Monetizing Amateurs. Artistic Critique, New Online Record Production and Neoliberal Conjuncture

Juho Tuomas Kaitajärvi-Tiekso (2020)

Culture Unbound, 12(2), pp. 412-435. Open Access.

Abstract. This article examines an emerging academic discourse of new online record production. It represents amateur musicians and producers – with access to new digital production and communication tools – as entrepreneurial, aspiring professionals. The article then connects the discourse with its political, economic, and social context – or the neoliberal conjuncture. From the critical standpoint of conjunctural analysis it takes note of the albeit uneven nature of this neoliberalisation when it comes to certain cultural formations such as the “underground”, “do-it-yourself” and “independent micro-label” music scenes, who are considered to be maintaining “the artistic critique of capitalism”, as outlined by Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello. While the latter suggest that this critique has been, for all intents and purposes, assimilated into capitalism; the case of underground and independent micro-label scenes would seem to repudiate the prevailing neoliberal notions of utilitarian music-making in the new online record production framework. This being said, the article does consider that it might be necessary to revise aspects of the artistic critique rehearsed in music scenes such as the aforementioned for it to remain relevant in the new digital communication environment.

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Kritik und Normativität in der (empirischen) Legitimitätsforschung

Christiane Barnickel (2020)

Politische Vierteljahresschrift. Online first, pp. 1-25. Open Access.

Zusammenfassung. Der Beitrag nimmt die seit längerer Zeit in der Legitimitätsforschung geführte Debatte um die als zu reduktionistisch empfundene, dichotome Unterscheidung zwischen normativen und empirischen Zugängen zum Ausgangspunkt, um aufzuzeigen, welche unterschiedlichen normativen Dimensionen auch der empirischen Legitimitätsforschung inhärent sind. Hierzu wird eine Systematisierung vorgeschlagen, die die Debattenstränge zu Normativität und Kritik sowie die bewertungssoziologische Unterscheidung zwischen Werten und Bewerten aufnimmt. Es wird argumentiert, dass durch diese Differenzierungen unterschiedliche Lagerungen der Legitimationsforschung, insbesondere der empirischen Legitimationsforschung, greifbar werden. Hierzu extrahiert der Beitrag zwei Leitunterscheidungen zwischen, erstens, Werten und Bewerten sowie, zweitens, danach, wer jeweils wertet und bewertet. Entlang dieser Achsen ordnet der Beitrag exemplarisch Zugriffe der bestehenden Legitimitäts- und Legitimationsforschung, auf der Basis wessen normativen Referenzrahmens ein Legitimitätsurteil gefällt wird und auf welcher Ebene Legitimität beurteilt wird, ein. So wird illustriert, dass Unterschiede in der normativen Lagerung anhand der Systematisierung klarer zutage treten und unterschiedliche Spielarten der Legitimationsforschung genauer verortet werden können als in bisherigen Systematisierungsversuchen. Dabei geht es dem Beitrag nicht darum, für ein bestimmtes Modell der Legitimitätsforschung zu plädieren. Vielmehr soll die Vielfalt des Umgangs mit der normativen Dimension – und damit auch der (sich ergänzenden) Varianten des Verständnisses von Legitimität – in der empirischen Forschung aufgefächert werden. So wird veranschaulicht, auf welchen Ebenen Kritik und Normativität jeweils verortet sind, um die Implikationen für eine (meta-)kritische Legitimitätsforschung zu diskutieren.

Auszug. “Sowohl für die Position, Aufgabe derWissenschaft sei zuvorderst die Rekonstruktion der gesellschaftlichen Kritik(en), als auch für die Auffassung, wissenschaftliche Kritik erschöpfe sich eben nicht in dem rekonstruktiven Moment, sondern habe eine eigenständige kritische Perspektive, finden sich Vertreter*innen. Für die erste Position kann exemplarisch der Kritikbegriff bei Luc Boltanski stehen (vgl. Vobruba 2013, S. 161–162; Dammayr et al. 2015, S. 13), dem es primär um das Herausarbeiten der kritischen Fähigkeiten der gesellschaftlichen Akteur*innen geht (vgl. Boltanski 2010, S. 48). Dieser „Soziologie der Kritik“ steht mit der „Kritischen Soziologie“ (Boltanski und Honneth 2009) eine zweite Perspektive entgegen (vgl. Vobruba 2013, S. 155–156, 161–162). Hier ist das kritische Moment anders gelagert: Aufgabe der Wissenschaft ist nicht die Rekonstruktion der in der Gesellschaft präsenten Kritik, sondern die Bewertung durch die Wissenschaft selbst (vgl. Bittner 2009, S. 139–140, 143). Dies kann – wie bei Horkheimer – mit einer emanzipatorischen Perspektive verknüpft sein (vgl. Horkheimer und Marcuse 1937, S. 6265). So wie die Bewertungssoziologie zwischen Praktiken des Bewertens und Wertens unterscheidet, so ist Kritik nicht auf den beurteilenden (bewertenden) Akt zu begrenzen (vgl. Allerkamp et al. 2015, S. 11). Vielmehr baut sie auf „Wissensformen“ (Allerkamp et al. 2015, S. 12), auf Wertungsordnungen, auf, die ein kritisches Urteil erst ermöglichen. Das Urteil selbst steht also in Verbindung zu normativen Wertungspositionen und ist auf seine normativen Grundlagen hin zu befragen. Bei Boltanski und Thévenot ist die Normativität in gesellschaftlichen Maßstäben (vgl. Boltanski und Thévenot 2014, S. 61), bezeichnet als „Rechtfertigungsordnung[ en]“ (Boltanski und Thévenot 2014, S. 108), situiert. Auf deren Basis wird Kritik – in Form von „Prüfungen“ (Boltanski 2010, S. 47, 155, 172) – formuliert.” (p. 7)

Critique and Normativity in (Empirical) Legitimacy Research

Abstract. This article takes the long-standing debate within legitimacy research about the dichotomic differentiation between normative and empirical approaches, which is perceived to be too reductionist, as a starting point to identify different normative dimensions inherent in empirical legitimacy research. For this purpose, a systematization is suggested that draws upon the discussion on normativity and critique as well as on the differentiation between valuation and evaluation as suggested by (sociological) valuation studies. It is argued that these distinctions help make different emphases in legitimation research more precise, particularly in empirical legitimation research. The article extracts two guiding differences between, first, valuation and evaluation and, second, between who valuates and evaluates. Along these axes, the text classifies approaches in legitimacy and legitimation research on the basis of whose normative frame of reference guides the judgment of legitimacy and at which level legitimacy is evaluated. This illustrates that the systematization suggested illuminates differences with respect to the normative dimension within legitimation research and helps to locate them properly. The article does not intend to advocate a specific approach to legitimation research. Rather, it aims to underline the plurality in dealing with the normative dimension—and thus (complementary) varieties of understandings of legitimacy—in empirical research. This demonstrates where critique and normativity are situated in order to discuss the implications for (meta)critical legitimacy research.

Extract. “There are representatives of both the position that the task of science is first and foremost the reconstruction of social critique(s) and the view that scientific critique is not limited to the reconstructive moment but has an independent critical perspective. Luc Boltanski’s concept of critique can serve as an example for the first position […] , which is primarily concerned with the elaboration of the critical abilities of social actors (cf. Boltanski 2010, p. 48). This « sociology of critique » is opposed by a second perspective, « critical sociology » (Boltanski and Honneth 2009) […]. Here the critical moment is differently situated: the task of science is not the reconstruction of the critique present in society, but the evaluation by science itself […]. This can be linked – as with Horkheimer – to an emancipatory perspective […]. Just as the sociology of evaluation distinguishes between practices of evaluating and valuing, critique is not to be limited to the judging (evaluating) act […]. Rather, it builds on « forms of knowledge » (Allerkamp et al. 2015, p. 12), on orders of value, which make critical judgment possible in the first place. Judgment itself is thus related to normative value positions and is to be questioned in terms of its normative foundations. For Boltanski and Thévenot, normativity is situated in social scales (cf. Boltanski and Thévenot 2014, p. 61), referred to as « justificatory order[s] » (Boltanski and Thévenot 2014, p. 108). On the basis of these, critique – in the form of « tests » (Boltanski 2010, pp. 47, 155, 172) – is formulated. » (p. 7)

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La sélection à l’embauche: des critères variables selon les emplois

Guillemette de Larquier & Emmanuelle Marchal (2020)

Connaissance de l’emploi, n°166

Résumé. Les employeurs manifestent une grande variété d’exigences à l’égard de la main-d’oeuvre qu’ils embauchent. Le langage des qualifications, pas plus que celui des compétences, ou encore la mention de savoir-être au côté des plus traditionnels savoirs et savoir-faire ne peuvent rendre compte de cette diversité. L’exploration de l’enquête Offre d’emploi et recrutement (Ofer), réalisée en 2016 par la Dares, donne l’opportunité de renouveler l’analyse de l’ensemble des critères de sélection auxquels s’intéressent les employeurs (8510 enquêtés) en partant de leurs déclarations spontanées. Ce numéro de Connaissance de l’emploi montre que leurs choix varient largement en fonction de la qualification de l’emploi à pourvoir et de ses conditions d’exercice.

Selection at the time of hiring: variable criteria depending on the job

Abstract (EC-Blog translation). Employers have a wide variety of requirements for the workforce they hire. The language of qualifications, or the language of skills, or the reference to soft skills alongside more traditional knowledge and know-how cannot capture this diversity. Exploring the Job Offer and Recruitment Survey (Ofer), conducted in 2016 by DARES, provides an opportunity to renew the analysis of all the selection criteria of interest to employers (8510 respondents) based on their spontaneous declarations. This issue of Connaissance de l’emploi shows that their choices vary widely depending on the qualification of the job to be filled and its conditions of employment.

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The Right-Wing Medievalist Who Refused the Loyalty Oath. On Ernst Kantorowicz, academic freedom, and “the secret university.”

Blog-report: Simon During

The Chronicle of Higher Education Research

“Traces of Kantorowicz are also to be found in more-recent academic thought, for instance in the influential “pragmatic sociology” of Luc Boltanski. Boltanski supposes that an existential “unease” is primary to people because the future is radically uncertain and the unexpected always awaits us. The management of this uncertainty requires institutions to establish “security” by providing routinizing rules, protocols, and discourses. Such security also calls upon critique, motivated by the will continually to test and strengthen social institutions. Just as Kantorowicz committed himself to tracing the conceptual duality of office, Boltanski regards institutions as simultaneously embodied and disembodied, agents in life as lived but also immortal, in the sense that their identity is separate from any material thing and they don’t die a natural death. Institutions, Boltanski says, following Kantorowicz, have “two bodies.” As far as I am aware, Boltanski has not addressed the concept of the dignity of office. But there is a strong sense in his work that to avoid the anxiety of contingency — what they used to call Fortuna — we need to think of ourselves as bearers of offices in organizations that were here before us and will be here after us.”

Academic Dishonesty: Fear and Justifications. Why Russian undergraduates cheat and how they rationalise it for themselves and others

Blog-report, Higher School of Economics, Moscow (2020)

“End-of-term exams have just finished in many universities operating on the modular system. Some students passed because they worked hard while others passed by cheating. Why do some students cheat by looking over someone’s shoulder, furtively searching for test answers on the internet, using cheat sheets during exams or paying others to complete their coursework? How do they rationalise their behaviour to continue to think of themselves as decent people? A study conducted by the HSE Centre for Sociology of Higher Education offers some answers. Spoiler alert: motives for academic dishonesty are extremely varied, ranging from a fear of failure to a deeply ingrained habit to perceiving the course as irrelevant or poorly delivered. A recent study by the Centre for Sociology of Higher Education of the HSE Institute of Education suggests that cheating students use various mental strategies to rationalise and justify their dishonesty, indicating their awareness that cheating is wrong and their attempts to resolve an internal conflict. […] Dremova, Maloshonok and Terentiev interviewed a number of undergraduates in Russia and the U.K. at both highly selective (two in each country) and medium-level universities (one in each, in different regions), most of them large and multidisciplinary ones. The students interviewed were predominantly economics and business undergraduates whom other studies found to be more prone to academic fraud. […] Cheating such as copying from other students’ papers was found in both countries. But the study did not involve a cross-country comparison, rather, its main purpose was to provide a generalised classification of reasons why undergraduates may either judge or justify cheating and to suggest appropriate measures against academic fraud for various national contexts. The researchers identified six main types of logic – or ‘modes’ – of dishonest conduct, based on Laurent Thévenot and Luc Boltanski’s sociology of critical capacity.”

Les statistiques des empires

Compter, classer, connaître et dominer

Journée d’études par visioconférence – Vendredi 18 décembre 2020, 9 h – 17 h 30

La journée vise à éclairer la fabrication, les usages et les finalités des statistiques des empires à travers des situations et des époques distinctes. Centrée sur les statistiques publiques, celles qui sont fabriquées par et pour des Autorités politiques, elle interroge plus particulièrement la relation entre statistiques et pouvoirs et entre statistiques et domination.

ORGANISATION : Emmanuelle Sibeud | université Paris 8, IDHE.S
Béatrice Touchelay | université de Lille, IRHiS

Cette journée d’études a pour objet l’étude des circulations d’idées et de pratiques statistiques dans et hors des empires, mais également la formation des statisticiens, de leurs relations avec les autorités territoriales, avec les colons et avec les populations locales. Il s’agit également de comprendre comment, en dénombrant, en classant, en normalisant les statistiques « officielles » créent du lien, intègrent, marginalisent ou excluent, et s’imposent parmi les attributs essentiels du pouvoir. Le cadre des empires paraît propice pour expliquer et analyser les effets de leur généralisation à l’échelle du monde depuis deux siècles.
Pourquoi les statistiques ont été imposées parmi les critères essentiels de la hiérarchie des nations et en quoi influencent-elles leur développement ? Comment les statistiques participent à la formation, à l’affirmation puis à la transformation (dislocation?) des empires ? Enfin, comment les statistiques accompagnent, préparent, soutiennent et s’adaptent aux transitions politiques et économiques contemporaines?

 

Roselyne Koren, Rhétorique et éthique. Du Jugement de valeur

Note de lecture de / Review by Jérôme Bourdon (2020)

Questions de communication, n° 37, pp. 450-452

Extrait. “Au fond, la position défendue est très proche de celle de certains sociologues, peut-être moins de l’individualisme méthodologique de R. Boudon (cité à plusieurs reprises) que de la « sociologie pragmatique de la critique » telle que l’analyse Luc Boltanski. Ainsi lorsque R. Koren écrit que « le système du langage n’est pas uniquement coercitif, [qu’]il comprend au contraire des mécanismes […] qui laissent une marge d’autonomie réelle au locuteur » (p. 21), son objet ressemble à celui de L. Boltanski étudiant la façon dont « des personnes se livrent à la critique, c’est-à-dire à des disputes » (De la critique. Précis de sociologie de l’émancipation, Paris, Gallimard, 2009, p. 47). Ici, un dialogue fécond aurait pu être noué, au-delà de quelques références à l’ouvrage de L. Boltanski et Laurent Thévenot (De la Justification. Les économies de la grandeur, Paris, Gallimard, 1991).”

Extract [EC-blog translation]. “Basically, the position defended is very close to that of certain sociologists, perhaps less to the methodological individualism of R. Boudon (cited several times) than to the « pragmatic sociology of criticism » as analyzed by Luc Boltanski. Thus, when R. Koren writes that « the language system is not only coercive, but on the contrary comprises mechanisms that leave a margin of real autonomy to the speaker » (p. 21), his object resembles that of L. Boltanski’s study of the way in which « people engage in criticism, that is to say, in disputes » (De la critique. Précis de sociologie de l’émancipation, Paris, Gallimard, 2009, p. 47). Here, a fruitful dialogue could have been established, beyond a few references to the work of L. Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot (De la Justification. Les économies de la grandeur, Paris, Gallimard, 1991).”

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Capitalismo flexível como proulsor da ideologia gerencialista. Um diálogo com Luc Boltanski, Even Chiapello, Vincent de Gaulejac e Richard Sennett

Catia Eli Gemelli (2020)

Farol – Revista de Estudos Organizacionais e Sociedade, 7(19), pp. 738-767

Resumo. A sociedade contemporânea é forjada na difusão da ideologia gerencialista e na disseminação dos preceitos empresariais como forma de organização da vida e do trabalho. De tal modo, os pressupostos do gerencialismo entrelaçam-se no tecido social como inerentes ao próprio viver. Fundamentando-se nos conceitos de Luc Boltanski, Ève Chiapello, Vincent de Gaulejac e Richard Sennett, este ensaio objetiva descortinar como as justificações para o engajamento no sistema econômico vigente deram origem a um aparato ideológico que naturaliza a adoção e a reprodução do discurso gerencialista. Aborda, ainda, como os fundamentos do modelo de capitalismo contemporâneo deram origem a um outro padrão de sociedade ocidental e noção de individualidade. Com a profusão do discurso gerencial, ocorre um processo de empresariamento da própria experiência humana, que se torna individualizada, meritocrática e produtivista.

Flexible capitalism as a driver of managerial ideology. A dialogue with Luc Boltanski, Even Chiapello, Vincent de Gaulejac and Richard Sennett

Abstract. Contemporary society is forged in the diffusion of managerial ideology and in the dissemination of business precepts as a way of organizing life and work. This way, the assumptions of managerialism are interwoven in the social fabric as inherent to living itself. Based on the concepts of Luc Boltanski, Ève Chiapello, Vincent de Gaulejac, and Richard Sennett, this essay aims to unveil how the justifications for the engagement in the current economic system gave rise to an ideological apparatus that naturalizes the adoption and reproduction of managerial discourse. It also addresses how the foundations of the contemporary model of capitalism gave rise to another pattern of Western society and notion of individuality. With the profusion of managerial discourse, there occurs a process of entrepreneurship of the human experience itself, which becomes individualized, meritocratic, and productivist.

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Qualitätskonventionen und Ernährungskommunikation. Konzepte und Perspektiven der Ökonomie der Konventionen

Rainer Diaz-Bone & Valeska Cappel (2020)

In: Godemann J., Bartelmeß T. (eds) Ernährungskommunikation. Springer VS, Wiesbaden.Springer VS. Living reference work entry. Online first

Zusammenfassung. In diesem Beitrag wird die Ökonomie der Konventionen auf Grundlagen, aber auch auf Spannungen und Kritiken in der Ernährungskommunikation angewendet. Ein Ausgangspunkt ist die Analyse von Produktqualitäten und Logiken der Produktion insbesondere im Bereich von Nahrungsmitteln. Aus Sicht der Ökonomie der Konventionen sind ‚Eigenschaften‘ von Nahrungsmitteln das Resultat von Koordinationsprozessen, in denen mit Bezug auf Qualitätskonventionen die Wertigkeiten, Qualitäten und Eigenschaften erst generiert und mobilisiert werden. Es wird davon ausgegangen, dass es eine Pluralität von Qualitätskonventionen gibt, daher sind die Widersprüche, Kritiken und Spannungen zwischen den Qualitätskonventionen als Koordinations- und Bewertungslogiken ein wichtiger Untersuchungsgegenstand.

Quality conventions and food communication. Concepts and perspectives of the economics of convention

Abstract. In this contribution, the economics of convention is applied to foundations, but also to tensions and criticisms in food communication. One starting point is the analysis of product qualities and logics of production, especially in the area of food. From the perspective of the economy of convention, the ‘characteristics’ of food are the result of coordination processes in which, with reference to quality conventions, the valences, qualities and characteristics are first generated and mobilized. It is assumed that there is a plurality of quality conventions, and therefore the contradictions, criticisms and tensions between the quality conventions as logics of coordination and evaluation are an important object of investigation.

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Multiplicity, hybridity and normativity: disputes about the UN convention against corruption in Germany

Max Lesch (2020)

International Relations. Online first

Abstract. In 2014, Germany became the 173rd state to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – after more than ten years of disputes in the German parliament. To make sense of the protracted debates about ratifying UNCAC, the article follows the recent introduction of Luc Boltanski’s pragmatic sociology to International Relations (IR). I argue that this approach opens new avenues for researching normativity in hybrid arrangements of multiple, overlapping orders of worth and through ongoing tests of the right evaluation of a situation. I show that the belayed ratification of UNCAC in Germany was the result of the hybridity inherent to norms against corruption. In the debates, members of the German parliament relied on competing normative inventories to translate the term ‘public official’ to the German context and to settle the meaning of corruption. This article contributes to IR norm research by unpacking normative multiplicity and contradictions that undergird international norms and disputes about them.

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Le recrutement des élèves en Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles scientifiques : entre maîtrise des incertitudes et impératif de survie sur un quasi-marché

Xavière Lanéelle, Pauline David, Yves Dutercq & Christophe Michaut (2020)

Revue française de socio-économie, n°25, pp. 199-219.

Résumé. Les classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles, filière sélective et élitiste de l’enseignement supérieur en France, font l’objet d’un quasi-marché, où se rencontrent l’offre des lycées qui en sont dotés et la demande des candidats, analysé ici sur la base d’entretiens, d’observations et de statistiques publiques. Ce quasi-marché, au financement public, est très concurrentiel, segmenté, au produit singulier. Dès lors, l’incertitude y est forte, ce qui implique des stratégies de recrutement complexes pour la réduire.

Extrait. “3.3. Un quasi-marché segmenté
Le quasi-marché des CPGE est également segmenté, la segmentation pouvant être considérée comme manière de le qualifier – cf. par exemple le marché du travail [Doeringer et Piore, 1970] –, mais aussi comme méthode de marketing le découpant en sous-ensembles distincts et homogènes appelés segments. Nous avons adopté comme critères de construction des segments d’une part les seuls premiers voeux, d’autre part la moyenne sur cinq ans 8 des reçus aux concours des très grandes écoles (TGE) au cours des cinq dernières années [L’Étudiant, 2018]. Si l’on adopte le cadre de l’économie des conventions, ces critères reposent sur des constructions conventionnelles de qualité, « cadre interprétatif mis au point et utilisés par des acteurs afin de procéder à l’évaluation des situations d’action » [Diaz-Bone et Thévenot, 2010, p. 5]. Ici, en ce qui concerne les premiers voeux, la convention est élaborée par les agents de l’État (ministère, rectorats, lycées) qui jugent de l’attractivité. Pour la liste des très grandes écoles (TGE), la convention est partagée par une revue spécialisée, les enseignants et les élèves.” (p. 205)

The recruitment of students in scientific preparatory classes for entry into France’s grandes écoles: Between mastering uncertainties and the need to survive in a quasi-market

Abstract. Preparatory classes for entry into grandes écoles, the selective and elitist sector of higher education in France, are part of a quasi-market where the supply provided by high schools and the demand of candidates meet. Using a qualitative survey based on semi-structured interviews, observations, and public statistics, this article reports on the recruitment process of this quasi-market, which is publicly funded, highly competitive, segmented, and where the product is singular and uncertainties are strong, thus requiring complex recruitment strategies to reduce them.”

Extract [EC-blog translation]. “3.3. A segmented quasi-market
The quasi-market for CPGEs is also segmented, and segmentation can be considered as a way of qualifying it – see, for example, the labor market [Doeringer and Piore, 1970] – but also as a marketing method that divides it into distinct and homogeneous subsets called segments. We have adopted as criteria for constructing segments, on the one hand, the only first wishes, and on the other hand, the five-year average of the number of students who have passed the competitive entrance exams of the TGEs (TGEs) over the last five years [L’Étudiant, 2018]. If we adopt the framework of the economics of convention, these criteria are based on quality conventional constructions, « an interpretative framework developed and used by actors in order to evaluate situations of action » [Diaz-Bone and Thévenot, 2010, p. 5]. Here, as far as the first wishes are concerned, the convention is drawn up by state agents (ministry, rectorates, high schools) who judge its attractiveness. For the list of very high schools (TGE), the convention is shared by a specialized journal, teachers and students ». (p. 205)

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A relational approach to heterodox versus orthodox positions in contemporary cultural policy debates

Mehdi Arfaoui (2020)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 7, n°151, pp. 1-11.

Abstract. This article examines the categories of orthodoxy and heterodoxy in regards to their use by many authors to position themselves within a research field. By doing so, it attempts to offer original methods for systematically addressing the morphology of a specific field of research. Particularly in economics, establishing one’s position in a field of research is often portrayed in terms of their alignment to orthodox or heterodox perspectives. However, this positioning within categories of “orthodoxy” or “heterodoxy” generally contain implicit political assumptions that are infrequently made explicit. The use of these categories typically implies dominant and dominated positions in a given research field, as well as suggests conformist versus nonconformist approaches to mainstream policy. Consequently, as these overburdened categories are rarely unpacked and explained by those who rely on them, delineating an orthodox versus heterodox viewpoint is nearly impossible. The hypothesis underlining this paper is that, more than the content of the academic production itself, belonging to the heterodoxy or the orthodoxy can be explained through the interpretation by the actors of their own position, as well as the type of relationship they cultivate in the field. The study is based on the exploration of more than 3000 pages of academic production on the topic of cultural policy, following an academic debate from 2000 onward between 11 different authors from various disciplines on the “creative industries turn of cultural policies”. After providing background on the case study as well as a presentation of the research sample and methodology, the paper explores whether a more granular interpretation of orthodox and heterodox positions in a research field can be described. Firstly, a discourse analysis will show how orthodox versus heterodox positions can be depicted through the subjective interpretations by authors of their own position in the field. In this debate, self-proclaimed heterodox-positioned authors tend to represent themselves as a minority in their research field, having difficulty accessing and influencing political decision-making processes. In contrast, orthodox-positioned authors tend to perceive their academic production as unpolitical and their analysis as objective and pragmatic in opposition to “militant” heterodox research. This first “subjective” analysis is followed by illustrating how this binary can be described “objectively” by systemizing citation links between the authors. The demonstration allows a clear segregation between orthodox and heterodox positions, but also displays significant variations in the relationship structure between both fields. The work concludes on the analytical possibilities brought by this relational approach. More importantly, this paper concludes that scientific dominance or political influence need not only to be explained as radical epistemological differences invoked by heterodox and orthodox positionality, but also by the interdependence of the authors belonging to these categories. Overall, this paper aims to draw attention to a potential research agenda that uses a more dynamic understanding and categorization of heterodoxy and orthodoxy.

Extract. “In mobilizing the notion of justification, I explicitly refer to the idea, developed by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot in De la justification (Boltanski and Thévenot, 2006), that the social order “stands” because of an imperative of justification “on which rests the possibility of coordination of human behavior”. In their work, Boltanski and Thévenot formalize systems of shared equivalences—which they call “grammars”—allowing the actors of the social world to find forms of agreement, whatever the situation. They thus developed a series of “cities” that can be described as grammatical sets, or conventions, recognizable by interacting individuals.” (note 1)

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Personal metrics: Users’ experiences and perceptions of self-tracking practices and data

Btihaj Ajana (2020)

Social Science Information. Online first

Abstract. Self-tracking is becoming a prominent and ubiquitous feature in contemporary practices of health and wellness management. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a rapid development in digital tracking devices, apps and platforms, together with the emergence of health movements such as the Quantified Self. As the world is becoming increasingly ruled by metrics and data, we are becoming ever more reliant on technologies of tracking and measurement to manage and evaluate various spheres of our lives including work, leisure, performance, and health. In this article, I begin by briefly outlining some of the key theoretical approaches that have been informing the scholarly debates on the rise of self-tracking. I then move on to discuss at length the findings of an international survey study I conducted with users of self-tracking technologies to discuss the ways in which they perceive and experience these practices, and the various rationales behind their adoption of self-tracking in the first place. The article also addresses participants’ attitudes towards issues of privacy and data sharing and protection. These attitudes seem to be dominated by a lack of concern regarding the use and sharing of self-tracking data with third parties. Some of the overarching sentiments vis-à-vis these issues can be roughly categorized according to feelings of ‘trust’ towards companies and how they handle data, a sense of ‘resignation’ in the face of what is perceived as an all-encompassing and ubiquitous data use, feelings of ‘self-insignificance’ which translates into the belief that one’s data is of no value to others, and the familiar expression of ‘the innocent have nothing to hide’. Overall, this article highlights the benefits and risks of self-tracking practices as experienced and articulated by the participants, while providing a critical reflection on the rise of personal metrics and the culture of measurement and quantification.

Extract. “In a sense, corporate wellness schemes can be regarded as an example of what Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello (2005) term the ‘new spirit’ of capitalism whereby labor and organizational culture start to take on new qualities and ethos rooted in concepts of engagement, meaningfulness of work, and opportunities for self-development at and through work. As Dominique Genelot (in Boltanski & Chiapello, 2005: 63) argues, organizations must now be ‘a site for creating meaning, for shared goals, where everyone can simultaneously develop their personal autonomy and contribute to the collective project’. So, in addition to their utilitarian aspect of cost reduction and increased productivity, corporate wellness schemes also appeal to the new spirit of capitalism in organizational culture which seek to give work a ‘more human orientation’ (Moore, 2018: 57) by providing employees with opportunities for self-improvement and instilling certain norms of health and team values. In doing so, these schemes also adhere to an ‘economy of convention’ (Boltanski & Thévenot, 2006; Diaz-Bone, 2018) in which the actors involved (employees, managers, team members, etc.) have to achieve a common goal by undertaking activities based on established beliefs (e.g. exercise is good; teamwork is good) and frames of action that are mediated through established metrics and tracking technologies.” (p. 14)

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Just Look at the Numbers: A Case Study on Quantification in Corporate Environmental Disclosures

Janne T. Järvinen, Matias Laine, Timo Hyvönen & Hannele Kantola (2020)

Journal of Business Ethics. Online first

Abstract. This paper sheds further light on the role of quantification in corporate environmental disclosures. Quantification is an inherently social practice, which has attracted a fair amount of academic interest in recent years. At the same time, in the field of social and environmental accounting there is a paucity of research on quantification or the role it plays for organisations, for organisational communication and in societies more broadly. Accordingly, in this paper, we will draw on a qualitative case study to discuss the potential implications that might arise from the use of quantified information in corporate environmental disclosures. Our case study illustrates the diverse effects of quantification suggested in the prior literature by placing them in the context of corporate environmental disclosures. We discuss how quantification implies fake precisionism and promotes commensuration of incomparables, thereby limiting the discussion to themes and questions preferred by company management. We maintain that quantification, while appearing to produce neutral and value-free information, has a substantive ethical dimension through how it implicates accountability relationships as well as the respective power relations between diverse stakeholders in societies.

Extract. « We argue that the quantified information appeared to be precise and persuasive, as such figures seemed to show how the organisation strived to improve its environmental performance. Prior studies suggest that numbers are often viewed as representing a self-evident reality (see Desrosières 2001), which the company here used to establish the authority of its message. Inside the company, the top management framed such quantified measures are realistic business objectives, stressing the reflexive nature of measurement. […] Despite its obvious usefulness for firms, the power of quantification does not come without related potential ethical questions and implications (Espeland and Stevens 2008). The numbers and quantified information facilitate particular ontologies, suggest specific rationalities and imply certain accountabilities. In the economic context, environmental issues are always value-laden, as they imply a need to take into account different points of view, to settle and balance different value positions, and eventually to decide between potentially incommensurable and incomparable alternatives (see Boltanski and Thévenot 2006). » (p. 12)

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Der „gute“ Lebensmittelmarkt. Raumwissen von Standortentwicklern und Betreibern von Supermärkten und Lebensmitteldiscountern

Angela Million (2020)

In: Baur N., Fülling J., Hering L., Kulke E. (eds) Waren – Wissen – Raum. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, Springer VS, pp. 291-330.

Zusammenfassung. Welche Wissensbestände und Vorstellungen werden von den Standortplanern und Betreibern von Lebensmittelmärkten in die Gestaltung von Lebensmittelmärkten eingebracht und mit den Kommunen (Verwaltung, Politik) verhandelt? Gegenstand dieses Beitrages sind die Dynamiken und Logiken von physischer Raumproduktion in Bezug auf Lebensmittelmärkte, insbesondere die Re-figuration von Mustermärkten oder Typenbauten im Lebensmitteleinzelhandel. Interviews mit Standortentwicklern, Expansionsleitern sowie Betreibern des Lebensmitteleinzelhandels werden für diesen Beitrag unter dem Aspekt des Raumwissens in einer Sekundäranalyse ausgewertet. Zudem werden diese gegenübergestellt mit aktuellen Entwicklungslinien in der Planung und Gestaltung von Lebensmittelmärkten. Fokussiert werden dabei die Planung und Gestaltung von Lebensmitteldiscountern und mittelgroßen Supermärkten, welche nicht nur gleiche gebäudemorphologische Eigenschaften haben, sondern als monofunktionale Stadtbausteine auch in ihrer Integration in das erweiterte Umfeld städtebaulich vergleichbare Auswirkungen haben. Im Gegensatz zu den 1990ern und 2000 Jahren werden bei heutigen Lebensmittelmärkten deutlicher als bisher durch die Einzelhandelsunternehmen die Vielfalt an möglichen Standorten von Lebensmittelmärkten und eine größere Bereitschaft für architektonische und städtebauliche Anpassungen an den Kontext kommuniziert. Es wird dennoch die Hypothese aufgestellt, dass die Re-Figuration der physischen Gestalt eines Lebensmittelmarktes vorwiegend lokal – in den Kommunen – verhandelt wird. Hier gibt es verschiedene Anlässe, Rahmenbedingungen und Treiber, die ggf. den Grad oder das Ausmaß der physischen Re-figuration beeinflussen.

Extract. “Von den befragten Standortentwicklern, Standortplanern und Architekten wird besonders herausgestellt, dass eine standardisierte Gestaltung bzw. die Umsetzung eines Typenbaus hilft, die Bau- und Planungskosten in sicherer Größe zu halten. Zudem wurde betont, dass Typenbauten durchaus vorteilhaft bei Unternehmensfusionen sind, ein Aspekt, welcher in der Fachliteratur bisher wenig thematisiert wird. Gleichzeitig wird auch imaginiert, dass dem Kunden mittels einheitlicher Gestaltung ein zumeist gleichbleibender qualitätvoller und erwartbarer Lebensmitteleinkauf geboten werden kann – dies entspricht den Qualitätsvorstellungen der ‚industriellen Konvention‘ in der wirtschaftssoziologischen Theorie der ‚Ökonomie der Konventionen‘ (Diaz-Bone, 2018, S. 146–164), welche aber eben nur eine von verschiedenen Konventionen ist und für v. a. massenindustrielle Produktion beschreibt (siehe Beitrag von Dombrowski in diesem Band). Es wird jedoch auch deutlich, dass Akteure persönliche Vorlieben und Vorstellungen von „guter“ und „angemessener“ Gestaltung einbringen und genauso ihre Vorstellungen haben von ihren Kunden, dem kommunalen Kontext und einer angemessenem Nahversorgung.” (p. 316)

The « good » food market. Spatial knowledge of location developers and operators of supermarkets and food discounters

Abstract. Which knowledge and ideas are brought into the design of food markets by developers and operators of food markets and negotiated with the municipalities (administration, politics)? This article deals with the dynamics and logics of physical space production in relation to food markets, in particular the re-figuration of store formats or prototype buildings in food retailing. Interviews with developers, expansion managers and operators of the food retailer will be evaluated in a secondary analysis under the aspect of spatial knowledge. In addition, these are compared with current lines of development in the planning and design of food markets. The focus is on the planning, design and implementation of medium-sized supermarkets and food discounters, which not only have the same building morphological characteristics, but as monofunctional buildings, they also have comparable effects in terms of their spatial and functional integration into the built environment. In contrast to the 1990 s and 2000 years, today’s food markets communicate more clearly than before the variety of possible locations of food markets and a greater willingness for architectural and urban planning adaptations to the context. Nevertheless, the hypothesis is put forward that the re-figuration of the physical design of a food market is predominantly negotiated locally – in the municipalities. Here there are various occasions, framework conditions and drivers that may influence the degree or extent of physical re-configuration.

Extract [EC-blog translation]. “Of the asked location developers, location planners and architects it is particularly emphasized that a standardized organization and/or the conversion of a type construction helps to hold the building and planning costs in safe size. In addition, it was emphasized that type constructions are definitely advantageous in company mergers, an aspect that has not been discussed much in the technical literature so far. At the same time, it is also imagined that the customer can be offered a uniform design that enables him to buy food of a generally constant quality and expectability – this corresponds to the quality concept of the ‘industrial convention’ in the economic sociological theory of the ‘economics of convention’ (Diaz-Bone, 2018, pp. 146-164), which is, however, only one of several conventions and describes above all mass industrial production (see Dombrowski’s contribution in this volume). However, it also becomes clear that actors bring in personal preferences and ideas of « good » and « appropriate » design and also have their own ideas about their customers, the municipal context and appropriate local supply.” (p. 316)

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