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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.

[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.

[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 : dans la thématique économie des conventions ainsi qu’à Olivier Gayot (, Cécile Vasseur ( et Guillemette de Larquier (

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.

Rückzug als Widerstand. Dissidente Lebensformen in der globalen Politik

Retreat as Resistance. Dissident lifestyles in global politics

Philip Wallmeier (2021)

PhD thesis. Bielefeld: Transcript. Open access.

Zusammenfassung. Angesichts globaler Krisendiagnosen setzen einige Aktivist*innen nicht primär auf Reformen innerhalb der bestehenden Verhältnisse – sie träumen von einer komplett anderen Ordnung. Oftmals ziehen sie sich deswegen aus bestehenden Institutionen und dem Alltag der Mehrheitsgesellschaft zurück. Anstelle von Eskapismus kann es sich bei ihrem Rückzug aber auch um radikalen Widerstand handeln. Philip Wallmeier stellt ein Netzwerk an Aktivist*innen in den Mittelpunkt seiner empirischen Studie, die zwischen den frühen 1970er Jahren und der Jahrtausendwende in den USA in »Kommunen«, »intentionale Gemeinschaften« und »Ökodörfer« zogen. Die Analyse zeichnet die historischen Veränderungen nach und beschreibt anschaulich, welche Widersprüche sich in der Praxis für die Aktivist*innen bei dem Versuch ergaben, alternative Lebensformen zu entwickeln, um so die Verhältnisse grundlegend zu transformieren.

Auszug: “Um das Konzept des »widerständigen Rückzugs« an der Welt zu schärfen und dabei gleichzeitig soziale Verhältnisse zu entschlüsseln, stütze ich mich hauptsächlich auf das Instrumentarium der »Soziologie der Kritik« (vgl. Boltanski und Thévenot 2006, Boltanski 2011, Blokker 2011). Dieses wurde von französischen Soziologen entwickelt, um nachzuvollziehen, wie Personen Kritik üben, sich rechtfertigen und dabei die Welt ordnen. Diese Perspektive erscheint mir besonders angemessen, um die kritische Alltagspraxis von Kommunard*innen zu verstehen.” (S. 69)

Abstract. In the face of global crisis diagnoses, some activists do not primarily focus on reforms within the existing conditions – they dream of a completely different order. Often they withdraw from existing institutions and the everyday life of the majority society. Instead of escapism, however, their withdrawal can also be radical resistance. Philip Wallmeier focuses his empirical study on a network of activists who moved into “communes,” “intentional communities,” and “ecovillages” in the United States between the early 1970s and the turn of the millennium. The analysis traces the historical changes and vividly describes the contradictions that arose in practice for activists as they attempted to develop alternative ways of living in order to fundamentally transform conditions.

Extract: “In order to sharpen the concept of “resistant retreat” on the world while deciphering social relations, I rely mainly on the instruments of the “sociology of critique” (cf. Boltanski and Thévenot 2006, Boltanski 2011, Blokker 2011). This was developed by French sociologists to trace how people criticize, justify themselves, and thereby order the world. This perspective seems to me particularly appropriate for understanding the critical everyday practices of communards.” (p. 69)

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Selektionsmechanismen/Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheit/Bildungsmobilität im Hochschulwesen

Leonie Bisang (University of Lucerne)

Lecture in the colloquium social research 15 December 2021 via Zoom

Zusammenfassung. Inwieweit spielen Habitus und Reflexivität beim Übertritt von der Sekundarstufe II in die Tertiärstufe eine Rolle? Mit der Einführung der Fachhochschulen wurde eine binäre Struktur geschaffen: Es wird ein universitärer und ein nicht-universitärer Bereich differenziert. Die gymnasiale Maturität ist seither sozial stärker geschlossen und Personen aus sozial tieferen Schichten werden in die Berufsbildung, die ihnen weniger aufwendig und riskant erscheint, «abgelenkt». Es gibt jedoch Maturandinnen und Maturanden, die sich für ein Fachhochschulstudium entscheiden, obschon sie sich prüfungsfrei an einer Universität einschreiben könnten. Wie entscheiden sich angehende Studierende für den Hochschultyp? Haben sie eine Wahl oder handelt es sich um eine «non-decision», zumal der Entscheidungsraum a priori eingeschränkt ist? Wie funktionieren Selektionsmechanismen? Um Fragen nach Selektionsmechanismen, sozialer Ungleichheit und Bildungsmobilität zu untersuchen, enthalten sowohl der Ansatz von Bourdieu als auch die Économie des Conventions spannende Aspekte. Durch Einbezug beider Ansätze wird das Spannungsfeld von Habitus und reflexiver Wahl sichtbar und analysierbar.

Abstract. To what extent do habitus and reflexivity play a role in the transition from upper secondary to tertiary education? With the introduction of universities of applied sciences, a binary structure was created: A university and a non-university sector are differentiated. Since then, the gymnasiale Matura has become more socially closed, and people from socially lower classes are “diverted” into vocational training, which seems less costly and risky to them. However, there are high school graduates who decide to study at a university of applied sciences even though they could enroll at a university without having to take any exams. How do prospective students decide on the type of university? Do they have a choice or is it a “non-decision”, especially since the decision space is limited a priori? How do selection mechanisms work? In order to investigate questions about selection mechanisms, social inequality and educational mobility, both Bourdieu’s approach and the Économie des Conventions contain exciting aspects. By including both approaches, the tension between habitus and reflexive choice becomes visible and analyzable.

L’organisation de la santé en France depuis 1967. Vers un gouvernement marchand ?

The organization of health care in France since 1967. Towards a market government?
PhD thesis

Victor Duchesne (2021)

Thèse de doctorat en économie, soutenue le jeudi 9 décembre 2021 à 10h à l’Université Sorbonne Paris Nord

Jury :
Philippe BATIFOULIER, Professeur des universités, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, CEPN (Directeur de Thèse)  
Jean-Paul DOMIN, Professeur des universités, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, REGARDS  
Olivier FAVEREAU, Professeur émérite des universités, Université Paris Nanterre, Economix  
Sophie HARNAY, Professeure des universités, Université Paris Nanterre, Economix (Rapportrice)
Florence JANY-CATRICE, Professeure des universités, Université de Lille, Clersé (Rapportrice)  
Mehrdad VAHABI, Professeur des universités, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, CEPN

Résumé. Cette thèse a pour ambition de mettre en évidence le rôle de l’Etat central dans le changement institutionnel en santé des années 1960 à aujourd’hui. Pour y parvenir, nous adoptons une perspective théorique conventionnaliste et une démarche historique. A partir d’un moment fondateur, mais oublié de l’histoire de la Sécurité sociale, la réforme de 1967 dite Jeanneney, nous montrons comment l’Etat a progressivement pris le contrôle sur le système de santé au nom de ses objectifs économiques.
Ainsi, dans une première partie nous montrons à partir de l’analyse des justifications de la réforme de 1967 que cette réforme constitue le moment où la Sécurité sociale est désormais subordonnée aux objectifs de politiques économiques portés par l’Etat. L’Etat prend le pouvoir politique des mains du monde du travail et met fin à la démocratie sociale incarnée par la Sécurité sociale de 1945.
Dans une deuxième partie nous montrons que l’Etat pour assoir son pouvoir s’est équipé d’une administration sous forme d’agences, nouvelle bureaucratie technique intimement liée à l’Etat et à un mode de gouvernement néolibéral. Nous mettons en évidence la continuité historique avec la réforme de 1967 et la capacité d’adaptation au service de l’Etat des agences sanitaires notamment des Agences Régionales de Santé. Les agences constituent la solution organisationnelle pour concrétiser le contrôle étatique sur le système de soins et la Sécurité sociale.
Enfin dans une troisième partie nous montrons que la réappropriation de la Sécurité sociale initiée en 1967 par l’Etat est aussi celle de la solidarité. Le choix par l’Etat de recourir au marché plutôt qu’à la Sécurité sociale l’a conduit à développer un ensemble de règles afin de concilier impératif de solidarité et logique marchande.
Si l’effort de réglementation des Organismes d’Assurance Maladie Complémentaire peut être perçu, comme une tentative de contrainte étatique au détriment de la liberté concurrentielle, nous montrons que bien au contraire l’étatisation produit le marché et assure son développement par le transfert de l’impératif de solidarité.

Mots-clés : Histoire de la protection sociale, Economie de la santé, Economie des conventions, Agences Sanitaires, ARS, New Public Management, Sécurité sociale, Assurance santé

Abstract. This thesis aims to highlight the role of the central state of institutional change in health care from the 1960s to the present. To achieve this, we adopt a conventionalist theoretical perspective and a historical approach. Starting from a founding but forgotten moment in the history of social security, the 1967 Jeanneney reform, we show how the state gradually took control of the health system in the name of its economic objectives.
Thus, in the first part we show, based on an analysis of the justifications for the 1967 reform, that this reform constitutes the moment when social security is henceforth subordinated to the economic policy objectives of the state. In other words, it was the moment when the State wrested political power from the hands of the world of work and put an end to the social democracy embodied by the Social Security of 1945.
In a second part we show that the State, in order to assert its power, has equipped itself with an administration in the form of agencies, a new technical bureaucracy closely linked to the State and to a neoliberal mode of government. We highlight the historical continuity with the 1967 reform and the capacity of adaptation to the service of the State of health agencies, in particular the Regional Health Agencies. The agencies constitute the organizational solution to concretize the state control over the health care system and the Social Security.
Finally, in the third part we show that the reappropriation of Social Security initiated in 1967 by the State is also that of solidarity. The State’s choice to resort to the market rather than to Social Security led it to develop a set of rules in order to reconcile the imperative of solidarity with the logic of the market. While this regulatory effort may be perceived, particularly by the private health insurance organizations, as an attempt at state constraint to the detriment of competitive freedom, we show that, on the contrary, state control produces the market and ensures its development through the transfer of the solidarity imperative.

Keywords: History of social protection, Health economics, Economics of convention, Health agencies, ARS, New Public Management, Social security, Health insurance

Von Datenwelten zur digitalen Kette: Eine konventionentheoretische Reflexion zur digitalen Transformation der Gesellschaft

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

Vortrag von Karolin Kappler (FernUniversität Hagen)
10 November 2021, 16.15 via Zoom in the lecture series «Kolloquiums Sozialforschung» at University of Lucerne

Zusammenfassung. Likes, Schritte, Kalorienaufnahme und -verbrauch, Chats mit Freunden, berufliche Videokonferenzen, digitale Zahlungen und viele weitere Datenpraktiken hinterlassen tagtäglich Daten(-spuren), die auf verschiedene Art und Weise und für unterschiedliche Zwecke weiterverwendet werden. Neben deren Einordnung in Datenwelten bietet die Soziologie der Konventionen mit der statistischen Kette ein Konzept, das die Arbeitsteilung in der Generierung, Auswertung und Präsentation von Daten beschreibt. Die Ausweitung der Datenpraktiken, deren Echtzeitcharakter sowie zunehmende Vernetzungsmöglichkeiten führen zur Entstehung digitaler Ketten, die den Prozesscharakter digitaler datengestützter Valuationen (im Sinne von Deweys) in den Mittelpunkt der Betrachtung setzen. Diese Weiterentwicklung der statistischen hin zur digitalen Kette erlaubt eine dichte Beschreibung unterschiedlicher miteinander verwobener Situationen und berücksichtigt dabei, dem pragmatischen Ansatz der Soziologie der Konventionen folgend, das in weiten Teilen zyklische Zusammenspiel von Akteuren, unterschiedlichen Technologien, (kognitiven) Formaten und anderen Objekten, Praktiken und Konventionen in der Hervorbringung von Bewertungen.

Abstract. Likes, steps, calorie intake and consumption, chats with friends, professional video conferencing, digital payments, and many other data practices leave data (traces) every day that are reused in different ways and for different purposes. In addition to their classification into data worlds, the sociology of conventions offers the statistical chain, a concept that describes the division of labor in the generation, analysis, and presentation of data. The expansion of data practices, their real-time character as well as increasing networking possibilities lead to the emergence of digital chains, which put the process character of digital data-supported evaluations (in Dewey’s sense) in the center of consideration. This further development of the statistical towards the digital chain allows a dense description of different interwoven situations and, following the pragmatic approach of the sociology of conventions, takes into account the largely cyclical interplay of actors, different technologies, (cognitive) formats and other objects, practices and conventions in the production of evaluations.

Kolloquium Sozialforschung / Program

Überlegungen zu Auswirkungen von Digitalisierung auf (qualitative) Sozialforschung

Reflections on the Impact of Digitization on (Qualitative) Social Research

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2021)

Paper presented at the 16th Berlin Method Meeting 2021 (July). Open access

Rainer Diaz-Bone, Debora Niermann und Günter Mey (Moderation)

Auszug. “Die Internetpolitiken und Algorithmen werden wesentlich durch private Internetfirmen entwickelt, organisiert und kontrolliert. Und sie sind eben auch für universitär Forschende zumeist intransparent. Diese Datenmengen sind für die akademische Sozialforschung nicht oder nur beschränkt zugänglich. Hier treffen sich nun die Diagnose von Savage und Burrows einerseits mit derjenigen der Soziologie der Konventionen andererseits, welche Konventionen als institutionelle Logiken im Bereich der Sozialforschung auffassen und die eine Pluralität der Datenwelten identifiziert, in der die akademi-sche Datenwelt neben derjenigen der amtlichen Statistik, der zivilbürgerlichen und derjenigen der Big-Data-Welt eben nur eine ist und eben absehbar nicht mehr die hegemoniale in Sachen Methodendefinition. Die neopragmatische Position der Konventionentheorie besteht nicht nur in der Betonung dieses Pluralismus von Datenwelten, die verschiedene Wissenschaftsauffassungen artikulieren, sondern in der Betonung der Spannung und der wechselseitigen Kritik zwischen diesen Datenwelten sowie in dem Aufweis von Allianzen zwischen Datenwelten.” (p. 4)

Extract. “Internet policies and algorithms are essentially developed, organized and controlled by private Internet companies. And they are also mostly intransparent for university researchers. These data sets are not accessible, or only to a limited extent, for academic social research. This is where the diagnosis of Savage and Burrows on the one hand meets that of the sociology of conventions on the other, which understands conventions as institutional logics in the field of social research and identifies a plurality of data worlds, in which the academic data world is just one alongside that of official statistics, the civil society world and that of the Big Data world, and it is foreseeable that it will no longer be the hegemonic one in terms of defining methods. The neopragmatic position of convention theory consists not only in emphasizing this pluralism of data worlds that articulate different views of science, but in emphasizing the tension and mutual critique between these data worlds, as well as in pointing out alliances between data worlds.” (p. 4)

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Job offer “Wissenschaftliche:r Mitarbeiter:in Bildungswissenschaftliche Forschung”

Job offer “Research Associate Educational Science Research” 

Job offer at the Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich. Die Stelle ist dem konventionentheoretisch arbeitenden Bildungssoziologen und Methodiker Kenneth Horvath zugeordnet, der ab dem 01.01.2022 an der PH Zürich eine Professur antreten wird.

Job offer at Zurich University of Teacher Education. The position is assigned to Kenneth Horvath, an educational sociologist and methodologist working in the field of convention theory, who will take up a professorship at the Zurich University of Teacher Education as of 01.01.2022.

“Diese Stelle ist inhaltlich Teil eines Forschungszusammenhangs, der sich dem Thema «Pädagogische Wissensordnungen im gesellschaftlichen Wandel» widmet. In diesem Rahmen zeichnet sich ein breites Spektrum an denkbaren Gegenständen für qualitative wie quantitative Forschungsarbeiten ab. Dazu zählen zum Beispiel sich verändernde Vorstellungen von Bildungs­qualität und -gerechtigkeit, Logiken der (Leistungs-)Bewertung und der sozialen Klassifikation im Bildungsalltag, Wahrnehmungen und Deutungen von (migrationsgesellschaftlicher) Diversität und Ungleichheit in schulischen Kontexten oder das Wechselspiel von politischen, pädagogischen und wissenschaftlichen Diskursen in Zeiten eines tiefgreifenden technologischen Wandels. Von besonderem Interesse sind darüber hinaus Arbeiten, die – an der Schnittstelle von Bildungs­wissen­schaften und Wissenschaftsforschung – sozialwissenschaftliche Wissensproduktion selbst empirisch in den Blick nehmen und diese in ihren vielfältigen Bezügen zu pädagogischer Praxis, Lehrer:innenbildung und Bildungspolitik analysieren.”

“In terms of content, this position is part of a research context dedicated to the topic of “Pedagogical Knowledge Orders in Social Change.” Within this framework, a broad spectrum of conceivable subjects for qualitative as well as quantitative research is emerging. These include, for example, changing notions of educational quality and equity, logics of (performance) assessment and social classification in everyday education, perceptions and interpretations of (migration-society) diversity and inequality in school contexts, or the interplay of political, educational, and scientific discourses in times of profound technological change. Of particular interest are also works that – at the interface of educational science and science research – empirically examine social science knowledge production itself and analyze it in its manifold relations to pedagogical practice, teacher training, and educational policy.”

Deadline: 31 October 2021

Évaluer l’économie sociale et solidaire. Socioéconomie des conventions d’évaluation de l’ESS et du marché de l’évaluation de l’impact social

Evaluating the social and solidarity economy. Socioeconomics of SSE evaluation conventions and the social impact assessment market

Marion Studer (2021)

Soutenance de thèse le 11 Octobre 2021 à 14:00
Université de Lille, SH2, Salle des conférences.

Jury :

  • Francesca Petrella, Professeure des Universités, Aix-Marseille Université, rapportrice
  • Michel Renault, Maître de conférences, Université de Rennes 1, rapporteur
  • Corine Eyraud, Maîtresse de conférences, Aix-Marseille Université
  • Nathalie Raulet-Croset, Professeure des Universités, IAE de Paris, Université de Paris 1
  • Richard Sobel, Professeur des Universités, Université de Lille
  • Florence Jany-Catrice, Professeure des Universités, Université de Lille

Résumé. L’évaluation de l’impact social s’impose dans l’économie sociale et solidaire (ESS) depuis le début des années 2010. Dans ce contexte se multiplient les publications et initiatives ayant pour objet de fournir des guides et méthodes « clé en main » d’évaluation de l’impact social. Dans ces guides, la technicité des méthodes d’évaluation écarte les débats sur l’origine de la notion et sur le contexte sociopolitique expliquant la place prééminente qu’elle prend depuis les années 2010. L’évaluation d’impact social y devient une pratique réifiée sans laquelle une organisation ne peut se reconnaître d’utilité sociale et plus largement ne peut se proclamer de l’ESS. La présente thèse opère un pas de côté en posant le principe selon lequel l’évaluation d’impact social ne va pas de soi et s’inscrit dans un contexte sociopolitique et un ensemble d’institutions et de représentations de l’évaluation. Plus précisément, cette thèse s’affilie au cadre de l’économie des conventions. À partir d’une approche abductive combinant une revue de la littérature pluridisciplinaire et la réalisation de deux études de cas, l’une auprès d’acteurs a priori externes à l’ESS (cabinets de conseil à l’évaluation, centres de recherche  d’école  de  commerce,  agences  d’ingénierie) et l’autre au sein d’un projet  regroupant des  têtes  de  réseaux  et  fédérations  représentatives  de  l’ESS, cette thèse identifie deux conventions d’évaluation idéales typiques. Nommées « convention managériale » et « convention délibérative », ces conventions trouvent leur origine dans les transformations socioéconomiques à l’œuvre dans l’ESS depuis les années 1980. Leurs différentes articulations donnent naissance à une multitude de montages composites. Ces montages correspondent à autant de déclinaisons possibles de l’évaluation au sein du marché de l’évaluation d’impact social. Porté par un écosystème d’acteurs externes et représentatifs de l’ESS, la thèse identifie au sein de ce marché un ensemble d’institutions, de réseaux sociaux, de dispositifs matériels ou encore de significations culturelles permettant aussi bien de diffuser les offres et demandes d’évaluation, de favoriser le développement de partenariats au sein du marché, d’authentifier et de qualifier les prestations d’évaluation, que de participer à la création d’une culture de l’évaluation. En cela, la thèse donne à voir différents équipements qui appuient la structuration du marché tout en catalysant son expansion au sein de l’ESS.”

Abstract. Social impact assessment has been a key issue in the social and solidarity economy (SSE) since the early 2010s. In this context, publications and initiatives aimed at providing “turnkey” guides and methods for social impact assessment are multiplying. In these guides, the technical nature of the evaluation methods sidelines the debates on the origin of the concept and on the socio-political context, which explains the prominent place it has taken since the 2010s. Social impact assessment has become a reified practice without which an organization cannot recognize its social utility and, more broadly, cannot claim to be part of the SSE. This thesis takes a step aside by positing that social impact assessment is not self-evident and is embedded in a socio-political context and a set of institutions and representations of assessment. More specifically, this thesis is affiliated with the economics of conventions framework. Based on an abductive approach combining a review of the multidisciplinary literature and the realization of two case studies, one with actors a priori external to the SSE (evaluation consulting firms, business school research centers, engineering agencies) and the other within a project bringing together network heads and federations representing the SSE, this thesis identifies two typical ideal evaluation conventions. Named “managerial convention” and “deliberative convention”, these conventions originate in the socio-economic transformations at work in the SSE since the 1980s. Their different articulations give rise to a multitude of composite arrangements. These arrangements correspond to as many possible variations of evaluation within the social impact evaluation market. Supported by an ecosystem of external actors representative of the SSE, the thesis identifies within this market a set of institutions, social networks, material devices and cultural meanings that make it possible to disseminate evaluation offers and requests, to promote the development of partnerships within the market, to authenticate and qualify evaluation services, and to participate in the creation of an evaluation culture. In this respect, the thesis shows different facilities that support the structuring of the market while catalyzing its expansion within the SSE.

Kolloquium Sozialforschung

Colloquium Social Research

Organized by Kenneth Horvath and Rainer Diaz-Bone at University of Lucerne, the colloquium offers a series of lectures based on or referring to convention theory.

Präsentation. Im Kolloquium Sozialforschung werden aktuelle Projekte und Fragen sozialwissenschaftlicher Forschungs- und Berufspraxis besprochen. Im Fokus stehen methodische und methodologische Herausforderungen, Neuerungen und Probleme. Das Kolloquium deckt das breite Spektrum der empirischen Sozialforschung ab – präsentiert und diskutiert werden Arbeiten aus der Markt-, Meinungs- und Medienforschung ebenso wie aus amtlicher Statistik, Evaluations-, Akzeptanz- und Begleitforschung und aus universitären Kontexten.

Presentation. In the Colloquium Social Research, current projects and questions of social science research and professional practice are discussed. The focus is on methodological and methodological challenges, innovations and problems. The colloquium covers the broad spectrum of empirical social research – papers from market, opinion and media research as well as from official statistics, evaluation, acceptance and accompanying research and from university contexts are presented and discussed.

Zeit/Time: mittwochs (Tuesday) 16.15-17.45

Ort/Room: Seminarraum 3.B47

  • Mi, 13.10.21
    Miriam Kutt (Universität Luzern)
    «Closing one’s Eyes. Methodische Ansätze zur Untersuchung von Prozessen der Konfliktvermeidung»
  • Mi, 27.10.21
    Prof. Dr. Eva Nadai (FHNW Olten)
    «’Unqualifiziert’ – zur Konstruktion von Wert(losigkeit) im Arbeitsmarkt»
  • Mi, 10.11.21
    Dr. Karolin Kappler (FernUniversität Hagen)
    «Von Datenwelten zur digitalen Kette: Eine konventionentheoretische Reflexion zur digitalen Transformation der Gesellschaft»
  • Mi, 24.11.21
    Dr. Arne Böker (Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
    «Bildungsaufstiege in der Krise? Auswirkungen der Corona-Pandemie auf First Generation Students»
  • Mi, 15.12.21 (via Zoom)
    Leonie Bisang (Universität Luzern)
    «Selektionsmechanismen/Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheit/Bildungsmobilität im Hochschulwesen»

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