Exploring institutional arrangements for local fish product labelling in Tuscany (Italy): A convention theory perspective

Prosperi, Paolo/Vergamini, Daniele/Bartolini, Fabio (2020)

In: Agricultural and Food Economics, 8(6), pp. 1-16. Open Access

ABSTRACT

“Increasing fish consumption along with rising competition in the global seafood market has brought fisheries and aquaculture producers to adopt several differentiation and marketing strategies. Labelling schemes were thus introduced to respond to a growing demand for traceable and sustainable products. However, the proliferation of quality labels brought to general confusion, calling for collective and public fish labels to ease decision-making. In our case study region (Tuscany, Italy), a number of policy-driven efforts were deployed for establishing regional labelling schemes for fisheries products with no observable impact on the market. Meanwhile, local companies have implemented a number of successful private and regional labels. The purpose of this research is to contribute to potential options for collective regional labelling schemes of fisheries and aquaculture products, through a case study analysis, building on agro-food value-chain and management approaches. Our empirical results highlight key issues and perspectives on labelling policies for local fisheries and aquaculture products.”

EXTRACT

“Convention economics build on the paradigm of uncertainty and on the multiple justifications of action as a result of individuals’ and organisations’ belongings to different groups such as “worlds” (Rastoin and Ghersi 2010). Ponte (2016) offers an extensive and overarching literature review of the convention theory applied to the food system. In this respect, convention theory helps identifying that there might be multiple justifications of action operating at the same time, and it highlights that different conventions underpin different forms of organisation, coordination, and exchange between actors (Ponte 2016). The Boltanski and Thévenot’s (1999) convention theory model is based on the identification of different worlds of production. This model has been applied to the food system by a number of scholars (e.g.: Murdoch and Miele 1999; Rastoin and Ghersi 2010; Trabalzi 2007) who identified several sets of “world of foods” to explain the strategic positioning of firms and their movements between worlds by highlighting how different worlds of production can coexist even within individual firms (Ponte 2016).” (p. 4)

Eine gefährliche Verzauberung der Welt. Viele Unternehmen ranken die Bonität ihrer Kunden. Ihre Algorithmen sind geheim – und potenziell ein perfides Machtinstrument, um Menschen zu diskriminieren.

Lobe, Adrian (2020)

https://www.zeit.de/kultur/2020-01/big-data-algorithmen-zahlen-bedeutung-mystik/komplettansicht

In: Die ZEIT

AUSZUG

“Der französische Rechtswissenschaftler Alain Supiot schreibt in seinem Buch La Gouvernance par les nombres (2015), dass die Quantifizierung des Sozialen die Antwort auf den in der Geschichte des Westens mythologisch tief verwurzelten Traum der ‘Harmonie durch das Kalkül’ sei. Die Harmonielehre habe zunächst Eingang in die Ökonomie und später in das Rechtssystem gefunden, wo sie beispielsweise mit der ‘Harmonisierung’ des europäischen Binnenmarkts festgeschrieben wurde. Mit der Generalisierung arabischer Ziffern, die den “Babylonischen Traum einer gemeinsamen Sprache” realisieren, hätten diese eine ‘universelle normative Kraft’ entfaltet, schreibt Supiot. Damit einher gehe auch ein Wandel der Bewertungslogik, weg von einer ‘juridischen Qualifikation’ hin zu einer “statistischen Qualifikation” des Menschen, die weitgehend im Schatten operiere. Die Herrschaft der Zahlen kommt zwar im Gewand einer vermeintlichen Objektivität und Rationalität daher, doch in Wahrheit objektiviert sie den Menschen – er ist bloß noch eine Nummer im System.”

A dangerous enchantment of the world. Many companies rank the creditworthiness of their customers. Their algorithms are secret – and potentially a perfidious instrument of power to discriminate against people.

EXCERPT

“The French jurist Alain Supiot writes in his book La Gouvernance par les nombres (2015) that the quantification of the social is the answer to the dream of “harmony through calculation”, deeply rooted in mythology in the history of the West. The theory of harmony first found its way into the economy and later into the legal system, where it was established, for example, with the ‘harmonisation’ of the European internal market. With the generalisation of Arabic numerals, which realised the ‘Babylonian dream of a common language’, they had developed a ‘universal normative power’, Supiot writes. This is accompanied by a change in the logic of valuation, away from a “juridical qualification” to a “statistical qualification” of the human being, which operates largely in the shadow. Although the rule of numbers comes in the guise of a supposed objectivity and rationality, in reality it objectifies man – he is merely a number in the system.”

Legitimating the governance of embodied emissions as a building block for sustainable energy transitions.

Jordan, Nino David/Bleischwitz, Raimund (2020)

In: Global Transitions 2, pp. 37-46.

EXTRACT

“What are the major factors shaping whether embodied emissions policies and the informational devices enabling them are perceived as legitimate by the various actors that could advance or block their adoption? What is perceived as legitimate will vary depending on the context in which and the perspective from which one assesses the legitimacy of an object, practice, idea, person or organisation. The object of such an assessment will be accepted as legitimate when it qualifies as fulfilling the requirements of, variously, being good, proper or fitting within the internal logic of an intersubjectively – yet unevenly – shared convention as to what constitutes specific desirable qualities. Which qualities are deemed desirable, and which trade-offs between them acceptable, varies between situations and among people. Therefore, processes of legitimation are most fruitfully analysed with reference to the plurality of different ‘orders of worth’.” (p. 38).

Neue Verhältnisse? Zwei Perspektiven auf die Beziehung zwischen Empirie und Theoriebildung in der Kultursoziologie Deutschlands

Schwegler, Guy (2020)

Review Essay: Julia Böcker, Lena Dreier, Melanie Eulitz, Anja Frank, Maria Jakob & Alexander Leistner (Hrsg.) (2018). Zum Verhältnis von Empirie und kultursoziologischer Theoriebildung: Stand und Perspektiven. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa. In: Forum Qualitative Social Research. Open Access.

ZUSAMMENFASSUNG

“Im Sammelband ‘Zum Verhältnis von Empirie und kultursoziologischer Theoriebildung’ werden diverse Auseinandersetzungen über eine systematische Verknüpfung der beiden Bereiche präsentiert. Deren bisheriges Verhältnis, so die Ausgangslage, sei insbesondere in der deutschsprachigen Kultursoziologie durch eine Spannung gekennzeichnet. Im vorliegenden Review Essay werden die im Sammelband sowohl in Form von programmatischen Positionen als auch in Forschungsbeispielen präsentierten Lösungsvorschläge mit zwei Perspektiven diskutiert: Auf der einen Seite werden die Beiträge versammelt, die eine bestimmte Vorstellung von Kultursoziologie festschreiben und daraus Konsequenzen ableiten für das Verhältnis von Empirie und Theoriebildung. Auf der anderen Seite werden die Positionen und empirischen Beispiele gemeinsam besprochen, die von einer konkreten Methodologie ausgehen und daraus eine Idee von Kultursoziologe ableiten. Über diese doppelte Betrachtungsweise wird sowohl das Spannungsverhältnis aufgeschlüsselt als auch der allgemeine Stand einer deutschen Kultursoziologie in den Fokus gerückt. Die an dem Band beteiligten Autor*innen verdeutlichen nämlich, dass mehr und mehr die älteren Trennlinien des Fachs ihre Relevanz verlieren. Dies kann allerdings noch nicht gleichgesetzt werden mit dem Verschwinden des Spannungsverhältnisses zwischen Empirie und Theorie. Die vorgebrachten Lösungsvorschläge bleiben selbst in forschungspraktischen Beispielen noch zu programmatisch. Zu wünschen gewesen wären klarere Anleitungen, aus denen sich ein wirkliches Wechselverhältnis zwischen Theorie und Empirie ableiten ließe.”

AUSZUG

“Ein möglicher Lösungsansatz zur Überwindung einer Mikro-Makro-Problematik findet sich in PETTENKOFERs Beitrag. Der Autor erläutert hierzu das Konzept der situativen Evidenz. Dieses besagt, dass die Frage nach der Reichweite in konkreten Situationen “kleingearbeitet” (S.53) werden könne in zeitliche und räumliche sowie medial abgegrenzte Momenten. Über diese Perspektive der situativen Evidenz würden sich Forscher*innen den “Scharnierstellen in der Restabilisierung oder Destabilisierung weiter ausgreifender Ordnungen” widmen (S.65). Es seien dann sowohl die empirischen als auch die theoretischen Beiträge zu den re- bzw. destabilisierenden Mechanismen, die das Verhältnis zwischen den beiden Seiten bestimmen und anleiten müssten. PETTENKOFER zeigt hier keine einheitliche Kultursoziologie auf, sondern er führt vielmehr verschiedene Forschungslinien zu Situationen an, von denen das gemeinsame Bezugsproblem der Stabilisierung abgeleitet werden kann. Als Hauptlinien nennt er die Untersuchung von Selbstverhältnissen, Darstellungen, Ritualen und Prüfungen. Es gelingt ihm dabei, sowohl Klassiker wie GOFFMAN (1961) als auch neuere Ansätze wie den von BOLTANSKI und THÉVENOT (2007) zusammenzufassen. PETTENKOFER schließt mit einer umkehrten Herangehensweise an die Position von WOHLRAB-SAHR an. Gleichzeitig wird jedoch in seiner Position zunehmend unklarer, was denn keine Kultursoziologie wäre.” (paragraph 19)

New circumstances? Two perspectives on the relationship between empiricism and theory formation in the sociology of culture in Germany.

ABSTRACT

“In the anthology ‘Zum Verhältnis von Empirie und kultursoziologischer Theoriebildung’ (On the relationship between empiricism and cultural-sociological theory-building), various debates on the systematic linking of the two areas are presented. According to the starting point, their relationship to date is characterized by tension, especially in the German-speaking sociology of culture. In this review essay, the proposed solutions presented in the anthology, both in the form of programmatic positions and research examples, are discussed from two perspectives: On the one hand, the contributions are gathered together that establish a certain idea of cultural sociology and derive consequences for the relationship between empiricism and theory formation. On the other hand, the positions and empirical examples are discussed together, which start from a concrete methodology and derive from it an idea of cultural sociologist. Through this dual approach, both the tensions are broken down and the general state of a German sociology of culture is brought into focus. The authors involved in the volume make it clear that the older dividing lines of the subject are increasingly losing their relevance. However, this cannot yet be equated with the disappearance of the tension between empiricism and theory. Even in practical research examples, the proposed solutions remain too programmatic. It would have been desirable to have clearer instructions from which a real interrelation between theory and empiricism could be derived.”

EXTRACT

“A possible approach to overcome a micro-macro problem can be found in PETTENKOFER’s contribution. The author explains the concept of situational evidence. This concept states that the question of the range in concrete situations can be “worked on in a small scale” (p.53) in temporal and spatial as well as medially delimited moments. From this perspective of situational evidence, researchers would devote themselves to the “hinges in the restabilization or destabilization of more extensive orders” (p.65). It would then be both empirical and theoretical contributions to the re- or destabilizing mechanisms that would have to determine and guide the relationship between the two sides. PETTENKOFER does not present here a uniform sociology of culture, but rather he lists various lines of research on situations from which the common reference problem of stabilization can be derived. As main lines of research he mentions the investigation of self-relations, representations, rituals and tests. He succeeds in bringing together classics such as GOFFMAN (1961) as well as newer approaches such as those of BOLTANSKI and THÉVENOT (2007). PETTENKOFER follows on from the position of WOHLRAB-SAHR with an inverted approach. At the same time, however, his position becomes increasingly unclear as to what would not be a sociology of culture. (paragraph 19)

Soziale Klassifikationen

Nungässer, Frithjof (2020)

In: Fleck, Christian/Day, Christian (eds.),  Meilensteine der Soziologie. Frankfurt: Campus, pp. 164-182.

AUSZUG

“Gegen die Thesen Bourdieus sind im Laufe der Zeit wichtige Einwände formuliert worden. Ein Autor, dem dabei eine wesentliche Rolle zukommt und der zugleich für die Klassifikationstheorie von großem Interesse ist, ist der französische Soziologe Luc Boltanski. Er geht den Charakteristika und den Konsequenzen kulturhistorischer Klassifikationsschemata und ihren Wirkungen auf die Verhaltens-, Deutungs- und Konfliktmuster von Individuen in anderer Weise als Bourdieu nach. Deutlich wird dies vor allem in seinem wohl wichtigsten Buch Über die Rechtfertigung, das er gemeinsam mit dem Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Laurent Thévenot (geb. 1949) verfasste. In dieser Studie fragen die Autoren danach, was Individuen dazu befähigt, Handlungen zu begründen oder K.ritik zu üben (Boltanski/Thévenot 2014 [1991]). Um einer Antwort näher zu kommen, legen die beiden Autoren drei sehr unterschiedliche Materialschichten übereinander: Beschreibungen alltäglicher Auseinandersetzungen, Ratgeberliteratur zur erfolgreichen Unternehmensführung sowie Schlüsselwerke der politischen Philosophie. Die grundlegende These dabei ist, dass auf den drei Ebenen die gleichen Argumentationsmuster genutzt werden, um Handlungen oder Beurteilungen zu rechtfertigen.” (p. 176)

Social classifications

EXTRACT

“Over the course of time, important objections have been formulated against Bourdieu’s theses. One author who plays a significant role in this and who is also of great interest to classification theory is the French sociologist Luc Boltanski. He examines the characteristics and consequences of cultural-historical classification schemes and their effects on the patterns of behavior, interpretation and conflict of individuals in a different way from Bourdieu. This becomes particularly clear in what is probably his most important book, On Justification, which he wrote together with the economist Laurent Thévenot (born 1949). In this study, the authors ask what enables individuals to justify actions or practice ritual (Boltanski/Thévenot 2014 [1991]). To get closer to an answer, the two authors lay three very different layers of material on top of each other: descriptions of everyday conflicts, literature on successful business management, and key works of political philosophy. The basic thesis here is that the same patterns of argumentation are used on the three levels to justify actions or assessments. (p. 176)

Debating Global Food Security Through Models The Agrimonde Foresight Study (2008–2010) and Criticism of Economic Models and of Their ‘Productionist’ Translations

Tétard, Gilles (2020)

In: Science, Technology & Society (2020): 1-19. Online first.

ABSTRACT

“This contribution to the sociology of food security as a globalised public issue highlights the importance of instruments of proof that underlie discourses on related matters. This article addresses the issue of the economic models that are used in the definition of the futures of food security. Through these models, the food security issue is centred on neo-liberal options which systematically and closely connect agricultural productivity and international agricultural trade. Over the last ten years, we have been witnessing the development of new kinds of foresight which construct alternative scenarios. Agrimonde (2008-2010) is one of them. This article highlights how this foresight attempts to open up the debate in instituted networks dedicated to food security in which economic models – and the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) model developed by IFPRI1 in particular – exert a strong influence. Furthermore, it examines the way in which Agrimonde’s construction principles and its underlying axiology engage in a critique of economic models. The Agrimonde approach also includes the mobilisation of the strategic resources required to perform the international debate and to raise the visibility of alternative conceptions of food security.”

EXTRACT

“In this article, from the standpoint of the sociology of scientific controversies, we wish to stress that such divisions result not only from diverging interests or balance of power between partisan coalitions. The structuring of debates on food security also covers the use of tools of proof (Desrosières, 2008, 2014) which conflict with one another and which cover different actor networks.” (p. 2)

Les pratiques de recrutement des entreprises : un pouvoir de segmentation et de valorisation

Guillemette de Larquier & Géraldine Rieucau (2020)

Document de travail, Centre d’études de l’emploi et du travail, n°201

Résumé. En prenant appui sur les données de l’enquête Offre d’emploi et recrutement (Ofer, 2015) de la Dares (Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques), l’objectif de ce document est d’analyser les pratiques de recrutement des entreprises françaises afin de mettre en exergue les conventions et les segmentations du marché du travail. L’analyse statistique consiste dans un premier temps à construire une typologie d’emplois ayant donné lieu à un recrutement puis, à l’aide de régressions logistiques, à caractériser les pratiques de recrutements associées aux 7 classes d’emplois de la typologie. Ces pratiques renvoient à 4 fonctionnements différents du marché du travail, distingués par notre construction théorique originale, qui croise la théorie de la segmentation et l’économie des conventions. Premièrement, la théorie de la segmentation nous amène à étudier les contours de l’offre de travail recherchée par les entreprises : sont-ils ou non bien définis en amont (marché fermé ou ouvert) ? Deuxièmement, l’économie des conventions nous conduit à prêter attention au format de l’information que les entreprises utilisent pour capter et évaluer l’offre de travail : ce format est-il standardisé ou au contraire personnalisé ? Les deux approches et notre cadre théorique les croisant sont présentés dans la première partie du document, les données, la démarche empirique et les résultats commentés dans la deuxième partie.
D’après nos résultats, près d’un appariement sur deux s’inscrit sur un « marché de proximité » où les entreprises ne cherchent pas à maîtriser en amont le profil des candidats qui se présentent. Les appariements proches de ceux décrits par la théorie économique conventionnelle représentent à peine un recrutement sur cinq et se situent sur un marché que nous qualifions de « standard ». 17 % du total des recrutements sont positionnés sur un « marché professionnel », où l’entreprise connaît les contours de l’offre qu’elle souhaite capter et sélectionne sur des critères personnalisés. Enfin, nous identifions un « marché partenarial », relativement ouvert car le recrutement est l’occasion de constituer la main-d’œuvre avec des intermédiaires du marché du travail, dont l’évaluation est standardisée.

Extrait : “[La théorie de la segmentation (TSeg) et l’économie des conventions (EC)] ont des origines et des objets qui leur sont propres. La TSeg met en évidence et analyse les segmentations du marché du travail issues des pratiques des entreprises, tandis que l’EC propose une théorie de l’action selon laquelle les individus prennent appui sur des conventions, qui harmonisent représentations et comportements, pour se coordonner. Plusieurs proximités entre les deux approches confortent notre projet de les croiser. EC et TSeg bâtissent leurs hypothèses à partir d’observations empiriques, issues d’enquêtes statistiques ou d’enquêtes de terrain . Le «marché du travail» n’a rien d’évident ni de spontané, pas plus qu’il n’y a de «concurrence» évidente entre les catégories de main-d’œuvre et entre les emplois ; il doit être analysé via les institutions et les conventions qui sous-tendent la coordination et la sélection qui s’y jouent. De cet appui sur les observations et sur le fonctionnement concret des marchés, découle une posture partagée par les deux courants : l’analyse ne se fait pas à l’aune d’un étalon unique – celui de la rationalité maximisatrice des comportements individuels ou de la convergence des marchés vers un modèle unique – et il ne s’agit donc pas d’inscrire les comportements ou les marchés dans un continuum unidimensionnel, mais bien de mettre en évidence les segmentations et donc les frontières des marchés (TSeg) et la pluralité des comportements (EC). […] Quant aux pratiques de recrutement, les deux courants s’y intéressent avec des regards complémentaires. Les travaux qui relèvent de la TSeg montrent comment les pratiques de gestion de la main-d’œuvre en général façonnent les segmentations du marché du travail. Nous insistons sur le fait que les pratiques de recrutement en particulier, moins analysées par ce courant d’analyse que les autres pratiques de gestion, contribuent à la segmentation. De leur côté, les travaux qui, dans le courant de l’EC, cherchent à expliquer le fonctionnement du marché du travail conçoivent une diversité de modes de coordination entre entreprises et travailleurs, fondée sur une pluralité de représentations de la qualité du travail, c’est-à-dire des conventions de qualité, au moment du recrutement. La question générale que nous nous posons est dès lors la suivante : cette pluralité des conventions mise en évidence par l’EC recouvre-t-elle celle des segments du marché du travail analysée par la TSeg ?” (p. 5-6)

Firms’ recruitment practices: a power of segmentation and valuation

Abstract. Based on data from the Dares Offre d’emploi et recrutement Survey (Ofer, 2015), the objective of this document is to analyse the recruitment practices of French firms in order to highlight labour market conventions and segmentations. The statistical analysis consists first of constructing a typology of jobs that have given rise to recruitment and then, using logistic regressions, of characterizing the recruitment practices associated with the 7 isolated job classes. These practices refer to 4 market functioning that our original theoretical construction distinguishes by crossing Labour market segmentation theory and Economics of convention. First, segmentation theory leads us to study the contours of the labour supply sought by firms: are they or are they not well defined (closed or open market)? Secondly, the economics of convention leads us to pay attention to the format of the information that firms use to capture and evaluate the labour supply: is this format standardized or personalized? The two approaches and our theoretical framework crossing them are presented in the first part of the document, the data, the empirical approach and the commented results in the second part.
According to our results, nearly one matching out of two is part of a “proximity market” where firms do not seek to control the profile of candidates who apply. Matches close to those described by conventional economic theory represent barely one in five recruitments and are located in a market that we call “standard”. 17% of all recruitments are positioned in a “professional market”, where the firm knows the contours of the offer it wishes to capture and selects on the basis of personalized criteria. Finally, we identify a “partnership market”, relatively open because recruitment is an opportunity to build the workforce with labour market intermediaries, whose assessment is standardized.

Translation of the excerpt: “[Segmentation Theory (ST) and the Economics of Convention (EC)] have their own origins and objects. ST highlights and analyses labour market segmentations arising from the practices of firms, while EC proposes a theory of action according to which individuals rely on conventions, taht harmonize representations and behaviours, to coordinate themselves. Several proximities between the two approaches support our project to cross-reference them. EC and ST build their hypotheses from empirical observations, resulting from statistical surveys or field surveys. There is nothing obvious or spontaneous about the “labour market”, nor is there any obvious “competition” between categories of labour and between jobs; it must be analysed via the institutions and conventions that underlie the coordination and selection involved. From this reliance on observations and on the concrete functioning of markets, a position shared by both currents emerges: the analysis is not carried out against a single yardstick – that of the maximising rationality of individual behaviour or the convergence of markets towards a single model – and it is therefore not a question of placing behaviour or markets on a one-dimensional continuum, but rather of highlighting segmentation and therefore the boundaries of markets (ST) and the plurality of behaviour (EC). […] As for recruitment practices, the two currents take an interest in them with complementary perspectives. ST studies show how labour management practices in general shape labour market segmentation. We emphasize the fact that recruitment practices in particular, which are less analyzed by this current of analysis than other management practices, contribute to segmentation. On the other hand, EC studies seeking to explain the functioning of the labour market consider a diversity of modes of coordination between firms and workers, based on a plurality of representations of the quality of work, i.e. quality conventions, at the time of recruitment. The general question is therefore the following: does this plurality of conventions highlighted by EC cover the plurality of labour market segments analysed by ST?”

Lien de téléchargement / Download link

Experts and the sense of things

Arnold, Nadine (2019)

In: Land Environment 24(3), pp. 289-294.

ABSTRACT

“In a world, in which measurements, indices and agreed-upon standards are ubiquitous, Bessy and Chateauraynaud’s work on experts and counterfeiters has gained new relevance. The French social scientists provide a rich theory on the sense of things, explaining how experts evaluate the authenticity of objects. Along with the mobilisation of a shared language and stabilised criteria, the sense of things generates from everyday interactions between experts and objects. While social scientists tend to prioritise the study of the commonly-accepted aspects of evaluation, the concept of the sense of things directs attention to the subtle micro interactions and sensory experiences on the ground. This process can initiate shifts in stabilised evaluations of the true and false. This article presents the central theoretical arguments of the book “Experts et Faussaires” (Experts and Counterfeiters) and sketches their relevance for the study of environmental phenomena.”

 

Politics and Policies of Statistical Independence

Prevost, Jean-Guy (2019)

In: Prutsch, Markus (ed.), Science, Numbers and Politics. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 153-180

ABSTRACT

“The issue of scientific and professional independence is a central concern of National Statistical Offices (NSOs). It pertains not only to scientific and methodological dimensions, such as definition of concepts, or design of surveys and questionnaires, but also to issues such as data release policies, definition of the overall statistical program, nomination or dismissal of the chief statistician, an NSO’s position within government architecture, as well as budgetary discretion. Independence is now an explicit feature of statistical acts and codes of practice in many countries and appears as a condition for securing the public’s trust. After describing the range of formal and informal means developed for protecting statistics independence in OECD countries, this chapter sketches three interpretations of the independence drive: the principal-agent, the independent expert and the technocrat-guardian models.”

EXCERPT

“But many official statisticians believe that it should extend to more general operational issues, such as data release policies and the definition of the overall statistical program, to organizational or structural dimensions like the nomination or dismissal of the chief statistician or a national statistical office’s (NSO) position within the overall government architecture, or even to fixing the size of an NSO’s budget or at least allowing discretion over its management. The reasons for independence put forward by NSOs and their officials are often presented as self-evident and unproblematic: without perceived independence, public trust would vanish, as would, in consequence, good, “evidence-based” policy. This claim for independence, however, can itself be seen as an instance of the politics of quantification, a crossroads where contending interests and values meet, and as a statistical policy characteristic of the era of neo-liberalism. Following Desrosières, it may indeed be argued that a significant change occurred in official statistics around the 1980s and 1990s, with the shift from a Keynesian orientation to a regime more attuned to the neo-liberal context.” (p. 156f)

Le Crowdfunding ou la glorification de la culture par projets

David Pucheu (2018)

In Loïc Ballarini, Stéphane Costantini, Marc Kaiser, Jacob Matthews, Vincent Rouzé (éds.), Financement participatif. Les nouveaux territoires du capitalisme, Presses universitaires de Nancy – Editions Universitaires de Lorraine, p. 241-248

Résumé. Malgré les critiques dont « l’économie collaborative » a été récemment la cible, le crowdfunding continue de véhiculer la positivité des valeurs de la participation, du partage et de l’empowerment des utilisateurs qui ont encadré le développement de la « nouvelle économie ». Pourtant, les mutations idéologiques du capitalisme contemporain incitent à reconsidérer ces modèles de financement dits « alternatifs » ou « disruptifs » à la lumière des affinités électives qu’ils entretiennent avec elles.
Mots clés : crowdfunding, financement participatif, intermédiation, plateforme, cité par projets, idéologie, capitalisme, nouvelle économie

Extrait : “Les analyses de Luc Boltanski et Ève Chiapello (1999) sur le « nouvel esprit du capitalisme » ont mis en lumière l’émergence, au tournant des années 1990, d’une « culture par projets » inscrite au coeur du fonctionnement effectif et symbolique (pour ne pas dire idéologique) du capitalisme contemporain. Construite autour du modèle idéal-typique des « cités » proposé par Luc Boltanski et Laurent Thévenot (1995) dans Les économies de la grandeur, la « cité par projet » se présente comme un système de valeur hiérarchisé et appuyé par un régime de justification actoriel qui motive une grammaire d’action propre à la logique de « projet ». […] Ce sont précisément cette logique de projet et les valeurs qui lui sont inhérentes que promeuvent les plateformes de financement participatif. Des plateformes qui offrent, en outre, à leur inscription réticulaire une objectivation technique.” (p. 243)

Crowdfunding or the glorification of culture by projects

Abstract. Despite recent criticisms of the “collaborative economy”, crowdfunding continues to convey the positive values of participation, sharing and user empowerment that have framed the development of the “new economy”. However, the ideological mutations of contemporary capitalism encourage us to reconsider these so-called “alternative” or “disruptive” funding models in the light of the elective affinities they have with them.
Keywords: crowdfunding, participative financing, intermediation, platform, project based, ideology, capitalism, new economy

English translation of the excerpt.
“The analyses of Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello (1999) on the ‘new spirit of capitalism’ highlighted the emergence, at the turn of the 1990s, of a ‘project-based culture’ inscribed at the heart of the effective and symbolic (not to say ideological) functioning of contemporary capitalism. Built around the ideal-typical model of the “city” proposed by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot (1995) in “Les économies de la grandeur”, the “city by project” is presented as a hierarchical value system supported by a system of actorial justification that motivates a grammar of action specific to the logic of the “project”. […] It is precisely this project logic and its inherent values that participatory financing platforms promote. Platforms that also offer a technical objectification to their reticular inscription”. (p. 243)

Download link

Making Diabetes. The Politics of Diabetes Diagnostics in Uganda

Liggins, Arlena Siobhan (2020)

ABSTRACT

“Diabetes is regarded as one of the most challenging global health issues of the 21st century. Especially countries with weak health infrastructure are struggling to deal with the increased demands this chronic disease entails. Tracing the effects of a diagnostic device, the glucometer, this book examines how it contributes to the making of diabetes in contemporary Uganda. Arlena S. Liggins demonstrates that depending on who uses the glucometer, the outcomes may go far beyond diagnosis. The book draws a complex picture of hopes and misplaced expectations, of trust and mistrust in a technology to which access in the first place is all but a given.”

EXCERPT

“What is a number, really? In this chapter, I aim to showcase the power of numbers. The world we are living in today is, perhaps as never before, a world in which quantifications and metrics take on an imperative role. We live in a “world of numbers” (Diaz-Bone and Didier 2016), in a “world of indicators” (Rottenburg et al. 2015), and in a world, in which what counts in global and public health is “metrics” (Adams 2016). Accordingly, we may express ourselves or may be expressed through numbers. A number measures something or rather is a symbol and result of measuring something. It represents an amount and/or a quantity; it gives a picture of something and it clearly most often stands for something. I think we agree that no matter for what we may use a number, it will not have a deeper meaning unless you, or someone adds this meaning to it. Numbers have to be related to something or some-body, and whoever uses them has to have an understanding or the authority to interpret and analyze this number in order to make it useful in one way or the other. A number might be an abstract or empty entity for one person, while it may mean the world for another. […] The numbers we will come to meet in this chapter are not the numbers used to monitor or surveil a group of people (previous chapter). Instead we will look at numbers and the meaning ascribed to them for the life and the self-monitoring practices of the “everyday life worlds of ordinary people” (Diaz-Bone and Didier 2016: 6).” (pp. 149/150)

Link

Design Thinking and the New Spirit of Capitalism. Sociological Reflections on Innovation Culture.

Seitz, Tim (2020)

Cham: Springer Nature

“Chapter 4 “Design Thinking and the New Spirit of Capitalism”

In this chapter, the practices and promises of design thinking are discussed in the light of Boltanski/Chiapello’s “new spirit of capitalism.” I show how specific forms of criticism directed at a loss of authenticity and autonomy resonate in the self-descriptions and practices of design thinking. Consequently, the success and popularity of design thinking becomes understandable through its affinity to contemporary ideologies instead of an assumed conceptual superiority.”

Translation of Seitz, Tim (2017): Design Thinking und der neue Geist des Kapitalismus. Soziologische Betrachtungen einer Innovationskultur.

Bielefeld: Transcript.

 

Kontroversität und Wissenschaftlichkeit in Materialien und Vorgaben für die sozioökonomische Bildung (KoWiMa)

Reinhold Hedtke, Patrick Kahle, Henning Middelschulte, Detlef Sack with collaboration of Johanna Heimann (2019)

Düsseldorf: Forschungsinstitut für gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung

 

EINLEITUNG

“Inhalte der politisch-ökonomischen Bildung werden seit Jahren in Wissenschaft, Bildung und Öffentlichkeit kontrovers diskutiert (vgl. z. B. sowi-online 2001b; sowi-online 2001a; Weißeno 2006; Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2011). Die aktuelle Debatte geht von drei Annahmen aus. So steht erstens die Vermutung im Raum, dass die derzeit gebräuchlichen sozioökonomischen Lehr-Lern-Materialien wichtige aktuelle Entwicklungen (etwa Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise, Finanzialisierung, Austeritätspolitiken, Digitalisierung der Arbeitswelt, Transnationalisierung der Wertschöpfungskette, Vertiefung sozialer Ungleichheiten, gender pay gap und prekäre Beschäftigung, Europäische Integration und Freihandelsregime) nicht bzw. in unzureichender Weise thematisieren. Zweitens wird angenommen, dass die derzeit in der Schulnutzung befindlichen Lehr-Lern-Materialien dem Kontroversitätsgebot (vgl. Grammes 2014) in wissenschaftlicher und politischer Hinsicht oft nicht hinreichend entsprechen und dabei insbesondere einen ordo- oder neoliberalen Bias aufweisen. Dies gelte insbesondere für externe Unterrichtsmaterialien. Drittens verfehlten die Materialien oft den Anschluss an Entwicklungen des einschlägigen wissenschaftlichen State of the Art (etwa (post-)keynesianische, sozialökonomische, evolutionsökonomische, institutionalistische, konventionalistische oder komplexitätstheoretische Ansätze; vgl. dazu z. B. Colander et al. 2004; Ederer et al. 2012; Davis/Dolfsma 2015; Diaz-Bone 2015; Favereau 2013; Hanappi/Elsner 2008; Harcourt/Kriesler 2013; Hodgson et al. 1994; Whalen 2013; Wilson et al. 2013). Seltener als die Lehr-Lern-Materialien, unter denen wir hier zugelassene Schulbücher sowie Unterrichtsmaterialien externer Anbieter verstehen, geraten in dieser Debatte die staatlichen curricularen Vorgaben in die Kritik.” (p. 8)

Controversy and scientificity in materials and guidelines for socio-economic education.

INTRODUCTION

“Contents of political-economic education have been controversially discussed for years in science, education and the public (see z. e.g. sowi-online 2001b; sowi-online 2001a; Weißeno 2006; Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2011). The current debate is based on three assumptions. Firstly, there is the assumption that the socio-economic teaching-learning materials currently in use do not address important current developments (such as the economic and financial crisis, financialisation, austerity policies, digitalisation of the world of work, transnationalisation of the value chain, deepening social inequalities, gender pay gap and precarious employment, European integration and free trade regimes) or do so inadequately. Secondly, it is assumed that the teaching-learning materials currently in school use often do not sufficiently meet the controversy requirement (cf. Grammes 2014) in scientific and political terms and in particular exhibit an ordo- or neoliberal bias. This applies in particular to external teaching materials. Thirdly, the materials often fail to keep pace with developments in the relevant scientific state of the art (such as (post-)Keynesian, socioeconomic, evolutionary, institutionalist, conventionalist or complexity theory approaches; cf. see e.g. Colander et al. 2004; Ederer et al. 2012; Davis/Dolfsma 2015; Diaz-Bone 2015; Favereau 2013; Hanappi/Elsner 2008; Harcourt/Kriesler 2013; Hodgson et al. 1994; Whalen 2013; Wilson et al. 2013). Less frequently than the teaching-learning materials, by which we mean approved textbooks as well as teaching materials from external providers, the state curricular requirements are criticized in this debate.”

Download link

French sociological pragmatism: Inheritor and innovator in the American pragmatic and sociological phenomenological traditions

Frère, Bruno/Jaster, Daniel (2019)

Journal of Classical Sociology 19(2), pp. 138-160

“Philosophical pragmatism has seen a revival within the sociological discourse. We bring three strands of this approach into direct dialogue with one another. Anglophone and German scholars have brought pragmatists such as George Herbert Mead back to the forefront of our understandings of social action. In a parallel development, scholars such as Alfred Schütz incorporated Husserlian phenomenology with American pragmatism, reinforcing a specific micro-interactionist model. In Francophone sociology, Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot challenged the hegemonic structuralist approach in the 1980s by developing their own pragmatic framework. In this synthetic review, we illustrate why this recent French pragmatic sociology adds interesting cultural, sociological, and psychological dimensions to the American pragmatic and to phenomenological lineages. We then show how these innovations provide a richer understanding of the interaction between individuals and institutions and a way to understand something American pragmatists and phenomenological sociologists often struggle to engage with: social conflict.”

Coopetition in Projects in Cultural Industries. Conference Paper

Bérubé, Julie/Gauthier, Jacques-Bernard (2019)

Researchgate

This paper addresses the following question: what happens when people pool their resources in a project but also compete for market share? This question is at the heart of project management in the cultural industries. To be viable, these projects must find a compromise between competition and collaboration. To conceptualize this compromise, we used the theoretical framework On Justification by Boltanski and Thévenot (2006). These authors represented society with six independent worlds, and they explored compromises between the various worlds. We associate competition with the market world and collaboration with the civic world. Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) did not find a figure of compromise between these two worlds, but we suggest that coopetition is a viable form of compromise. We undertook 50 semi-structured interviews with professional visual artists to empirically support our assumptions that (1) coopetition is the answer to our initial question, and (2) it is the figure of compromise between the market and civic worlds. Our findings contribute to the literature on coopetition in project management by presenting three typical cases of coopetition in projects in cultural industries: artwork creation projects, art exhibition projects in private galleries, and art exhibition projects in cooperative galleries. We also contribute to the literature on Boltanski and Thévenot (2006) theoretical framework by exploring a new figure of compromise