Archives de catégorie : Publications

E-Health and the Digitization of Health

Karolin Eva Kappler (2022)

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

In recent years, the digitization of health has spread widely and inspired an increasing number of publications based on Economics and Sociology of Conventions (EC/SC). Telemedicine, e-health, digital health, smart health, big data, and robotics are just some of the buzzwords and concepts under which this development is observed and discussed. The present article gives an overview of theoretical and empirical research about the role of digital technologies in health and the dynamics of datafication and valorization of health from an EC/SC perspective. EC/SC and its theoretical concepts – such as intermediaries, investment in form, and the statistical chain – provide a range of useful tools to study digital health technologies and practices. This pragmatic perspective focuses on situations and intersections of collective and individual logics of coordination, offering new insights into emerging and ongoing conflicts in the field of digitization and especially e-health. Further and enlarging the scope of research fields in EC/SC, health digitization enhances the visibility of regimes of engagement, by inducing a distancing from public justifications.
Studying complex material and immaterial arrangements in the digitization of health, EC/SC contributes to the ongoing discussions in related fields such as Science and Technology Studies, Critical Data Studies, or ethical discussions on e-health. Insights in EC/SC research may enlighten the elementary function of objects, technologies, and most importantly intermediaries in the context of e-health. As a practical consequence, research progresses in all fields and uncovers the fragmentation and unavailability of health for users, as well as health organizations, professionals, and decision-makers.

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Green Justification and Environmental Movements

Laura Centemeri (2022)

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

Abstract. This chapter discusses the contribution of the economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) to the study of environmental movements. The first section briefly reviews how EC/SC has contributed to a renewal in the study of collective action by relating it to processes of social construction of public problems. An examination of how actors succeed in turning their “private troubles” into “public issues” reveals that the observable diversity of environmental movements can be explained by the diversity of ways in which (1) material dependencies matter to people and (2) people try to have these concerns legitimized. As illustrated by the debates on “green justification,” some arguments on the value of the environment relativize the political weight of the notion of justifiable social order in favor of the notions of ecosystem and biosphere and consequently challenge the “grammar of justification.” Ecological arguments can also highlight the importance of “familiar attachments” as a specific source of emplaced valuations. In contrast to reductive frameworks (e.g., the NIMBY, “not in my backyard,” syndrome), EC/SC takes into account not only how actors try to manage orders of worth, interest-based valuations, and familiar attachments in arguments about the value of the environment but also how they succeed or fail in having them recognized as publicly relevant. The final section discusses how EC/SC enables comparative and historical analyses of environmental movements, conflicts, and controversies and how it helps to shed light on the transformation of critique in an increasingly interconnected but still diverse world.

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Socialism Order of Worth and Analytical Adequacy Axiom

Christian Schneijderberg (2022)

Human Studies, Online first. Open access

Abstract. Boltanski and Thévenot (On justification. Economies of worth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2006) constructed in their seminal work On Justification the Orders of Worth (OW) framework as a research program for further empirical and theoretical development. This article suggests two methodological additions to extend the analytical capacities of the OW framework: The Socialism OW and the analytical adequacy axiom. The polito-philosophical Socialism OW, which acknowledges ‘(collective) welfare’ as its mode of evaluation (worth) and the higher principle of ‘solidarity’ as its test, is rooted in the political philosophy of Rosanvallon (The society of equals, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2013). In addition to the systematic justification of the canonical text, this article also offers a tabular presentation for the construction of a new OW in relation to the axioms. In the article, first, the existing OW are put under scrutiny discussing the test category of solidarity, which was added and creates an analytic overload for the Civic OW. Second, analyzing the case of the German binary statutory health system, comprising of a private (first-class) and a public (second-class) healthcare, the capacities of the existing OW are discussed to identify a blank spot in the OW framework for empirical analysis. Accordingly, the descriptive analysis of the German binary health system is less about how the system is justified, and much more about understanding how given OW operate within it as coordinative devices. This systematic analysis of a situation of (temporary) agreements, especially of investments in forms, amends the OW use for empirical analysis of critique and justification in a situation.

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Exemplary Directors, European Imports, and the Changing Valuation of Films in Hollywood, 1961–1980

Erwin Dekker & Julien Gradoz (2022)

Cultural Sociology, Online first

Abstract. This article utilizes a novel empirical strategy, the study of exemplars, to investigate the transformation of quality conventions in the film industry during the 1960s and 1970s. Exemplars are films or directors which are used as a reference point (focal points) in the evaluation of other movies or directors. We use an original dataset of movie reviews to examine the changing quality conventions and demonstrate that during the investigated period, movies are increasingly treated as singular artistic products. This shift, around the rise of auteur theory and New Hollywood, has been analyzed by others but we provide a more fine-grained analysis of the transformation and are able to demonstrate the neglected importance of cultural trade: the import of European films. We provide evidence that these changes lead to a period of increased quality uncertainty, before a new quality regime becomes established. We explore how such qualitative changes in the market could impact industrial organization and product differentiation in the movie industry, and demonstrate how the analysis of such qualitative changes can complement existing quantitative studies of the movie industry and the determinants of film success, both economically and artistically.

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Reading cases of local quality of life assessment as incomplete and socio-politically contentious practices

Luigi Doria (2022)

Quality and Quantity, Online first

Abstract. Quality of life represents one of the most relevant and controversial issues in the contemporary socio-economic and political scene. This paper examines local quality of life projects from a peculiar viewpoint. It does not primarily focus on the methodological debates on measurement but concentrates instead on two macro-issues: the socio-political implications of the assessment of quality of life and the peculiar incompleteness and precariousness that characterize many calculative exercises in that field. The case analysed are anomalous in respect to mainstream scientific practices: in fact, they concern an international ranking of cities according to liveability and a project aimed at the participatory assessment of local well-being. These cases are examined through the lens of the sociological debates on the processes of qualification, with specific reference to the convention theory and the studies on the economy of qualities grounded in the actor-network theory. Reading the experiences from that theoretical perspective provides important indications on the relationships between forms of knowledge, agency and power, on the controversial impacts of market logics on the public sphere and on the risk of a calculative rationalization of local knowledge. Moreover, the paper demonstrates that such issues manifest themselves not only in the initial intentions and rationales of the projects but in what the latter become through the continuous transformation of their paths and the re-framing of their boundaries – a phenomenon that may be seen as linked to the peculiar “elusiveness” of quality of life as a calculable object.

Extract: “The attention will be concentrated, in particular, on two different strands of thoughts which deal with qualification practices: the convention theory (Boltanski and Thévenot 1991; Thévenot 2002a; 2015; 2019) and its contributions on the conventional qualification (and quantification) of social phenomena and the studies on the economy of qualities and on markets as calculative devices developed within the frame of the actor-network theory (Callon et al. 2002; Callon and Muniesa 2005).” (p. 6)

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Understanding Finance Through Convention Theory

Yamina Tadjeddine (2022)

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

Abstract. The use of conventions in finance stems from the uncertainty about the future state of the economy, companies, states, and markets. Under these conditions, economic theory would require everyone to resort to subjective probabilities and idiosyncratic anticipations. The presence of this uncertainty could discourage any market commitment. However, the observation of financial reality contradicts this theoretical vision of individuals calculating in isolation and the theoretical absence of trade in this informational context. This is because actors in financial markets mobilize conventions to escape individual uncertainty. Nothing in the financial markets is “natural”; therefore, the framework proposed by the economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) is particularly well adapted to reveal it and understand it. The main result of EC/SC or convention theory is to base the equilibrium price on collective constructions linked to individual and social interactions. It is possible to distinguish financial convention stemming from the theoretical Keynesian tradition to those more empirical with which aims to identify the social constructions. The first current has made it possible to theorize the origin of financial instability as the alternation of shared bullish and bearish beliefs. The second gives empirical legitimacy to the financial conventions: conventions devoted to evaluation and conventions for coordination. The mobilization of these two approaches allows a complete understanding of financial regulation: observation allows us to understand the origin of a convention, and modelling with the use of mimicry allows us to understand price dynamics.

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Convention Theory and the Governance of Global Value Chains

Stefano Ponte (2022)

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

Abstract. Convention theory has been a key analytical contributor to the understanding of global value chain governance, both through engagements with the original Boltanski and Thévenot’s realms of justification and with Eymard-Duvernay’s typologies of quality conventions. This chapter reveals the genesis of these contributions and adaptations as both convention theory and global value chain analysis developed in the past two to three decades. It also examines how convention theory has indirectly contributed to recent work on power in global value chains and provides some directions for a future research agenda.

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L’appariement par l’image Comment les applications mobiles géolocalisées déplacent le cadre des rencontres en ligne

Matching by image. How location-based mobile apps are shifting the online dating landscape

Emmanuel Kessous (2022)

In: Melchior Simioni & Philippe Steiner (eds.), Comment ça matche. Une sociologie de l’appariement. Paris: Presses de Science Po, pp. 139-167

Extrait : “Il est donc primordial d’en passer par une étude quasi ergonomique du design si l’on veut comprendre la manière dont l’action est orientée par les concepteurs. Une approche par les régimes d’engagement (Thévenot, 2006) permet de prendre en compte la cohérence de l’action et des objets qui la portent, sans en rester à une opposition binaire entre la rationalité (du marché) d’une part et les affects d’autre part. Il ne s’agit pas de choisir entre déterminisme social ou déterminisme technologique mais de reconnaître, ici, que les actions humaines, tout en étant libres, sont encadrées à la fois par les propriétés des objets et celles des personnes. Quelques caractéristiques doivent être soulignées dans cette perspective. Les sites de rencontre se développent à un moment où les rapports hommes/femmes sont redéfinis et où notre rapport au temps est accéléré. Ces dispositifs de rencontre renvoient à une forme de gouvernementalité des pratiques (Foucault, 2004) : les célibataires sont incités à prendre en main leur sexualité, comme ils doivent s’occuper de leur santé ou prendre en charge leur développement personnel. Les utilisateurs doivent également effectuer un travail de présentation de soi les conduisant à des matchs et à des interactions communicationnelles dans lesquelles ils explorent les possibilités avec d’éventuels prétendants. Des conventions émergent de l’usage des sites avec lesquelles les utilisateurs apprennent à se repérer.“ (p. 165)

Extract: “It is therefore essential to go through a quasi-ergonomic study of design if we want to understand the way in which action is oriented by designers. An approach based on the regimes of engagement (Thévenot, 2006) allows us to take into account the coherence of the action and the objects that carry it, without remaining in a binary opposition between rationality (of the market) on the one hand and affects on the other. It is not a question of choosing between social determinism or technological determinism, but of recognizing, here, that human actions, while being free, are framed by both the properties of objects and those of people. A few characteristics must be underlined in this perspective. Dating sites are developing at a time when male/female relationships are being redefined and our relationship to time is accelerating. These dating devices refer to a form of governmentality of practices (Foucault, 2004): singles are encouraged to take charge of their sexuality, just as they must take charge of their health or their personal development. Users are also required to perform a self-presentation task leading them to matches and communicative interactions in which they explore possibilities with potential suitors. Conventions emerge from the use of the sites with which users learn to navigate.”

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Conventions: Meanings and Applications of a Core Concept in Economics and Sociology of Conventions

Rainer Diaz-Bone & Guillemette de Larquier (2022)

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

Abstract. The notion of convention is a core notion of the interdisciplinary and international movement of economics and sociology of conventions (in short EC/SC). This chapter presents developments, models, and different notions of the name-giving concept of “convention.” EC/SC can be conceived as a complex pragmatist institutionalism, which explains coordination, evaluation, and interpretation in situations by referring to conventions. This way, conventions can be regarded as institutional logics for the valuation or valorization of goods, actions, and persons. An early application of EC/SC has been the sociology of quantification and categorization, where conventions are analyzed as the basis for measurement. EC/SC has built up its perspective on conventions on two foregoing notions, which were introduced by Keynes and Lewis. EC/SC assumes that real situations are governed by a plurality of coexisting conventions. Therefore, a set of models have been worked out, which systematize conventions as logics of evaluation, valuation, and interpretation. This chapter presents how EC/SC approaches the stability and dynamics of conventions and concludes by pointing to EC/SC as a contemporary reconciliation of pragmatism and structuralism.

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Une crise du consentement au travail

A crisis of consent to work

Olivier Favereau (2022)

Le Monde, 13/06/2022

Pour l’économiste, le désenchantement actuel est, en grande partie, dû à l’absence de participation des salariés aux décisions de l’entreprise

For the economist, the current disenchantment is largely due to the lack of employee participation in company decisions

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« Les commentaires en ligne sont une composante de la vie démocratique »

“Online comments are a component of democratic life”

Luc Boltanski et Arnaud Esquerre (5 juin 2022)

Les deux sociologues livrent, dans un entretien au « Monde », les conclusions de leur enquête sur les commentaires de l’actualité sur le Web, et en particulier ceux publiés sur

In an interview with “Le Monde”, the two social scientists present the conclusions of their study on news comments on the Web, and in particular those published on

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Les capacités des plateformes numériques comme maintien de l’équilibre conventionnel : les cas de Uber et Blablacar

The Capabilities of Digital Platforms as the Maintenance of Conventional Equilibrium: The Cases of Uber and Blablacar

Mathilde Abel (2022)

Innovations, Prepublishing, I-XXVIII

Résumé. Cet article analyse les capacités des plateformes numériques à travers l’approche de l’économie des conventions. Celle-ci nous permet, d’une part, d’envisager les marchés bifaces comme des conventions d’échange agencées par les plateformes via un processus de triangulation des échanges, et d’autre part, de définir leurs capacités comme étant cognitives et fondées sur des dispositifs sociotechniques. À partir de deux études de cas du secteur du transport de personnes, Uber et Blablacar, nous montrons que la recherche d’un niveau d’équilibre et d’un test de ce niveau constituent, conjointement, les conditions d’exploitation des marchés bifaces, et que la maîtrise organisationnelle de ces conditions qui forgent les capacités des plateformes numériques. Nous construisons une taxonomie des capacités et détaillons celles de ces deux organisations.

Abstract. This article analyses the capabilities of digital platforms from an economics of convention perspective. This approach allows us, on one hand, to consider two-sided markets as exchange conventions arranged by platforms through a triangulation process, and on the other hand, to define their capabilities as being cognitive and based on socio-technical devices. Based on two case studies from the passenger transport sector, Uber and Blablacar, we show that the search for a level of equilibrium and a test of this level constitute, jointly, the conditions for the exploitation of two-sided markets, and that the organizational control of these conditions forges the capabilities of digital platforms. We built a taxonomy of capabilities and detail the two organizations capabilities.

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Droit et régulation des activités économiques

Law and regulation of economic activities

Christian Bessy, Thierry Delpeuch, Jérôme Pélisse (dir.) (2022)

Paris: LGDJ

Résumé. La crise financière et économique mondiale de la fin des années 2000, tout comme la crise pandémique depuis 2020, posent avec acuité la question de la régulation des activités économiques. Une idée s’impose depuis selon laquelle seul le volontarisme politique, par l’intermédiaire de réformes juridiques permanentes ou temporaires, y mettrait fin. Le droit n’est pourtant pas extérieur à l’économie, comme cet ouvrage le prouve. Les contributions qu’il réunit éclairent les manières dont les activités économiques, et les organisations qui les portent, configurent tout autant le droit qu’elles sont configurées par les règles juridiques. S’appuyant sur des travaux sociologiques et des approches institutionnalistes en économie, qu’il fait dialoguer, ce livre rend compte du processus d’endogénéisation du droit dans les activités économiques.
Dans de telles dynamiques d’apprentissage, les intermédiaires du droit jouent un rôle-clé entre la légalité formelle et différents registres normatifs, en manipulant divers supports, dispositifs et équipements juridiques de l’action économique. Agrémentée d’une préface de Michel Coutu, de l’actualisation d’un des chapitres et d’une postface revenant sur dix années de recherche, cette réédition montre combien les questions abordées et les dialogues engagés sont toujours pertinents aujourd’hui pour étudier les interactions entre droit et organisations.”

Abstract. The global financial and economic crisis of the late 2000s, as well as the pandemic crisis since 2020, raise the question of the regulation of economic activities with acuity. An idea has since taken hold that only political voluntarism, through permanent or temporary legal reforms, would put an end to it. Yet law is not external to the economy, as this book proves. The contributions it brings together shed light on the ways in which economic activities, and the organizations that carry them, shape the law just as much as they are shaped by legal rules. Drawing on sociological work and institutionalist approaches in economics, which it brings together, this book gives an account of the process of endogenization of law in economic activities.
In such learning dynamics, legal intermediaries play a key role between formal legality and different normative registers, by manipulating various legal supports, devices and equipment for economic action. With a preface by Michel Coutu, an update of one of the chapters and an afterword looking back on ten years of research, this new edition shows how relevant the questions addressed and the dialogues engaged in are still today for the study of interactions between law and organizations.”

Contributors: Antoine Bernard de Raymond, Christian Bessy, Ulrik Brandes, Francis Chateauraynaud, Ève Chiapello, Thierry Delpeuch, Claude Didry, Lauren B. Edelman, Olivier Favereau, Thierry Kirat, Emmanuel Lazega, Marc Lenglet, Frédéric Marty, Karim Medjad, Sabine Montagne, Lise Mounier, Jérôme Pélisse, Robin Stryker, Mark C. Suchman, Alessandro Stanziani, Didier Torny, Margareta Vassileva, Caroline Vincensini.

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How Place Matters for Migrants’ Socio-Legal Experiences: Local Reasoning about the Law and the Importance of Becoming a “Moral Insider”

Noemi Casati & Silvia Pasquetti (2022)

Qualitative Sociology, 45, pp. 189-218

Abstract. In this article, we argue that migrants’ socio-legal experiences in the places where they settle are formed in interaction with how local residents morally reason about the law. Specifically, based on nine months of fieldwork in an impoverished Italian town, we argue that aligning with how local residents approach the law, including when they justify disobeying it, matters a great deal for migrants’ lives. Focusing on the workings of a reception center for asylum seekers, we first show how local residents regularly support various violations of the law by referring to alternative—and in their view higher—principles of justice. Migrants find themselves caught up in these local moral tensions, at times even becoming involved in illegal practices unbeknownst to them. We then show how migrants’ reactions to the marginality of the law in the town affect their access to local support. Those who align with local nonlegal moral norms obtain access to opportunities, while those who in similar situations invoke the primacy of legality tend to experience ostracization. By investigating the dynamic role of local moralities in situated interaction, this article contributes to both the sociology of morality and the sociology of migration. It shows how moral decision-making processes can and should be studied in their collective dimension, beyond individual-level experiments. Further, with its focus on processes of moral (mis)alignment, it allows us to grasp how place matters for migrants’ lives beyond overly general notions of ‘hostile’ versus ‘hospitable’ localities.

Extract: “Moral reasoning about the law should thus be analyzed as grounded both locally and situationally. As Boltanski (2012 [1990], 33) puts it, “we are in a position to understand the actions of persons when…we have grasped the constraints that they have had to take into account, in the situation in which they found themselves, to make their critiques or their judgments acceptable to others.” From this perspective, recognition of moral competence—and thus “insideness”—by local residents is particularly relevant for obtaining access to a variety of resources, from social support to employment opportunities in the town.” (p. 196)

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Comment on: On the role of data, statistics and decisions in a pandemic statistics for climate protection and health—dare (more) progress!

Walter J. Radermacher (2022)

AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis. Online first

Abstract. In the Corona pandemic, it became clear with burning clarity how much good quality statistics are needed, and at the same time how unsuccessful we are at providing such statistics despite the existing technical and methodological possibilities and diverse data sources. It is therefore more than overdue to get to the bottom of the causes of these issues and to learn from the findings. This defines a high aspiration, namely that firstly a diagnosis is carried out in which the causes of the deficiencies with their interactions are identified as broadly as possible. Secondly, such a broad diagnosis should result in a therapy that includes a coherent strategy that can be generalised, i.e. that goes beyond the Corona pandemic.

Extract: “As a prerequisite for promoting improved data practices, there needs to be a deeper and broader analysis and understanding of what role data plays in contemporary society (Beaulieu and Leonelli 2021; Diaz-Bone and Horvath 2021; Henneguelle and Jatteau 2021). In this context, it is by no means sufficient to devote attention to the technical processes, the economics of data or similar. Likewise, it is not enough to focus the ethical and legal questions on the protection of individual privacy. With a proliferation of data, new dynamics are triggered that lead to the replacement of the previous well-ordered (infra)structures of statistical production based in the public sector by other forms of (decentralised and individual) use and production of data. The statistical logic of the past two centuries is being replaced by a data logic. Even if this statement comes across as too pointed, it nevertheless leads to an examination of the risks contained in this trend and measures to counter them effectively (Radermacher 2021b, 2021c).” (p. 4)

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