Archives de catégorie : Publications / Actualités / News

The Economies of Worth Model: Operating Principles and Ways to Apply It

Leslie Carnoye (2023)

In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first

Abstract. The economies of worth framework is designed to address issues of coordination and legitimacy processes by studying the languages of justification on which actors rely. It allows to understand how disputes and conflicts can be overcome without degenerating into violence. Two key features of the model are its pluralism and its evolving capacity. Indeed, several polities, also called or principles of justification or orders of worth, can be mobilized to assert legitimacy. But a precise number of criteria must be met for an order of worth to be established. In other words, all polities correspond to the same grammar and the model relies on specific axioms. Originally, six polities were theorized by Boltanski and Thévenot, but two more were later included in the literature. In this chapter, the six plus two additional worlds are presented, as well as the axioms of the model and its dynamic. By referring to some examples of the model’s application in agro-food and environmental studies, the variety of ways in which the model has been used in social sciences research is then illustrated. This allows to discuss some of the challenges that the model has faced and present its main evolutions since the beginning of the 1990s.

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Visuals in History Textbooks – War Memorials in Soviet and Post-Soviet School Education from 1945 to 2021

Mischa Gabowitsch (2023)

Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, 15(1), pp. 99-128. Open access

Abstract. This article is based on a bibliographical data set of over 2,600 history textbooks from the post-1945 Soviet Union and eleven out of its fifteen successor states, including books on international, national, and regional or local history. Among these, it analyzes the illustrations used in 450 books that cover the period of the Second World War. Arguing against a reduction of history-related visuals to a “narrative,” this article seeks to contribute to analyzing the visual grammar of history textbooks. It does so by drawing on notions of familiarity developed in French pragmatic sociology and identifies visual techniques used to make pupils approach war memorials in a mode of familiarity rather than critical analysis. Decontextualized presentations of monuments located outside the former Soviet Union turn them into timeless icons experienced via familiarity-as-recognition; monu- ments shown with surrounding landscapes or on maps turn them into intimately known markers of a Sovietized local identity.

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Legal Norms and Convention Theory: Justification, Evaluation, and Realization of Law

Joëlle Affichard, Antoine Lyon-Caen & Laurent Thévenot (2023)

In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first

Abstract. The pragmatist approach to conventions places them in the dynamics of coordinated action and provides an understanding of law in action. Legal norms should also be considered in action. The pragmatic realism of law and normativity presented in this chapter emphasizes the form-shaping of the environment that is required for a rule or norm to have effect. It addresses jurists’ critical insight into the reductive concept of rule application. The convention theory also makes it possible to locate law within an environment of multiple modes of normativity. They are supported by philosophical and moral principles, statistical formats, economic standards, or other normative forms that are engaged in the justification, evaluation, and realization of law.
Conducted over a long period of time (more than 30 years) and involving several generations of researchers, the close collaboration of jurists with sociologists, economists, and statisticians familiarized with convention theory has prevented the usual attempts to reduce one discipline to the other. An extended framework including various modes of normativity has avoided the oppositions between law and non-law, legal norm and social norm, formal and informal, hard and soft law.
Three levels of legal action are addressed: the level of fundamental principles or rights and, more broadly, of conventions claiming the greatest legitimacy; the intermediate level of the framing of law by various methods and techniques of evaluation; and finally, the level of the realization of law, when judgments are informed by practical and material modes of normativity that prepare a convenient environment for the action of law.

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4 chapters in Handbook on Public Sociology

Edited by Lavinia Bifulco and Vando Borghi (2023)

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Jean-Michel Bonvin & Francesco Laruffa : Public sociology and the capability approach: exploring the potential of a fruitful combination, pp. 42-57

Abstract. In this chapter we explore the contribution of Sen’s capability approach to a ‘public sociology’. Through notions such as ‘positional objectivity’, ‘informational basis of judgment in justice’ and ‘reason to value’, the capability approach links facts and values in a way that justifies integrating experiential knowledge within the scientific process. The importance of ‘public reasoning’ and ‘capability for voice’ is thus emphasized. After a theoretical discussion of the capability approach and its epistemological and political implications, the chapter illustrates how these concerns can be concretely implemented in empirical research, drawing from a research project on a local-level programme for young NEETs. We highlight both the added value and the challenges of this approach centred on creating knowledge through mutual education and we suggest that the arguments developed in this chapter are relevant also for public policies at the macro-level and not only for micro-experiments such as the one considered here.

Rainer Diaz-Bone : Sociology and quantification: economics of convention as an approach to link quantification and public sociology, pp. 58-72.

Abstract. The sociology of quantification is an emerging field, in which different disciplines are engaged to study the quantification processes in different social realms, their effects and usages, but also the plurality of underlying principles and logics of quantification. The science movement of economics of conventions (in short EC) is one of the most important strands, which contributed to the sociology of quantification. EC has identified, how quantification and measurement is based on measurement conventions. These conventions link numbers, but also categories and data in general to a common good. This way, EC can be conceived of as a link between the sociological analysis of processes of quantification (and categorization) to public issue, debates and concerns. It is for this link that EC can be regarded also as a contribution to public sociology. The contribution presents the plurality of conventions and introduces concepts of EC as quality conventions or data worlds.

Laura Centemeri & Davide Olori : Public sociology in disaster situations: critical engagement and prefiguration against defuturing processes, pp. 174-187.

Abstract. This chapter discusses different ways in which the sociology of disaster can be analysed as a public sociology that is engaged in the elaboration of: 1) useful expertise for public action; 2) critical approaches that reveal the social determinants of disasters; 3) socioanthropological approaches focused on sense-making processes. The authors argue that the worsening of systemic crises now requires a critical and ‘reconstructive’ sociology of disasters that is actively engaged both in denouncing structural inequalities and in collaborating in prefigurative experiments with social movements, affected citizens and reflective practitioners. An analysis of the public sociology initiative supported by the research group Emidio di Treviri following the 2016 earthquake in the central Italian Apennines shows how the engagement of social scientists in disaster situations is crucial to initiate and sustain collaborations among a heterogenous group of affected actors in order to design alternative, place-based pathways to recovery.

Romuald Normand : Sociologies of education in an era of new critique: getting out of methodological nationalism and reconsidering education through a global perspective, pp. 279–293.

Abstract. During the last two decades, the public sociology of education has profoundly renewed its critical perspective to think about transformations in education beyond national spaces and to study globalizing and Europeanizing effects on education systems and policies. This chapter reports on the development of this important and global research area as well as its comparative turn. The inadequacies of national statism and methodological nationalism have led this new public sociology of education to better analyze the role of transnational networks and actors as well as political assemblages that govern numbers worldwide, but also the limitations of neo-liberalism carried by school market and privatization. Sociologists have also reflected on social justice and inequalities from post-colonial and post-modernist perspectives while supporting emancipatory projects and social movements beyond the neo-liberal agenda.

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Quantifying Human Resources: The Contributions of Economics and Sociology of Conventions

Clotilde Coron (2023)

In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first

Abstract. This chapter deals with the contributions of economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) to analyze the use of numbers and data in human resource management (HRM). Quantification has been used since Taylor’s seminal work in HRM. More precisely, the uses of quantification in HRM are numerous: HR metrics, HR analytics, algorithms, and now artificial intelligence. This makes research about quantification in HRM all the more important. This chapter first reviews the existing literature about those different uses. Then, it shows how EC/SC can be used to take a step back from a positivist vision based on the myth of a neutral and objectifying quantification and thus to understand better the negotiations, arbitrations, and human choices underlying these different uses of quantification in HRM. More precisely, it deals with the concept of “quantification convention” and how it allows researchers to highlight the intersubjective dimensions of quantification. However, some research avenues still exist, and they are underlined in the final section of the chapter.

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Économie des conventions et politiques sociales

Economics of convention and social policies

Appel à communication

Journée d’étude organisée le 10 novembre 2023 organisée par Olivier Gayot, Guillemette de Larquier & Cécile Vasseur

Laboratoire Clersé – Université de Lille

L’objectif de la journée d’étude économie des conventions et politiques sociales est de réunir des chercheurs et chercheuses de toutes disciplines (économie, sociologie, gestion, sciences politiques…) qui travaillent sur les politiques sociales à partir du cadre théorique de l’économie des conventions (Diaz-Bone et Larquier, 2023). Les propositions de communications peuvent porter, par exemple, sur les transformations du secteur de la santé (Batifoulier, Da Silva et Duchesne, 2019), de la protection sociale (Chiapello et Knoll, 2020), du travail (Larquier et Rieucau, 2019 ; Semenowicz, 2018), de l’éducation (Imdorf, Leemann 2023) ou encore du développement durable (Sébert 2022; Carnoye 2017). »

The aim of the ‘Economics of Convention and Social Policies’ study day is to bring together researchers from all disciplines (economics, sociology, management, political science, etc.) working on social policies within the theoretical framework of the economics of convention (Diaz-Bone and Larquier, 2023). Paper proposals may focus, for example, on transformations in the healthcare sector (Batifoulier, Da Silva and Duchesne, 2019), social protection (Chiapello and Knoll, 2020), labor (Larquier and Rieucau, 2019; Semenowicz, 2018), education (Imdorf, Leemann 2023) or sustainable development (Sébert 2022; Carnoye 2017).

Deadline: 15 Septembre 2023

Controversies’ Roots in Digital Business Models—The Case of Academic Publishing

Simon Engert (2023)

Conference paper

Abstract. Digital business models (DBMs) are built on digital technologies with complexity-inducing characteristics. Thus, they form ever-more complex (eco)systems as they connect heterogeneous actors for value cocreation and blur the boundaries of organizations, markets, and industries. The co-existence of actors’ multiple logics in pluralistic settings has been associated with tensions and controversies. However, information systems (IS) research has ignored controversies’ role in DBMs in settings of logic multiplicity. Drawing on the ‘orders of worth’ framework, we follow the controversies over DBMs in the academic publishing ecosystem. Building on our in-depth case study data, we develop a model highlighting three roots of controversies in sociotechnical DBMs. We add to the literature by furthering our understanding of controversies’ role in DBMs and enriching the community’s methodological toolbox in applying a theory from French pragmatic sociology to study pluralistic contexts.

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What can mathematical modelling contribute to a sociology of quantification?

Andrea Saltelli & Arnald Puy (2023)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10. Online first, open access

Abstract. Sociology of quantification has spent relatively less energies investigating mathematical modelling than it has on other forms of quantification such as statistics, metrics, or algorithms based on artificial intelligence. Here we investigate whether concepts and approaches from mathematical modelling can provide sociology of quantification with nuanced tools to ensure the methodological soundness, normative adequacy and fairness of numbers. We suggest that methodological adequacy can be upheld by techniques in the field of sensitivity analysis, while normative adequacy and fairness are targeted by the different dimensions of sensitivity auditing. We also investigate in which ways modelling can inform other instances of quantification as to promote political agency.

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Comparative moral principles. Justifications, values, and foundations

Tuukka Ylä-Anttila (2023)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10, Online first, open access

Abstract. The article compares three influential theories used in sociology and psychology to categorize types of morality—Luc Boltanski & Laurent Thévenot’s justification theory, Shalom H. Schwartz’s basic human values theory, and Jonathan Haidt’s moral foundations theory—to simplify the complexity presented by three different categorizations, while retaining necessary nuance, and to translate the concepts of each into the language of the other two. A comparative table is presented to evaluate which categories of the three theories correspond to each other and where do theories make distinctions that are lacking from the other two. This summary framework of Comparative Moral Principles (CMP) consists of eight principles to compare, explain, and interpret practices of moral motivation and meaning-making: Liberty, Inspiration, Safety, Community, Care, Equality, Deservingness, and Competition.

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European food quality schemes in everyday food consumption: An exploration of sayings and doings through pragmatic regimes of engagement

Virginie Amilien, Roberta Discetti, Jean-Loup Lecoeur, Gun Roos, Barbara Tocco, Matthew Gorton, Beatrice Biasini, Davide Menozzi, Matthieu Duboys de Labarre, Jelena Filipović, Kathrin Meyer, Török Áron, Saša Veljković, Pierre Wavresky, Vilde Haugrønning, Péter Csillag, Johannes Simons, Galjina Ognjanov (2022)

Journal of Rural Studies, 95, p. 336-349,

Abstract. While European consumers generally support the principles underpinning Food Quality Schemes (FQS) sales of certified products remain modest. This phenomenon is known as ‘attitude-behaviour gap’ and considerable scholarly and policy efforts have been geared towards ‘filling’ or ‘bridging’ the gap. This study aims at casting new light on this ‘discrepancy’ between consumers’ sayings and doings through a study of everyday food practices connected to FQS. We used a qualitative, multi-method research design comprising extensive ethno-graphic fieldwork data, gathered from 41 households across seven European countries, including interviews, walk-along tours, and food diaries, in order to understand consumers’ perceptions of FQS in relation to their everyday food consumption practices. Building on convention theory and Thévenot’s work, we showed that food practices can be understood through different ‘regimes of engagement’, namely different ways of thinking and behaving, following different logics corresponding to varying levels of knowledge and interest. We thus argue that the ‘attitude-behaviour gap’ should be reconceptualised as the co-existence of multiple regimes of engagement, namely a dynamic and always evolving process of adjustment through which consumers understand and engage with FQS in everyday food practices.

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Debating the Drug Policy in Sweden: Stakeholders’ Moral Justifications in Media 2015–2021

Tuulia Lerkkanen & Jessica Storbjörk (2023)

Contemporary Drug Problems, 50(2), pp. 269-293.

Abstract. Drug-related harms continue to increase globally and governments struggle in search of effective and legitimate countermeasures. The choice between policy options is intertwined with the arguments that dominate drug policy discussions, which in turn are closely related to who has access to the policy debate. In this study, we examine stakeholders’ visibility and moral justifications of argumentation in the Swedish drug policy debate in the media (2015–2021). Justification analysis (JA) is used as a methodological and theoretical tool to illustrate the moral principles behind the claims by the stakeholders. The results show that the most visible stakeholders were politicians, government agencies and molders of public opinion. Furthermore, the stakeholders with successful active attempts to participate in the debate were molders of public opinion, NGOs, and politicians. The silent stakeholders in the media were people who use drugs and significant others. Stakeholders generally revolve around a dividing line regarding the restrictive features of Swedish drug policy, and were divided into proponents, opponents and neutral ones. All stakeholder groups included all three sides, hence reflecting the ingroup dissonance that may explain the continuing deadlock in Swedish drug policy. Justifications that value evidence-based policymaking (industrial worth) was used in the argumentation by the majority of the stakeholder groups, often combined with other moral justifications. This notion challenges the dichotomy of evidence and values in drug policy debates. Proponents relied more on the justifications that value paternalism (domestic worth), while opponents leaned toward the justifications valuing civil rights and social justice (civic worth). The development of Swedish drug policy may depend on the relative strength of these two value positions (domestic versus civic worth) in society and among stakeholders in power. This study continues the discussion of making contesting values explicit in the drug policy, serving a riveting case for international comparison.

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Warum Konventionentheorie? Die Ökonomie und Soziologie der Konventionen als ein integrativer sozialwissenschaftlicher Ansatz

Why convention theory? The Economics and Sociology of Conventions as an Integrative Social Science Approach

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2023)

In Sozioökonomie und Wirtschaftssoziologie im Spiegel sozialwissenschaftlicher Bildung [Socioeconomics and economic sociology in the mirror of social science education. Festschrift for Reinholdt Hetdke.] Tim Engartner, Andrea Szukala & Birgit Weber (eds. ), Wiesbaden: Springer VS

Zusammenfassung. Der Beitrag führt in die Ökonomie und Soziologie der Konventionen (kurz Konventionentheorie) ein. In dieser transdisziplinären Wissenschaftsbewegung werden Konventionen als pragmatische Koordinationslogiken und zugleich als institutionelle Logiken aufgefasst, die „Wert“, „Qualität“ und „soziale Ontologien“ fundieren und so das Problem der Unsicherheit über Qualitäten in sozio-ökonomischer Koordination praktisch zu lösen ermöglichen. Die pragmatische Fundierung der Konventionentheorie zeigt sich auch in der Annahme einer radikalen koexistierenden Pluralität von Konventionen, die einfachen differenzierungstheoretischen Annahmen entgegenstehen. Handelnde werden als kompetent aufgefasst, die Angemessenheit von Konventionen in Situationen zu beurteilen und sich kritisch sowie rechtfertigend auf Konventionen zu beziehen. Dabei kommt Konventionen eine besondere Wirkmächtigkeit zu, da sie das kollektive Handeln auf ein Gemeinwohl beziehen. Letztlich ermöglicht der transdisziplinäre Charakter der Konventionentheorie die Reintegration verschiedener sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektiven, die lange durch disziplinäre Grenzen separiert worden sind.

Über Das Buch. Dieser Sammelband identifiziert die Schnittstellen der politischen, gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Domäne aus wirtschaftssoziologischer und fachdidaktischer Perspektive wie auch vor dem Hintergrund nationaler wie internationaler Forschungsansätze der sozialwissenschaftlichen Bildung. Dabei werden die Innovationspotenziale einer sozioökonomischen Perspektive an den Übergängen von Fachwissenschaft und Fachdidaktik(wissenschaft) ausgearbeitet. U. a. werden diese in Beiträgen zu Theorieentwicklungen des Neopragmatismus sowie der an sie anschließenden Curriculum- und Partizipationsforschung diskutiert, welche jeweils Weiterentwicklungen des Feldes – insbesondere im Lichte der Neuformulierung eines sozio-ökonomischen Curriculums – in den Blick nimmt. Die auf Pluralität, Interdisziplinarität, Multiparadigmatizität und (kritische) Reflexion angelegte Festschrift für Reinhold Hedtke schlägt die Brücke zwischen den zentralen sozialwissenschaftlichen Bezugsdisziplinen Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Soziologie, Politikwissenschaft und Geographie sowie Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Erziehungswissenschaft.

Abstract. This contribution introduces the economics and sociology of conventions (in short convention theory). In this transdisciplinary scientific movement, conventions are conceived as pragmatic logics of coordination and, at the same time, as institutional logics that ground “value”, “quality”, and “social ontologies” and thus make it possible to practically solve the problem of uncertainty about qualities in socio-economic coordination. The pragmatic foundation of convention theory is also reflected in the assumption of a radical coexisting plurality of conventions, which is opposed to simple differentiation theory assumptions. Actors are seen as competent to judge the appropriateness of conventions in a situation and to refer to conventions critically and justifiably. In this context, conventions have a special social impact, since they relate collective action to a common good. Finally, the transdisciplinary character of convention theory enables the reintegration of different social science perspectives that have long been separated by disciplinary boundaries.

About the book. This anthology identifies the intersections of the political, social, and economic domains from the perspectives of economic sociology and subject didactics as well as against the background of national and international research approaches in social science education. The innovation potentials of a socio-economic perspective at the transitions of subject science and subject didactics (science) are elaborated. Among other things, these are discussed in contributions to theoretical developments of neopragmatism as well as the curriculum and participation research that follows on from them, which in each case takes a look at further developments of the field – especially in the light of the reformulation of a socio-economic curriculum. The Festschrift for Reinhold Hedtke, which is based on plurality, interdisciplinarity, multiparadigmaticity and (critical) reflection, builds a bridge between the central social science disciplines of economics, sociology, political science and geography as well as history, philosophy and education.

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How Economics and Sociology of Conventions Helps to Understand the Social Dynamics of Testing and Sorting

Kenneth Horvath (2023)

In Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (eds.), Handbook of economics and sociology of conventions. Cham: Springer, Online first

Abstract. School education is troubled by a deep dilemma: to radically ensure equality by providing fair opportunities for all pupils while producing inequality by differentiating and sorting students according to individual merit and potential. School systems handle this dilemma by designing and conducting myriad forms of testing and sorting. These testing and sorting practices, however, persistently fail to function in an equitable manner. This handbook chapter discusses how economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) help to understand and to problematize this “malfunctioning.” It provides an overview of existing studies that have implemented the neopragmatic perspective of EC/SC to understand dynamics that evolve between the politics of education, organizational forms of school education, and everyday pedagogical practices. On this basis, the chapter sketches five ways in which research centered on the guiding heuristic of conventions furthers understanding of educational inequalities: (1) accounting for the plurality of understandings of what makes “good and fair” school education (and hence of what counts as “inequitable” or “unfair” in the first place); (2) conceptualizing the relations and the interplay between everyday pedagogical situations and wider social formations, including the field of politics; (3) understanding different forms of testing and sorting as negotiated and contested outcome of concrete practices of design, critique, and research; (4) deciphering how (unintended) patterns of disadvantaging arise from how social actors define and handle uncertain educational situations; (5) providing a framework for reflecting about how social research is itself entangled in the formation, reproduction, and transformation of educational inequalities.

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App oder Arzt?

App or doctor?

Round table with Valeska Cappel

Thursday 25 May 2023, Zurich

Digital wellbeing is a booming market. Mobile applications and increasingly sophisticated algorithms provide competent advice and support for individual fitness goals, but also recommend themselves as sensitive early warning systems for one’s own health. This is accompanied by a host of ethical questions: How do such programs handle the highly sensitive data that make their success possible in the first place? What incentives for behavioral prevention using trackers and apps can be justified? And how serious and accurate are diagnoses made by the virtual health professional?

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Eingliederung als Rechtfertigungsarbeit. Konventionen betrieblicher Arbeitsintegration am Beispiel psychisch erkrankter Beschäftigter

Integration as justification work. Conventions of Work Integration in Companies: The Example of Mentally Ill Employees

Anna Gonon (2023)

Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Open access

Über Das Buch. Dieses Open-Access-Buch analysiert Praktiken der Wiedereingliederung von Beschäftigten mit psychischen Erkrankungen in drei Unternehmen in der Schweiz. Ausgehend von den konkreten Handlungsproblemen der Akteurinnen und Akteure wird die These entwickelt, dass betriebliche Arbeitsintegration zu einem wesentlichen Teil „Rechtfertigungsarbeit“ bedeutet. Eingeschränkte Leistungsfähigkeit und Maßnahmen zur weiteren Beschäftigung werfen – gerade im Falle nicht direkt wahrnehmbarer Gesundheitsprobleme – Rechtfertigungsbedarf im Unternehmen auf. „Rechtfertigungsarbeit“ kann darin bestehen, die kooperative Haltung der Betroffenen gegenüber dem Betrieb zu bekräftigen oder plausibel zu machen, dass sie in ihrer Arbeitsstelle trotz der Erkrankung weiterhin leistungsfähig sein werden.

About the book. This open access book analyzes practices of reintegration of employees with mental illness in three companies in Switzerland. Based on the concrete problems of action of the actors, the thesis is developed that corporate work integration means “justification work” to a substantial extent. Limited performance and measures for continued employment – especially in the case of health problems that are not directly perceivable – give rise to a need for justification within the company. “Justification work” can consist of reaffirming the cooperative attitude of those affected toward the company or making it plausible that they will continue to be able to perform in their jobs despite the illness.

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