theory-Studie anhand von Interviews mit Lehrer:innen an drei Gesamtschulen in Ost- und Westdeutschland nach. Die ungleichheitsreproduzierenden und -transformierenden Handlungsstrategien der Lehrer:innen werden rekonstruiert und die soziokulturellen, organisationalen und biografischsozialisatorischen Bedingungen ihres Auftretens erläutert. Die Studie füllt nicht nur eine Leerstelle in der Bildung- und Ungleichheitsforschung, sondern sie hält auch den bildungspolitischen Bedingungen für ein chancengerechtes Handeln von Lehrer:innen einen Spiegel vor.

Auszug: “2.3.3 Deutungsmuster und Konventionen
[…] „An die Fragen nach den handlungsleitenden Orientierungen und Deutungen schließen sich nun im Rahmen der Etablierung der Konventionensoziologie einige neue, kleine Studien an. Die Soziologie der Konventionen hat […] auch in die Bildungssoziologie Eingang gefunden (Leemann/Imdorf 2019). Konventionen meinen dabei „kulturell etablierte Koordinationslogiken“, die als Wertlogiken dem handeln von Akteuren in verschiedenen Welten situationsübergreifend, Wertsysteme anbieten […]. Das „Herausfallen“ der Spannung von „Fördern und Selektieren“ führt zum einen an einer aus randständigen Hauptschule zu einem Orientierungsdilemma, das zu entscheiden Lehrer:innen (und Schüler:innen) beschädigt (Straehler-Pohl 2019), zum anderen, so in Interviews mit Lehrkräften (2016/2017), zu der „Unmöglichkeit“ des Umgangs mit Begabung innerhalb der gängigen Konventionen (Horvath 2018).“ (S. 37)“

About the book. Teachers are central actors in the education system: they teach content, shape educational processes, and evaluate performance. But do they also play a role in reproducing social inequalities in the German school system? This largely unanswered question is addressed in this grounded theory study based on interviews with teachers at three comprehensive schools in East and West Germany. The strategies of teachers that reproduce and transform inequality are reconstructed and the sociocultural, organizational, and biographical-socializational conditions of their occurrence are explained. The study not only fills a gap in educational and inequality research, but also holds up a mirror to the conditions of educational policy for teachers to act in a way that provides equal opportunity.

Extract: “The questions about action-guiding orientations and interpretations are now being joined by some new, small-scale studies in the context of the establishment of the sociology of conventions. The sociology of conventions has […] also found its way into the sociology of education (Leemann/Imdorf 2019). Here, conventions mean “culturally established logics of coordination” that, as value logics, offer value systems to the actions of actors in different worlds across situations […]. The “falling out” of the tension of “promoting and selecting” leads, on the one hand, at an from marginalized Hauptschule to an orientation dilemma that damages to decide teachers (and students) (Straehler-Pohl 2019), on the other hand, according to interviews with teachers (2016/2017), to the “impossibility” of dealing with giftedness within the established conventions (Horvath 2018).” (p. 37)

Lien / Link

Ausbildungsqualitäten – andersartig, aber gleichwertig? Ein Vergleich konkurrierender Gesundheitsausbildungen in der Schweiz

Training qualities – different, but equivalent? A comparison of competing healthcare training programs in Switzerland

Raffaella Simona Esposito (2022)

PhD thesis. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Open access

ABOUT THIS BOOK. Am Beispiel zweier konkurrierender allgemein- und berufsbildender Gesundheitsausbildungen – die Fachmittelschule mit Berufsfeld Gesundheit und die berufliche Erstausbildung Fachfrau/-mann Gesundheit – zeigt diese Open Access Studie, wie Qualität von Bildung sozial konstruiert wird. Die Ergebnisse veranschaulichen die Andersartigkeit der Lehr- und Wissenskulturen und tragen damit zur Erklärung ausbildungsprogrammspezifischer Bildungsverläufe sowie stark differierender Übergangsquoten in tertiäre Bildungsgänge bei. Ausgehend davon wird die Frage der Gleichwertigkeit allgemein- und berufsbildender Gesundheitsausbildungen in den Fokus gerückt und die daraus resultierenden Herausforderungen für die Rekrutierung des Fachkräftenachwuchses in verschiedenen Gesundheitsberufen diskutiert. Konzeptionell schlägt die Studie eine neue Perspektive auf die institutionelle Segregation von Allgemein- und Berufsbildung vor. Mit dem theoretischen Originalbeitrag der empirischen Rekonstruktion einer feldspezifischen Ausdifferenzierung der häuslichen Konvention wird das Konzept der Qualitätskonventionen im Hinblick auf den Bedarf einer konventionensoziologisch angeleiteten (Berufs-)Bildungsforschung weiterentwickelt.

About this book. Using the example of two competing general and vocational health education programs – the Fachmittelschule with Berufsfeld Gesundheit and the initial vocational training Fachfrau/-mann Gesundheit – this open access study shows how quality of education is socially constructed. The results illustrate the diversity of teaching and knowledge cultures and thus contribute to the explanation of educational trajectories specific to educational programs as well as strongly differing transition rates to tertiary educational programs. Based on this, the question of the equivalence of general and vocational health education is brought into focus and the resulting challenges for the recruitment of the next generation of specialists in various health professions are discussed. Conceptually, the study proposes a new perspective on the institutional segregation of general and vocational education. With the original theoretical contribution of the empirical reconstruction of a field-specific differentiation of the common convention, the concept of quality conventions is further developed with regard to the need for (vocational) education research guided by the sociology of conventions.

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Die Materialität der Märkte. Qualität, Bewertung und Organisation im deutschen Obst- und Gemüsehandel

The Materiality of Markets. Quality, valuation and organization in the German fruit and vegetable trade

Linda Hering (2022)

Bielefeld: Transcript. Open Access.
PhD thesis. Berlin: Technical University of Berlin

ÜBER DAS BUCH. Wie funktioniert der Handel für Obst und Gemüse und welche Rolle spielt dabei die Materialität? Linda Hering beschreibt die Entwicklung und spezifische Formung des Obst- und Gemüsemarktes in Deutschland. Dabei geht sie auf die Rolle von konfligierenden Qualitätskonventionen ein und zeigt, wie materielle Formen Bewertungspraktiken stabilisieren. Die Konzeption von Obst und Gemüse als Biofakte ermöglicht dabei neue Einsichten in die Organisation des Handels. So werden unterschiedliche Erwartungen verschiedener Kontexte in die Waren eingeschrieben, am Ort des Verkaufs jedoch nur selektiv sichtbar gemacht.

ABOUT THE BOOK. How does the trade for fruits and vegetables work and what role does mate-riality play? Linda Hering describes the development and specific shaping of the fruit and vegetable market in Germany. In doing so, she addresses the role of conflicting quality conventions and shows how material forms stabilize valuation practices. The conceptualization of fruits and vegetables as biofacts provides new insights into the organization of trade. Thus, different expectations of different contexts are inscribed in the goods, but only selectively made visible at the point of sale.

Lien / Link

Download link: https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/9c/d5/6f/oa9783839461532FmiBMGcrKrbVN.pdf

Wir und die fremde Welt. Neue Abstiegssorgen, eigene Gemeinschaftsmodelle und die Kraft der Kritik von Produktionsarbeitenden

We and the foreign world. New descent worries, own community models and the power of the critique of production workers

Hendrik Brunsen (2022)

Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
PhD thesis. Osnabrück: University of Osnabrück.

ÜBER DAS BUCH. Die Studie schaut mit einem pragmatischen Forschungsansatz in einen Leuchtturmbetrieb der Metall- und Elektrobranche und beschäftigt sich mit einer Formation indirekter Leistungssteuerung, die auf dem Argument einer betrieblichen Gemeinschaft aufbaut. Für die Arbeitenden, so der Ausgangspunkt, ist das auf einer Standort- und Arbeitsplatzunsicherheit basierende Gemeinschaftsargument einerseits plausibel. Andererseits bringen sie aber auch Zweifel zur Sprache. Erforscht wird entlang der Kritik der Arbeitenden, wie die Zweifel begründet werden und welche Folgen sie haben. Grundlage der Kritik sind zwei eigene Gemeinschaftsmodelle, die von den normativen Gemeinschaftsprinzipien des Zusammenhalts und der Arbeitsteilung angeleitet werden und den Arbeitenden zu kompetenten Urteilen verhelfen. Von diesen normativen Standpunkten aus diagnostizieren die Arbeitenden eine Entwertung von Produktionsarbeit, welche das Gemeinschaftsargument aus ihrer Perspektive konterkariert und zu neuen sozialen Abstiegssorgen führt. Überzeugt von der Richtigkeit und Angemessenheit der eigenen Gemeinschaftsmodelle sowie zwecks Bearbeitung der Abstiegssorgen stellen die Arbeitenden der diagnostizierten Entwertung anschließend eine praktische Aufwertung als Produktionsexperten entgegen.

Auszug: “1.2 Pragmatischer Forschungsansatz: Drei Eckpunkte
Die vorliegende Studie baut auf einem pragmatischen Forschungsansatz auf. Pragmatisch inspirierte Forschungen repräsentieren kein hermetisch geschlossenes Theoriegebäude. Vielmehr legen die erkenntnistheoretischen Grundannahmen der Philosophie des Pragmatismus einen Denkstil nahe, welche die soziologische Forschung in Richtung einer ‚pragmatischen Soziologie‘ weiterentwickeln können (Barthe et al. 2016). Der Pragmatismus ist eine Philosophie des Handelns, die sich im Übergang zum 20. Jahrhundert im Raum Chicago (IL) bildete und explizit auf Fragen des sozialen Wandels fokussiert. Inspiriert durch die mit der Industrialisierung einhergehenden massiven gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen, die insbesondere in den Städten kulminierten, ist im Pragmatismus ein Wahrheitsmodell verankert, welches auf den praktischen Zweifel abstellt. Der Pragmatismus folgt hier dem nachvollziehbaren Argument, dass es die Menschen selber sind, die in Zeiten sozialer Umbrüche alltägliche Probleme lösen und sich neu aufeinander einstellen müssen. In methodologischer Hinsicht bedeutet dies, dass den Akteuren kreative, kritische und problemlösende Kompetenzen zugeschrieben werden können und sozialer Wandel tief in den die situative Unsicherheit bearbeitenden sozialen Aushandlungsprozessen verankert wird. So werden nicht ‚feste‘ Strukturen, sondern die handelnden Menschen in das erkenntnistheoretische Zentrum gerückt. Das heißt auch, dass in pragmatischen Forschungsansätzen die soziale Ordnung nicht starr, sondern als permanentes Ordnen begriffen und die Konzeption von Sozialität auf das Verhältnis von Handlung und Bewusstsein eingestellt wird (z. B. Bogusz 2011; James [1907] 2012; Joas 1992; Strauss 1993). Der Pragmatismus führt zu grundlegenden Neujustierungen soziologischen Denkens, wendet sich von strukturalistischen Erklärungsansätzen ab und wird gegenwärtig vor allem in der französischen Sozialforschung aufgegriffen. Insbesondere im Rahmen der Soziologie der Konventionen und Kritik hat sich dort in den letzten vierzig Jahren ein Forschungsprogramm entwickelt, welches Konventionen als Stützen der Handlung denkt und deren Infragestellung über Formen der Rechtfertigung und Kritik analysiert (z. B. Boltanski/Thévenot 1991; Chiapello 2015; Dodier 2010; zum Überblick Diaz-Bone 2015). Auch in der arbeits- und industriesoziologischen Forschung wird in den letzten Jahren verstärkt auf diese pragmatischen Ansätze zurückgegriffen, um Fragen nach dem Wandel von Arbeit und Betrieb entlang von Konventionen sowie in Kritik geäußerten Ansprüchen und Arbeitsorientierungen zu erforschen. Diese Studien folgen dem grundlegenden Argument, dass die aufbrechenden und sich neu bildendende normativen Stützen alltäglicher Praktiken als Indikatoren für Entwicklungstendenzen von Arbeit gelesen werden können und demzufolge die Einflugschneisen zur Analyse sozialen Wandels darstellen (z. B. Dubet 2008; Hürtgen/Voswinkel 2014; Kratzer et al. 2015; Salais 2007; Wolf 2014).”

ABOUT THE BOOK. With a pragmatic research approach, the study looks into a lighthouse company in the metal and electrical industry and deals with a formation of indirect performance management based on the argument of a company community. For the workers, according to the starting point, the community argument based on location and job insecurity is plausible on the one hand. On the other hand, they also raise doubts. The critique of the workers is used to investigate how the doubts are justified and what consequences they have. The basis of the critique are two own community models, which are guided by the normative community principles of cohesion and division of labor and help the workers to make competent judgments. From these normative standpoints, workers diagnose a devaluation of production labor that counteracts the community argument from their perspective and leads to new social descent concerns. Convinced of the correctness and appropriateness of their own community models, and in order to deal with their worries about relegation, the workers then counter the diagnosed devaluation with a practical revaluation as production experts.

Extract: “1.2 Pragmatic research approach: three cornerstones.
This study is built on a pragmatic research approach. Pragmatically inspired research does not represent a hermetically closed body of theory. Rather, the basic epistemological assumptions of the philosophy of pragmatism suggest a style of thinking that can advance sociological research toward a ‘pragmatic sociology’ (Barthe et al. 2016). Pragmatism is a philosophy of action that formed in the Chicago (IL) area during the transition to the 20th century and focuses explicitly on issues of social change. Inspired by the massive social changes that accompanied industrialization, culminating especially in the cities, pragmatism enshrines a model of truth that focuses on practical doubt. Pragmatism follows the understandable argument that it is the people themselves who have to solve everyday problems and readjust to each other in times of social upheaval. In methodological terms, this means that creative, critical and problem-solving competencies can be attributed to the actors and that social change is deeply anchored in the social negotiation processes dealing with situational uncertainty. In this way, it is not ‘fixed’ structures but acting people that are moved to the epistemological center. This also means that in pragmatist research approaches, social order is not understood rigidly, but as permanent ordering, and the conception of sociality is attuned to the relationship between action and consciousness (e.g., Bogusz 2011; James [1907] 2012; Joas 1992; Strauss 1993). Pragmatism leads to fundamental readjustments of sociological thought, turns away from structuralist explanatory approaches, and is currently taken up especially in French social research. In particular, within the framework of the sociology of conventions and critique, a research program has developed there over the last forty years that thinks of conventions as supports for action and analyzes their questioning through forms of justification and critique (e.g., Boltanski/Thévenot 1991; Chiapello 2015; Dodier 2010; for an overview, Diaz-Bone 2015). In recent years, research in the sociology of work and industry has also increasingly drawn on these pragmatic approaches to explore questions about the transformation of work and the workplace along conventions as well as claims and work orientations expressed in critique. These studies follow the basic argument that the emerging and re-emerging normative supports of everyday practices can be read as indicators of developmental trends in work and, consequently, provide the flyways for analyzing social change (e.g., Dubet 2008; Hürtgen/Voswinkel 2014; Kratzer et al. 2015; Salais 2007; Wolf 2014).”

Lien / Link

Räumliche Ungleichheit wie ein Föderalstaat sehen und intervenieren: Genese, Konflikte und Folgen einer quantifizierenden Territorialpolitik in Deutschland

Seeing and Intervening Spatial Inequality as a Federal State: Genesis, Conflicts and Consequences of a Quantifying Territorial Policy in Germany.

Walter Bartl (2021)

Cumulative habilitation. Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale).

Zusammenfassung. Räumliche Ungleichheiten innerhalb von Staaten haben jüngst an gesellschaftlicher Bedeutung gewonnen, wie die geografische Verteilung von Wahlergebnissen in vielen Ländern zeigt. Die hohe Aufmerksamkeit für innerstaatliche Ungleichheiten (im Vergleich zu zwischenstaatlichen Ungleichheiten) geht auf die nach wie vor herausragende Bedeutung des Nationalstaates als Deutungsrahmen für die Bewertung empirischer Ressourcenverteilungen sowie als Adressat für Forderungen nach kompensatorischen Interventionen zurück. Die kumulative Habilitationsschrift analysiert die (mögliche) Rolle von Indikatoren sowohl für die Messung von räumlichen Disparitäten als auch für territoriale Interventionen des Staates. Die Vermessung von Raum erfolgt typischerweise in einem territorialen Schema und macht die festgestellten Ungleichheiten zu einem potenziellen Gegenstand staatlicher Interventionen. Die Arbeit untersucht die Territorialpolitik staatlicher Akteure in den Politikfeldern Kommunalfinanzen, Bildungsinfrastruktur, Regionalförderung und Asylverwaltung primär am Beispiel der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Dabei geht es insbesondere um die Frage, inwiefern territorial konstruierte Indikatoren als standardisierte Informations- oder Allokationsinstrumente in diesen Politikfeldern eine Rolle spielen.
Für eine bedeutsame Rolle von Indikatoren spricht gemäß Alain Desrosières, dass Statistik – ähnlich wie Recht – ein im Zuge der Nationalstaatsbildung konstituiertes Medium darstellt, um das staatliche Territorium kognitiv und administrativ zu homogenisieren. Statistische Formen sind zwar historisch kontingent, schaffen aber dennoch eine objektivierte gesellschaftliche Realität. Die infrastrukturelle Durchdringung des staatlichen Territoritoriums ist besonders effektiv, wenn Indikatoren sowohl zur Informationsgewinnung als auch zur räumlichen Allokation von Ressourcen institutionalisiert werden. Dies ist jedoch nicht zwangsläufig der Fall. Erstens setzen quantifizierte Informationen Investitionen in Messkonventionen voraus (Desrosières, Thévenot). Zweitens stehen der quantitativen Formalisierung von Allokationskriterien politische Interessen von Entscheidungsträgern an der Bewahrung von Bewertungs- und Verhandlungsspielräumen  entgegen. Insbesondere die historischen Konstellationen des Wohlfahrtsstaates und des Keynesianischen Staates haben in Deutschland enge Kopplungen von Statistik und staatlicher Territorialpolitik geschaffen (z.B. subnationale Fiskalbeziehungen, subnationale Asylverwaltung, Schulinfrastrukturpolitik), die jenseits der monetär verfassten Fiskalpolitik auf einer quasi-naturalwirtschaftlichen Kalkulation von Bedarfen und Produktionskapazitäten anhand von Indikatoren beruhen. Im Bereich der subnationalen Regionalpolitik in Deutschland sind Indikatoren jedoch nur in einer limitierten Form institutionalisiert. Als mögliche Instrumente zur multidimensionalen Messung von räumlicher Gerechtigkeit sind Indikatoren der bundesstaatlichen Raumordnung wenig standardisiert; als mögliche Instrumente kompensatorischer Interventionen fehlen formale Regelungen jenseits der ökonomischen Dimension von Regionalpolitik. Mögliche plurale Indikatoren räumlicher Gerechtigkeit konkurrieren mit einem etablierten Schlüsselindikator (Bruttoinlandsprodukt) und darauf bezogener Kausaltheorien. Hinzu kommt, dass die deutschen Bundesländer ein Interesse daran haben, politische Entscheidungsspielräume in der Regionalpolitik zu bewahren. Überdies setzen neoliberale Handlungsmodelle stärker auf interaktive Formen von Governance statt auf standardisierte Regulierung. Ein Teilaspekt der Habilitationsschrift analysiert die supranationale EU-Ebene: In der territorialen Verantwortungsteilung der Asylpolitik der EU war es bisher nicht möglich, einen statistischen Äquivalenzraum zu schaffen, der durch das öffentliche Handeln der Mitgliedsstaaten effektiv stabilisiert wird.

Abstract. Spatial inequalities within states have recently gained social importance, as evidenced by the geographic distribution of election outcomes in many countries. The high attention paid to within-state inequalities (compared to between-state inequalities) stems from the still prominent importance of the nation-state as an interpretive framework for assessing empirical resource distributions as well as an addressee for demands for compensatory interventions. This cumulative postdoctoral thesis analyzes the (potential) role of indicators both for measuring spatial disparities and for territorial interventions by the state. The measurement of space typically takes place in a territorial scheme and makes the identified inequalities a potential object of state intervention. This paper examines the territorial policies of state actors in the policy fields of municipal finance, educational infrastructure, regional promotion and asylum administration, primarily using the example of the Federal Republic of Germany. In particular, the question arises to what extent territorially constructed indicators play a role as standardized information or allocation instruments in these policy fields.
According to Alain Desrosières, a significant role of indicators is supported by the fact that statistics – similar to law – represent a medium constituted in the course of nation-state formation in order to cognitively and administratively homogenize the state territory. Statistical forms, while historically contingent, nevertheless create an objectified societal reality. Infrastructural penetration of the state territory is particularly effective when indicators are institutionalized for both information gathering and spatial allocation of resources. However, this is not necessarily the case. First, quantified information requires investment in measurement conventions (Desrosières, Thévenot). Second, the quantitative formalization of allocation criteria is opposed by political interests of decision-makers in preserving scope for evaluation and negotiation. In particular, the historical constellations of the welfare state and the Keynesian state have created close couplings of statistics and state territorial policy in Germany (e.g., subnational fiscal relations, subnational asylum administration, school infrastructure policy), which, beyond monetary fiscal policy, are based on a quasi-natural economic calculation of needs and production capacities on the basis of indicators. In the field of subnational regional policy in Germany, however, indicators are institutionalized only in a limited form. As possible instruments for the multidimensional measurement of spatial justice, indicators of federal spatial planning are not very standardized; as possible instruments of compensatory interventions, formal regulations beyond the economic dimension of regional policy are missing. Possible plural indicators of spatial justice compete with an established key indicator (gross domestic product) and causal theories based on it. In addition, the German states have an interest in preserving political room for maneuver in regional policy. Moreover, neoliberal models of governance rely more on interactive forms of governance than on standardized regulation. One aspect of the habilitation thesis analyzes the supranational EU level: in the territorial division of responsibility of EU asylum policy, it has not yet been possible to create a statistical equivalence space that is effectively stabilized by the public action of member states.

Umkämpfte Klassifikationen. Kultursoziologische Perspektiven auf Bewertungskonflikte

Contested Classifications. Cultural Sociological Perspectives on Evaluation Conflicts

Call for Papers

Sektionsveranstaltung der Sektion Kultursoziologie auf dem 41. DGS-Kongress 2022 in Bielefeld. Organisatorinnen und Organisatoren: Oliver Berli (Köln), Uta Karstein (Leipzig), Hilmar Schäfer (Berlin).

Section event of the Cultural Sociology Section at the 41st DGS Congress 2022 in Bielefeld. Organizers: Oliver Berli (Cologne), Uta Karstein (Leipzig), Hilmar Schäfer (Berlin).

Deadline: 28 February 2022.

Job offer at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Lucerne

Job offer at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Lucerne, the Chair of Sociology
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (Prof. Dr. Rainer Diaz-Bone) has a vacancy for a period of 5 years as of May 1, 2022, or by agreement, for the position of research assistant (50%) in the area of qualitative and quantitative methods.
Deadline for applications: 31 March 2022.

Economics of convention all over

“Kolloquium Sozialforschung” at University of Lucerne

Guy Schwegler (Lucerne)

As in previous years (see here), Rainer Diaz-Bone and Kenneth Horvath presented in the autumn semester 2021 a bi-weekly colloquium at the University of Lucerne. The format discusses current social scientific questions both in research as well as in professional practice. The focus often is on methodological and methodological challenges, innovations, and problems, while covering a broad spectrum of empirical research. In past editions and their various presentations, the theoretical framework of the economics of convention (EC) had represented a reoccurring, but not a central feature. This changed for the colloquiums 2021 edition: All presenters referred to the neo-pragmatist approach in some way and highlighted aspects like methodological situationalism, qualification of people and objects, statistical chains to produce data, reducing uncertainty via conventions, or the actors’ critical competence in situations.

Miriam Kutt: Closing one’s Eyes

Miriam Kutt ready for her presentation

For the colloquium’s first meeting, Miriam Kutt from the University of Lucerne presented methodological considerations from her PHD project. For said project, she has been interested in stigmatizations around mental illnesses and people’s ability to act in relation to a possible stigmatization. With regards to this subject, both the societal consideration of agency and its theoretical conceptualization seem to collapse in an interesting manner.

Kutt explained that that despite substantial efforts in Western societies to de-stigmatize issues like mental illness, the affected people both are experiencing and expecting stigmatization. As a result, affected people often try to avoid any conflicts that might result from a stigma to handle their daily life. Within this societal reality, Kutt’s project wants to grasp the situations that foster or prevent the stigmatized people to act in a situation: When does one mention a mental illness issue in a job interview? When does one call out the refusal of a rental agreement as unjust, because said refusal may motivated by stigma?

As a theoretical framework for her project, Kutt put forward a combination of the EC perspective and Foucauldian discourse theory. The former theoretical perspective helps to clarify the grammars around stigmatization and offers a way to analyze when actors switch from a more public justification via the regime of conventions to more individual regimes like plan, familiarity, or exploration. This perspective therefore helps to grasp both calling out unjust behavior as well as ignoring it, i.e. “closing one’s eyes”.[1] Discourse theory is a way to clarify what and how something becomes say-able and/or do-able. In combination, both help to address the question how a competence and an agency of actors are enabling a certain situation and vice versa.

The project’s research interest represents a challenge from a methodological point: The situations Kutt is interested in—i.e. where people avoid conflicts in relation to their stigma—are hard to come across as a researcher. And an artificial construction of such situations would raise ethical issues. Asking people about the subject (be it in interviews or via a survey), however, would neglect social desirability and that the conflict avoidance could also happen unconsciously. As a possible solution, Kutt presented different ways of using vignettes in group discussions. These vignettes would describe situations around stigmas in daily live. The people present in a group discussion could then be asked to categorize and comment these vignettes as well as to continue telling the stories featured in there (i.e. “what will happen next?”).

Already during the presentation, Kutt could convincingly explain that the idea of the vignettes is the right way to move forward. At the same time, a lot of difficulties arise with this solution as well. These difficulties were then mostly the issues the participants of the colloquium talked about after the presentation. Vignettes and their categorization in group discussions quickly move to fundamental questions about the ontology of a situation, of stigma, of agency, and more. Should these vignettes be open and only about a certain moment or should they feature a larger process? What kind of qualification should be or can be presented in relation to stigma? Should vignettes focus on details and empirical accuracy or should they include more general societal tendencies—or even “fantasy” elements? Ultimately, the discussion after Kutt’s presentations was about ways of construction a situation in a vignette: an artificial consideration of the methodological situationalism.

Eva Nadai: “Unqualified”

For the colloquium’s second presentation, Eva Nadai from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) presented the results from a research project. For “Unqualified,” Nadai and her collaborators were interested in the constitution and evaluation of employability of people with absent or only little formal professional “qualification”, like unrecognized educational levels or absent vocational qualification.[2]

In countries like Switzerland and similar Western nations, there has been a continues increase in formal (vocational) education. At the same time, there has been an continues decrease in available jobs without the need for formal professional qualification. The problem, Nadai explained, is that latter even decreased more than the former increased. Especially certain migrant sectors of a population face situations, where their previously acquired professional qualifications are not recognized (or language barriers deem them to be unqualified or…). Next to a high risk for unemployment, “unqualified” people and their possible occupations also face a cultural degradation within the current knowledge society and its dominant ideas of skilled as well as complex jobs.

In Nadai’s research project, “employability” was considered both as an attribution and a potential, therefore presenting a double qualification process in EC’s understanding: On the one hand, qualification is a process of value attribution, and on the other hand, it regarded as the acquisition of competencies. For the project, Nadai and her team conducted semi-structured interviews with three groups of actors, namely companies as the employers, employment agencies as intermediaries, and the “unqualified” workers themselves. There again, the EC wider theoretical framework became obvious and explicit: The companies were thought of as the powerful actors when making the value judgments; for the intermediaries, an active role when mediating workers was considered; and the workers themselves were also conceptualized as active and capable actors with regards to both sides of qualification.

The results Nadai presented during the colloquium followed the three actor groups. The companies can still be considered dominant actors when making the value judgement of the unskilled (i.e. not recognizing certain skills as vocational). A more stunning finding was that they also changed their (infra-)structure to include these workers in the workplace. For the intermediaries, Nadai showed that their judgment of workers was very much depending on context. She highlighted their active role in the sense of a refurbishment of the workers, i.e. working on their CVs, accompanying them to jobs, and other investments. The unqualified workers themselves could then be grouped into three categories or modes: Ambitious works (1) sought to actively (and successfully) overcome their status through subjectively qualifying themselves as skilled and objectively seeking out vocational training. A second mode that workers could follow was about securing basic needs (2), where they devote themselves to one job that does not formally require a skill, without aiming for a more formal recognition of their skills. As a result, this second type of workers could become very dependent on one employer. The last mode of how workers dealt with their situation was recognition (3). The inability to gain formal recognition—and therefore the inability to move away from an unqualified status—did also lead to actors struggling for other types of recognitions (i.e. considering their team as a family, fighting for rights at the work place, …).

Eva Nadai presenting the conclusions of her research project

As a conclusion, Nadai highlighted that a very complex set of relations and strategies enables the “employability” of unskilled workers. At the same time, these processes often do not enable a formal vocational qualification. This absence, however, also deemed the workers valuable for other modes of coordination. In addition, while people categorized as “unqualified” are struggling to be recognized as a group, individuals may get their appreciation as individual employees. The latter point again highlighted that the unqualified workers are the weakest link in such chains of qualifications for the workforce.

The discussion that followed the presentation revolved around two topics: For the first one, the participants were asking about the use of various conventions over the course of these workers’ qualification. Nadai’s empirical examples seemed to show that instead of one convention (or a stable mix of conventions), the logics to qualify people were changed during the process. These changes, however, were mostly implemented either via the employers or the intermediaries, and ultimately lead to disadvantages for the workers. The second topic during the discussion was a possible historical perspective and future scenarios. What is particularly new/contemporary in these ways of qualifying the “unqualified”? And what other developments might we expect in relation to these unqualified workers?

Karolin Kappler: “From Data Worlds to the Digital Chain: A Conventional-Theoretical Reflection on the Digitized Transformation of Society”

Karolin Kappler from the FernUniversität in Hagen gave the third presentation during this semester’s colloquium. At the center of her talk, she put the so-called digital chain in relation to processes of digitalization, inspired by the EC consideration of statistical chains. She started with the current moral conflict surrounding the process of the digital transformations we are witnessing: an almost demonizing view on processes of datafication on the one side, and self-tracking’s promises of salvation on the other side. Both in those two extreme positions as well as in the grey areas between them, an uncertainty of value and quality is present in relation to digitalization. Or rather: Many different values and qualities are mobilized through digitalization. Considering a chain of processes then means looking at different divisions of labor that happen in the process of choosing, generating, analyzing, and using data. The thick description of such a chain both should highlight the investments in forms necessary to make such a chain work as well as its processual nature. Kappler’s idea of the digital chain updated and complemented comparable concepts such as a big-data-process model.[3]

Rainer Diaz-Bone checking the hybrid setting for Karolin Kappler’s presentation

After introducing her concept, Kappler went on to present various situations that are a part of such a digital chain and that she as well as other researchers approached in empirical work. One group of situations was related to the processes of digitalization in self-tracking. Here, Kappler highlighted the performative and generative nature of digitalization.[4] A particular type of world building seems to happen when people use processes of self-tracking that is related to the industrial and inspirational conventions. The digital tools carry the conventions’ logics into people’s regimes of engagements. Another situation that Kappler approached empirically was the one of data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI). Here, she and her collaborators used text mining, scrapping discourse around research, design, and development of AI systems in three different forums: GitHub, Semantic Scholar, and Reddit.[5] The text corpora then were analyzed through automated text classification, to grasp the different quality conventions in the material. The first two forums mainly showed, again, the industrial and inspirational conventions. Reddit, however, also featured justifications relying on civic qualities.

Through following the digital chain, Kappler was able to highlight the tensions and conflicts as well as the plurality of processes and situations were data is being generated and linked together. She proposed to consider “data worlds” on the one hand, and the “data realities” on the other hand, following an idea from Boltanski: The former being the data present, while the latter being the construct made possible through a certain selection of data.[6] Ultimately, Kappler not only highlight an anatomy of such a digital chain and its continues expansion. She also presented how researchers can become active in relation to the digital chain. As an example, she showed a catalogue of sustainability criteria put together with other collaborates and in exchange with the German Society for Informatics.

The discussion after the presentation mainly revolved around two interrelated themes with regards to the digital chain: On the one hand, the participants were interested to know how the aspect of chaining together could be clarified, i.e. the digital chain’s potency beyond one particular situation, its way of connecting situations. The EC framework would of course highlight the role of conventions to show processes beyond fragmentation. On the other hand, the discussion revolved around the digital chain’s spine: The actual thing that is being chained together. The participants agreed that the data itself does not represent this lifeline moment of the chain. But what could it be? Comparing the digital chain with the idea of the statistical chain made it clear that the former does not work in a linear sense towards one institution that would organize the chain (like the state).[7] Ultimately, the image of a chain may be the wrong symbolization for the process around digital data.

Arne Böker: “Education Mobility & Crisis”

In the fourth presentation, Arne Böker presented the early stage of his new project about educational mobility during the current pandemic. The presentation was a fitting topic as the colloquium took place fully online again—a situation we already got used to during the past two years. Böker joined the group from New York, his current location for a research stay at the Columbia University. With his project, he analyzes the pandemic’s consequences on first generation students (FGS). Currently, about half of students at German (and also Swiss) universities are such students, but their numbers are decreasing once the studies continue from BA, to MA, to PHD (i.e. establishing an educational cone/“Bildungstrichter”). Böker wants to find out how these FSGs judge their situation bevor and during the pandemic, and what barriers, resources, and, arrangements are present in relation to social mobility in education.

The project promises to be both innovative with regards to research on the pandemic’s consequences on education as well as regarding the subject of FGS. Research on higher education during the pandemic often has been using quantitative surveys, focusing on certain subject only (like digitalization, financialization, family situation, and so on) and without a differentiation of students’ social background. For his project, Böker wants do qualitative interviews with the FGS. Their situation, he explained, has been worsening: After a highest level of these students were enrolled in the mid-1990s, their numbers decreased ever since. Also, the pandemic is mostly considered a factor that worsens the FGS’ situation, i.e. decreasing the number enrolled at universities. However, there is also evidence that both the pandemic itself (for example the flexibilization thanks to the digitalization) and the FGS show characteristics that could offer a sort of “window of opportunity” for educational mobility. Societal situations that prohibit and foster social mobility are rarely considered when researching education. Böker’s project promises to do just that.

Next to the interesting empirical ideas, the presented approach to higher education during the pandemic is also a new ground for the EC. Böker explained that the theoretical framework allows him to consider two interrelated issues: On the one hand, conflicts and situations of crises can be considered as a re-arrangement of barriers, resources, and arrangements, conceptualizing the corona pandemic as a “test” for institutions. On the other hand, also the actors’ critical capacities within this re-arrangement are highlighted. Such a theoretical view complements the more widespread ideas of Bourdieusian frameworks when approaching institutions and inequality.

Böker then went on the show the first results from an interview he conducted and analyzed. His analysis utilized mapping techniques from Situational Analysis to present a sort of project map of these results with two axes. On the horizontal x-axis, time was represented, ranging from bevor the pandemic to the current situation. The map’s y-axis differentiated between hurdles and resource for the actors.

Arne Böker presenting a project map from his first results

Böker connected various stages the interviewed student went through to highlighted how they changed in relation to each other over time: For example, his interviewee showed how she could both use the pandemic as a justification to extend her grant and how the pandemic lead to a stress relieve—bevor again unleashing a overwhelming amount of work for the student. Böker also showed that the connections he made between the different aspects could be related to different conventions. For example, paths could be traced that followed an industrial logic: from an initial idea of not being good enough to study, over to a particular motivation to organize one’s studies and, finally, to an overburdening with work during the pandemic. Such a relational thinking highlighted how aspects change and are used differently depending on a situation. It also made it possible for Böker to raise awareness for more invisible resource: The family, for example, was a help for the interviewed student particularly because they did not formulate any expectations towards her.

Böker ended his presentation by showcasing his next steps, particularly ideas for the variation in a sample. These ideas of variance were also taken up in the discussion afterwards in addition with another methodological aspect, namely the use of the maps. There, the participants agreed that it would be worthwhile to differentiate the two situations—bevor and during the corona pandemic—and not have them connected with an axis. Such an approach could strengthen the analysis to show the different arrangements in the two situations. In addition to methodological consideration, the discussion also raised a more general theoretical one point: What exactly was the role of EC’s theoretical framework in this project? Here, it was clear that the framework could help to highlight how actors make sense in the respective situations’ different arrangements and, for example, how conventions are brought forward to reduce uncertainty that follows the re-arrangements.

Leonie Bisang: “Mechanisms of Selection in Higher Education”

Leonie Bisang, also hailing form the FHNW, gave the last presentation of this semester. She shared an interest in educational inequality with Böker, but approached the subject with a different angle. For her recently started PHD project, Bisang wants to research how students choose their study course. Her interest lies in those particular students who do not follow a route the theoretical ideas about a structural homology between social space, lifestyles, and field would imply. With this particular interest, Bisang tackles questions of actors’ reflexivity.

To illustrate her research interest, Bisang first showcased the institutional change introduced in the higher education in Switzerland in the 1990s (and that various other countries introduced as well): the establishment of Fachhochschulen/universities of applied sciences. In Switzerland, these institutions offer higher education to people who did not attend a gymnasium (normally required to study at a university), but rather completed an apprenticeship and later on decided to study. While these universities of applied science often focus on courses directly relate to a job market (i.e. management), they also offer the same subjects as regular universities do (i.e. economics).

Bisang approaches this dual system with a particular interest. Following a field logic and the idea of structural homology, one would expect the following when considering students’ choice for institutions: Those who did attend a gymnasium will choose to study at a university, as such an institution is considered to offer a more prestigious education. The culturally-dominated students who did not attend a gymnasium would strive to be enrolled at a Fachhochschule, completing their apprenticeship. This homology is supported through a lot of structural process in place that make sure a majority of students follow such a path. However, there are both students who could attend a regular university that apply for a Fachhochschule, as there are examples the other way around. Moreover, these students’ choices are not only remarkable from a field perspective, but also in a more general sense: They need to go through extra effort to achieve being enrolled at the “other” institution, like getting experience in a job or additional exams.

The inapt choice from both people who could attend universities and from the ones who should attend the Fachhochschulen is what Bisang places at the heart of her PHD project. In a theoretical sense, the inapt choices start a conversation between the Bourdieusian habitus concept and EC competent actors. For the former, questions arise whether these choices are still pre-determined—whether they are in fact non-decision—or if these actors are deliberate and reflexive in their action. Considering the competence of actors is a strength for the latter theoretical position. In addition, the EC’s framework let’s one also consider the processes of coordination that are necessary to make these inapt choices work. Here again, a Bourdieusian framework highlights the aspect of inequality in a more pronounced and explicit way than the EC perspective often does.

For the last part of her presentation, Bisang introduced first idea on how to approach her empirical phenomenon and the theoretical questions she brought forward. One idea she proposed was to make a case comparison between students who chose to study economics: one sample representing the “normal” students, but enrolled at the Fachhochschulen, and one sample would be the those who finished an apprenticeship and then went on to study at a university. The case comparison could then be used in qualitative sense, she explained, to trace a process taking place. These more qualitative approaches could be supplemented with survey-type data, to perform a correspondence analysis once more information about the process of making a choice is available.

Léonie Bisang presenting a model to illustrate the process leading up to the choice of a study course

Bisang’s considerations for her empirical work were the starting point for the discussion that followed the presentation. Next to questions regarding process tracing, the sampling choice was a bigger subject. Aiming for a more open and broader theoretical sampling instead of a case comparison, the participants agreed, could help to identify more interesting cases. This would enable Bisang to grasp the different coordination problems that the students face: from different choices available, to institutional barriers, over to no choice made at all. Such a perspective could also open the possibility to consider reflexivity in another way, i.e. also looking at reflexivity as negative when actors are forced to be deliberate. At the end of the discussion, the subject of inequality was taken up again. Questions of inequality could both be more thoroughly and structurally integrated in case selection, but also in relation to showing inequality in the way people deal with institution (and then, how institutions deal with people).

EC all over?

The five presentations that were given this past semester at the colloquium showcased the following: EC’s theoretical framework—from very broad ideas like plurality over to the more detailed aspects like regimes—is being used in relation to a variety of research interest. They help researchers in grasping their phenomenon and open up interesting perspectives. The five presentations, however, also showed two challenges: On the one hand, using the concepts often is a mere first step, from where researchers still need to conceptualize a problem in an empirical situation. This conceptualization then can make use of other theoretical position and societal issues to move forward. On the other hand, researchers are often faced with challenging methodological problems as a result of the EC framework. Here, the questions of what a situation is seem to be a pressing issue. Next to just showcasing challenges, each presentation and the discussions that followed them made it clear the challenges are a pathway to creative social research.

[1] cf. Thévenot, Laurent. 2019. Measure for Measure: Politics of Quantifying Individuals to Govern Them. Historical Social Research, 44(2), 44-76. https://doi.org/10.12759/hsr.44.2019.2.44-76

[2] Nadai, Eva, and Anna Gonon. 2021. “Simple jobs” for disqualified workers. Employability at the bottom of the labour market. In The Future of Work, ed. Christian Suter, Jacinto Cuvi, Philip Balsiger, and Mihaela Nedelcu, 199–221. Zurich / Geneva: Seismo Verlag AG. https://doi.org/10.33058/seismo.30818.

[3] Weyer, Johannes, Marc Delisle, Karolin Kappler, Marcel Kiehl, Christina Merz, and Jan-Felix Schrape. 2018. Big Data in soziologischer Perspektive. In Big Data und Gesellschaft, ed. Barbara Kolany-Raiser, Reinhard Heil, Carsten Orwat, and Thomas Hoeren, 69–149. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

[4] Kappler, Karolin Eva, Eryk Noji, and Uwe Vormbusch. 2019. Performativität in körperlich-leiblichen Selbstvermessungspraktiken: Zwei Fallbeispiele. In Self-Tracking, Selfies, Tinder und Co., ed. Daniel Rode and Martin Stern, 83–100. transcript Verlag.

[5] Solans, David & Tauchmann, Christopher & Farrell, Aideen & Kappler, Karolin Eva & Huber, Hans-Hendrik & Castillo, Carlos. (2019). Conflict and Cooperation: AI Research and Development in terms of the Economy of Conventions.

[6] Luc Boltanski. (2019). On Critique: A Sociology of Emancipation. Cambridge: Polity Press.

[7] Desrosières, Alain. 2002. The Politics of Large Numbers. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Appel à communication – Panel “économie des conventions” du 11e congrès de l’AFEP, 28 juin-1 juil. 2022 Amiens (France)

Call for papers – Panel “Economics of conventions” of the 11th AFEP Congress, June 28-July 1, 2022 Amiens (France)

L’économie des conventions est une théorie de l’action située fondant son programme de recherche sur la pluralité des modes de coordination. La convention, considérée comme une règle ou comme une représentation, est révélée dans l’appartenance à une action collective. Elle suppose d’être partagée par plusieurs acteurs afin que la coordination aboutisse. Nombreux sont les chercheur.e.s qui s’appuient sur le cadre d’analyse conventionnaliste dans leurs travaux. L’appel à communication propose de présenter ces recherches afin de rendre compte de la pluralité des domaines dans lesquels les cadres de pensées et les concepts de l’économie des conventions sont mobilisés.
Ainsi, ce panel propose d’explorer différents apports de l’économie des conventions mettant en exergue les limites ou les logiques d’adaptation du capitalisme contemporain dans les domaines de la santé, du travail, de l’environnement, de l’énergie, de la finance, etc. En mettant en évidence les rapports de force, les arrangements institutionnels, les représentations et les interprétations des règles, l’économie des conventions permet d’appréhender le capitalisme sous différents aspects (capitalisme sanitaire, capitalisme financiarisé, capitalisme « vert »…) et d’en proposer une critique.
Afin d’explorer ces questions, sans pour autant exclure d’autres types d’applications, cet appel à communication attend des travaux (article, chapitre de thèse, projet de recherche, etc.) ayant différents niveaux de maturité. L’objectif est de réunir des chercheur.e.s expérimenté.e.s et de jeunes chercheur.e.s afin de discuter de leurs travaux.

Les réponses à appel à communication ne devront pas excéder deux pages, présentant un titre, des motsclés, une question de recherche claire, le caractère empirique ou non du travail et un maximum de 5 références bibliographiques.

Merci de déposer vos propositions de communication avant le 5/02/2022 sur le site :
https://afep2022.sciencesconf.org dans la thématique économie des conventions ainsi qu’à Olivier Gayot (olivier.gayot@univ-lille.fr), Cécile Vasseur (cecile.vasseur@univ-lille.fr) et Guillemette de Larquier (guillemette.de-larquier@univ-lille.fr)

Les propositions acceptées seront notifiées le 2/03/2022.

Vortrag “Handlungskoordination in föderalen Bildungssystemen und Schulkultur(en) als Wertigkeitdispositive. Eine multimethodische Studie zu Zugangswegen ins Lehramtsstudium.”

Presentation “Action Coordination in Federal Education Systems and School Culture(s) as Value Dispositives. A multi-method study of entry routes into student teaching.”

Sandra Hafner (2022):

10 February 2022 17:00-18:00 via Zoom.

Zusammenfassung. In vielen Ländern bereitet traditionell das Gymnasium auf die Lehramtsausbildung vor. Die im Referat vorgestellte multimethodische Studie befasst sich mit der historisch umkämpften Institutionalisieru ng eines zweiten, alternativen Zugangswegs (in die Lehrpersonenbildung in der Schweiz. Ebenso nimmt die Studie die Fachmittelschule und das Gymnasium vergleichend als schulische Dispositive in den Blick. Anhand von Fallstudien wird gezeigt, wie die beteiligten schulischen Akteur*innen diese Dispositive konstruieren und (de-)valorisieren und wie daraus unterschiedliche Sozialisationsumgebungen für Jugendliche entstehen. Auf dieser Grundlage lässt sich die unterschiedliche Bedeutung der bei den Schultypen für die Lehrpersonenbildung erklären. Im Referat wird kurz ins Thema eingeführt sowie der theoretische Rahmen der Soziologie der Konventionen sowie dessen methodologische Prämissen vorgestellt. Anschließend wird entlang von drei Hauptfrages tellungen das Forschungsdesign der Studie präsentiert. Dabei steht im Fokus, wie verschiedene Datenformate wie Dokumente, Protokolle, Interviewtranskripte, Notizen von Unterrichtsbeobachtungen sowie quantitativ deskriptive Daten vor dem erkenntnistheoretischen Hintergrund der Soziologie der Konventionen fruchtbar zueinander in Beziehung gesetzt werden und im mit Blick auf das oben genannte Erkenntnisinteresse analysiert werden können.

Abstract. In many countries, the Gymnasium traditionally prepares students for teacher education. The multi-method study presented in this paper deals with the historically contested institutionalization of a second, alternative route (into teacher education in Switzerland. The study also takes a comparative look at the Fachmittelschule and the Gymnasium as school dispositifs. Case studies are used to show how the school actors involved construct and (de-)valorize these dispositives and how different socialization environments for young people emerge from them. On this basis, the different importance of the different types of schools for teacher education can be explained. The paper will briefly introduce the topic and the theoretical framework of the sociology of conventions as well as its methodological premises. Subsequently, the research design of the study will be presented along three main research questions. The focus is on how different data formats such as documents, protocols, interview transcripts, notes from classroom observations, and quantitative descriptive data can be fruitfully related to each other against the epistemological background of the sociology of conventions and analyzed in light of the aforementioned epistemological interest.

Link to the Colloquium website

“Der neue Geist des Kapitalismus” revisited – ein Mixed-Methods-Approach zu einem jungen Klassiker der Soziologie

“The new spirit of capitalism” revisited – a mixed methods approach to a young classic of sociology.

Johannes Truffer (2021)

Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Zusammenfassung. Die Masterarbeit repliziert die Studie zum Buch “Der neue Geist des Kapitalismus” von Luc Boltanski und Ève Chiapello (B/C) auf einer verbesserten Datengrundlage und einem state-of-the-art Mixed-Methods-Verfahren und begegnet zugleich den theoretischen Schwächen der Theorie. Durch eine kritische Rekonstruktion der konzeptuellen Grundlagen und der neueren Forschung wird der Ansatz in Richtung einer Modernisierungstheorie weiterentwickelt. Das resultierende theoretische Modell ermöglicht es, den Geist hinsichtlich der in ihm sichtbaren Modernisierungsrisiken zu lesen, das heisst Systemkrisen und Sozialpathologien. Damit treten auch die von B/C vernachlässigten Konstanten der kapitalistischen Legitimation klarer in den Blick. Für die Überprüfung der empirischen Befunde des Buches kam ein systematisch gesampelter Korpus von McKinsey-Award prämierten Harvard Business Review-Artikeln zum Zug, die jedes Jahr zwischen 1959 und 2018 kontinuierlich abdecken. Das Material wurde mit einem Mixed-Methods-Ansatz analysiert, der quantitative Verfahren automatisierter Analyse (Klassifikationsalgorithmus Readme2) und Textmining-Methoden (Topic Models) mit einem qualitativen Verfahren nach Mayring (typisierende Strukturierung) verbindet. Grundsätzlich scheinen die von B/C durch defizitäre Methoden an undurchsichtig gesampeltem Material gewonnenen Erkenntnisse empirisch erstaunlich belastbar zu sein. Ihre Hauptbefunde konnten auf breiter Basis bestätigt werden, wenngleich der Bias ihres Materials, in dem die Netzwerkmetapher viel präsenter ist, klar zum Vorschein kommt. Marktrhetoriken sind im Korpus stärker ausgeprägt als bei B/C und bezeugen den analytischen Benefit der Rekonzeptualisierung, die dem Geist ein dynamisches Gleichgewicht von allgemeinwohl- und profitorientierten Rhetoriken attestiert. Damit erscheint die ideologische Konstellation der 90er Jahre weniger als konnexionistischer, denn als neoliberaler Netzwerkkapitalismus.

Abstract. The master’s thesis replicates the empirical claims of the book “The New Spirit of Capitalism” by Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello (B/C) on an improved data basis and the help of a state-of-the-art mixed-methods approach, while at the same time confronting the theoretical weaknesses of the theory. Through a critical reconstruction of the conceptual foundations and recent research, the approach is further developed towards a theory of modernisation. The resulting theoretical model makes it possible to read the spirit of capitalism in terms of the accompanying modernisation risks visible in it, i.e. systemic crises and social pathologies. In this way, the constants of capitalist legitimisation, neglected by B/C, also come more clearly into view. A systematically sampled corpus of McKinsey Award-winning Harvard Business Review articles covering each year continuously between 1959 and 2018 was used to test the empirical findings of the book. The material was analysed using a mixed-methods approach that combines quantitative procedures of automated analysis (classification algorithm Readme2) and text mining methods (topic models) with a qualitative procedure after Mayring (typifying structuration). In principle, the findings obtained by B/C through deficient methods on opaquely sampled material seem to be empirically surprisingly robust. Their main findings could be confirmed on a broad basis, although the “French” bias of their material, in which the network metaphor is much more present, clearly emerges. Market rhetorics are more pronounced in the corpus than in B/C, attesting to the analytical benefit of the reconceptualisation, which attests to the spirit’s dynamic balance of greater good and profit-oriented rhetorics. Thus, the ideological constellation of the 1990s appears less as connectionist than as neoliberal network capitalism.