Quando o público adentra o familiar: oscilações, ambivalências e inospitalidades nas representações do embrião humano

Luís Gouveia & Flávio Alves Martins (2020)

Terceiro Milênio: Revista Crítica de Sociologia e Política, 14(1), pp. 41-69

Resumo. A Procriação Medicamente Assistida (PMA), enquanto domínio de intervenção médica, permite a concretização do projeto parental fora do útero da progenitora, em contexto laboratorial. Na sua trajetória terapêutica, o casal é envolvido no discurso biomédico enquanto formato cognitivo e no conjunto de procedimentos e dispositivos técnicos que servem de suporte ao formato de envolvimento na intervenção clínica, estendendo-se a uma conceção do embrião enquanto recurso mobilizado para o fim último: a concretização da gravidez. Não obstante esse envolvimento em plano, enquanto formato de coordenação da ação, aquilo que é a trajetória terapêutica dos beneficiários é suscetível de se desenvolver em composição com outros formatos atuantes, em particular naquilo que são os vínculos emocionais, de caráter íntimo, que são passíveis de emergir na relação com os embriões. A par das oscilações nos significados atribuídos ao embrião, essas gramáticas mais íntimas são sujeitas a conflituar com as lógicas atuantes dos profissionais médicos, informadas por orientações normativas distintas. A partir de um conjunto de dados recolhidos no âmbito de uma pesquisa de investigação em torno dos significados plurais atribuídos ao embrião humano, pretende-se explorar o modo como essas oscilações nas representações se manifestam, mas igualmente como as tensões entre formatos de envolvimento com o embrião são suscetíveis de eclodir nas trajetórias dos beneficiários na relação com os profissionais de PMA, veiculando, nos juízos que constroem, experiências inóspitas (que eclipsam vínculos mais íntimos) decorrentes de dispositivos (técnicos e relacionais) que moldam o percurso terapêutico.

Extract. “É justamente essa pluralidade compósita dos significados atribuídos ao embrião, evidenciada mediante uma abordagem de cariz pragmático (BOLTANSKI & THÉVENOT, 2006 [1991]; THÉVENOT, 2006), que confere relevância analítica ao olhar sociológico sobre aquilo que os atores — nesse caso, os casais que recorrem à PMA — são capazes de expressar sobre as suas experiências ao longo da respectiva trajetória terapêutica. Acompanhando os seus juízos e lógicas atuantes, importa analisar essa problemática em torno do estatuto ontológico do embrião, explorando, por um lado, a pluralidade de significados e os momentos de oscilação nos significados atribuídos ao embrião, em função das deslocações no tempo e no espaço no decurso da trajetória terapêutica, e, por outro, perscrutando os momentos em que essas oscilações no estatuto atribuído ao embrião (em particular, as vinculações de caráter afetivo com o embrião) são suscetíveis de gerar tensões com os formatos de apropriação do embrião por parte dos profissionais médicos e de que forma essas tensões são ajuizadas e geridas em particular pelos casais que recorrem à PMA.” (p. 45)

When the public enters the familiar: oscillations, ambivalences and inhospitalities in the representations of the human embryo

Abstract. Medically Assisted Procreation (MAP) allows for the accomplishment of the parental project outside the mother’s womb, in a laboratory context. In their therapeutic trajectory, the couple becomes implicated in the biomedical discourse, as a cognitive format, and in the set of procedures and technical devices that support professional’s format of engagement during their clinical intervention, extending to a conception of the embryo as a resource mobilized for the ultimate purpose: the achievement of pregnancy. Despite this engagement in a plan as a format for coordinating action, the beneficiaries’ therapeutic trajectory is likely to develop through compositions with other acting formats, in particular, concerning the emotional bonds (of an intimate nature) that can emerge in the relationship with the embryos. Along with the fluctuations in the meanings attributed to the embryo, the presence of this more intimate grammar is likely to conflict with the acting logics of medical professionals, shaped by different normative orientations. Based on a set of data collected within an ongoing research project about the plural meanings attributed to the human embryo, the aim is to explore how these oscillations in representations are manifested, but also how the tensions between formats of engagement with the embryos are susceptible to occur in the patients’ trajectories along with the interaction with MAP professionals, expressing inhospitable experiences (eclipsing more personal attachments) resulting from devices (technical and relational) that shape their therapeutic path.

Extract. “It is precisely this composite plurality of meanings attributed to the embryo, evidenced through a pragmatic approach (BOLTANSKI & THÉVENOT, 2006 [1991]; THÉVENOT, 2006), that gives analytical relevance to the sociological look on what the actors – in this case, couples that resort to MAP – are able to express about their experiences along their therapeutic trajectory. Accompanying their active judgments and logics, it is important to analyze this problematic around the ontological status of the embryo, exploring, on the one hand, the plurality of meanings and moments of oscillation in the meanings attributed to the embryo, according to the displacements in time and space during the course of the therapeutic trajectory, and, on the other hand scrutinizing the moments in which these oscillations in the status attributed to the embryo (in particular, the bonds of an affective nature with the embryo) are likely to generate tensions with the formats of appropriation of the embryo by medical professionals and how these tensions are judged and managed in particular by couples resorting to MAP. ” (p. 45)

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Trapped in Reality: Justification and Capitalism in the Discourse of Reality TV Creators in Israel

Noah Lavie (2020)

Media Industries, 7(1), pp. 1-20

Abstract. This article examines the self-perception of Israel TV’s reality show creators as a case study of how cultural industry employees perceive and cope with their work. On the one hand, creators of reality TV in Israel operate in a competitive and precarious working environment, and on the other hand, their work is criticized as inferior and culturally corrupting. Using a combination of cultural industries approach, sociological concepts, and in-depth thematic analysis of interviews with leading creators of the genre, this study sheds light on the justifications they employ and the way they are trapped in a capitalist industry.

Extract. “Pragmatic Sociology: Studying the Cultural Industries’ Labor Force
In industrial and capitalist countries, the cultural industry workplace functions as an important and multifaceted arena for the tug of war between amassing capital (or enough to produce more cultural artifacts) and the desire for creativity and creative freedom.[47] The creative urge is fueled by a combination of motives: self-expression, pleasure, public recognition, and even arrogance.[48] Cultural industries thus constitute a complex and competitive work environment in which an array of pragmatist strategies are employed (see Note 47).
To investigate these strategies in a field where social agents—in our case, reality creators—must fight over their position in the field (see Note 29), let us look at the pragmatic sociology of Luc Boltanski.[49] According to Boltanski and Thévenot,[50] day-to-day interactions of individual social actors are governed by six regimes, or paradigms, of social justification. These social justifications are used by social agents in a versatile manner, depending on time and place. Boltanski and Thévenot (see Note 50) distinguish between the inspired world, a regime of justification that emphasizes creativity, uniqueness, and freedom combined with risk-taking; the domestic world, a regime of justification emphasizing hierarchy and self-worth that attributes great importance to social values and conventions; the world of fame, which emphasizes public opinion and uses social visibility as an index; the civic regime, where the value of the individual is determined by being part of a collective with an emphasis on the “greater good” of the group or society; the market regime, where actions are spurred by the desire of individuals to accumulate assets, accentuating competition and economic gain; and the industrial regime, which highlights professionalism, efficiency, and the ability to present a plan and achieve goals.
Applying Boltanski and Thévenot’s set of social justifications, we will analyze the discourse of the creators and evaluate our findings in the context of the cultural industries—in this case, the television industry. Such an approach will provide deeper insights into the day-to-day coping strategies of those who work in the industry.” (p. 5)

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Transformations de l’action publique et dynamiques institutionnelles : quels changements dans les comportements ?

Fiona Ottaviani (2021)

Actes sémiotiques, 124, pp. 1-7.

Extrait. “3.2. Vers une « vérité sociale »
Pour aborder la dynamique institutionnelle, Bessy (2002) met en avant la notion d’arrière-plan inspirée de l’approche searlienne. Nous reprenons ici le concept d’« arrière-plan » en lui donnant une dimension collective. La notion de « communautés interprétatives », empruntée à De Munck (1998), mais aussi à Fish (1980), nous apparaît comme une manière fructueuse de penser le caractère social de ces capacités d’arrière-plan. Nous postulons que c’est l’existence d’interactions critiques qui rend possible la modification de l’« arrière-plan collectif » (ibid.) expliquant les différences potentielles de valeurs et de compétences entre les personnes. Conscient de l’intérêt de cette notion d’arrière-plan, De Munck (1998, p. 180), lorsqu’il pointe les deux présupposés problématiques de la théorie de Searle (à savoir l’intentionalisme et le mentalisme), propose de substituer l’intentionnalisme par un « pragmatisme interactionniste ». Pour De Munck (1998, p. 184), les « conventions intersubjectives qui sont véritablement constituantes de la signification […] ne dépendent pas de l’intention du locuteur, mais de l’histoire de la communauté interprétative ». La position de De Munck permet ainsi de placer au centre de la signification l’interaction sociale (1998, p. 187).” (p. 5)

Transformations of public action and institutional dynamics: what changes in behavior?

Extract. “3.2. Towards a « social truth »
To address the institutional dynamics, Bessy (2002) highlights the notion of background inspired by the Searlian approach. Here we take up the concept of « background » again, giving it a collective dimension. The notion of « interpretative communities », borrowed from De Munck (1998), but also from Fish (1980), seems to us to be a fruitful way of thinking about the social character of these background capacities. We postulate that it is the existence of critical interactions that makes it possible to modify the « collective background » (ibid.) explaining potential differences in values and skills between individuals. Recognizing the value of this notion of background, De Munck (1998, p. 180), in pointing to the two problematic assumptions of Searle’s theory (i.e., intentionalism and mentalism), suggests replacing intentionalism with « interactionist pragmatism. De Munck (1998: 184) argues that « the intersub-objective conventions that are truly constitutive of meaning … do not depend on the intention of the speaker, but on the history of the interpretive community. De Munck’s position thus makes it possible to place social interaction at the center of meaning (1998, p. 187) ». (p. 5)

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Introduction: Critical studies of digital education platforms

Mathias Decuypere, Emiliano Grimaldi & Paolo Landri (2021)

Critical Studies in Education 62(1), pp. 1-16.

Extract. “Investments in forms
Fourth, and as an overarching feature encompassing the previous three, it can be generally argued that digital platforms ‘consider a broad range of phenomena that structure attention, shape decision making and guide cognition’ (Bowker et al., 2019: p. 1). However, such phenomena are not naturally there, but need a significant amount of investment in order to work. Importantly, ‘investment’ should not be understood here as (only) referring to a dedicated economic activity. Instead, and following a line of thought initiated by Laurent Thévenot, Bowker et al. understand investment as investment in forms; that is, investment in dedicated ways in which the world is made dividable, intelligible, knowledgeable and actionable. Put differently, investments in form not only organize thinking and thought; they equally ‘direct action across multiple settings and multiple temporal scales’ (Bowker et al., 2019 :1 – our emphasis; cf. Thévenot, 2009). Transferring these insights to the field of education, we argue that digital education platforms are increasingly investing in new unique and dedicated digital educational forms: they make educational practices dividable, intelligible, knowledgeable and actionable, and they do so through the deployment and inauguration of concepts, classifications, categorizations, commensurations, and evaluations (ibid.). Furthermore, they do so in ways that direct thought and action in highly specific and differentially enacted forms of educational spaces and educational times, by attempting to make these newly emerging forms as solid and as durable as possible (Decuypere & Vanden Broeck, 2020; Thévenot, 1984, p. 2009). They have specific norms, values, ideologies, instructional models, ideas about learning, and good pedagogy inscribed in their architectural, intermediary and organizational design (Decuypere, 2019b; Kelkar, 2018; Van Dijck et al., 2018).” (p. 7)

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La mise en œuvre d’une numérisation impensée dans des services d’intérêt général

Périne Brotcorne, Carole Bonnetier & Patricia Vendramin (2021)

SociologieS. Online

Résumé. L’article analyse l’influence des processus de numérisation de trois fournisseurs de services d’intérêt général en Belgique sur le façonnage d’une offre de services numériques plus ou moins inclusive. En prenant appui sur le modèle théorique des économies de la grandeur (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991) et sur une méthodologie d’études de cas, son objectif est double. Il vise, d’abord, à saisir les formes de coordination qui s’établissent entre plusieurs principes normatifs présidant à la numérisation des services : celui de l’intérêt général qui caractérise les missions de services étudiées et ceux d’ordres marchand et industriel qui sous-tendent les justifications en faveur de leur dématérialisation. Il vise, ensuite, à comprendre l’impact de ces arrangements sur les conceptions de l’inclusion numérique et les actions déployées au sein de ces organismes.

The implementation of an unthought digitalisation of services of general interest

Abstract. The article analyses the digitalisation processes of three public interest providers in Belgium and its influence on the shaping of digital services, in a more or less inclusive way. It is based on the Economies of Worth theoretical model (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991) and a case study methodology. It has a twofold objective. First, it aims at grasping the coordination forms that are established between diverse normative principles governing the digitalisation of services: the one of general interest that characterises the key tasks of the services under consideration and those of the commercial and industrial logics that inspire the justifications for their digitalisation. It then aims at understanding the impact of these arrangements on the understandings of digital inclusion and the actions implemented within these organisations.

 

Haïti: de la domination simple à la domination complexe

Walner Osna (2021)

Histoire Engagee. Online.

Résumé. Cet article analyse la critique (contestation de l’État) et la domination en Haïti à la lumière de la pensée de Luc Boltanski en considérant deux régimes politiques différents. D’une part, nous montrerons qu’une critique radicale du régime de Jean Pierre Boyer (1818-1843) a existé et qu’elle a pris la forme de mouvements armés. Ne laissant pas de place à cette critique de s’exprimer, le régime de Boyer a établi une domination simple. D’autre part, la critique a évolué (s’est transformée) en critique réformiste. Celle-ci a fait face à une domination complexe sous le régime de Michel Joseph Martelly (2011-2016), notamment parce que ce dernier a essayé d’incorporer la critique en adaptant son régime au contexte national et international post-1986.

Haiti: from simple to complex domination

Abstract. This article analyzes the critique (contestation of the state) and domination in Haiti in the light of Luc Boltanski’s thinking by considering two different political regimes. On the one hand, we will show that a radical critique of the regime of Jean Pierre Boyer (1818-1843) existed and that it took the form of armed movements. Leaving no room for this criticism to be expressed, Boyer’s regime established simple domination. On the other hand, criticism evolved (became) reformist criticism. The latter faced a complex domination under the regime of Michel Joseph Martelly (2011-2016), in particular because the latter tried to incorporate criticism by adapting his regime to the post-1986 national and international context.

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El giro pragmático en la sociología. De las sociologías americanas a la perspectiva político-moral de Boltanski

Gabriel Nardacchione (2021). In: Revista Española de Sociología, 30(1), pp. 1-14.

Resumen. Este artículo busca definir los perfiles del enfoque político-moral, de la llamada sociología pragmática, que en Francia co-fundó Boltanski. Articularemos sus principales argumentos con algunas tradiciones pragmáticas de las que resulta heredera. La hipótesis del artículo es que este enfoque siguió el dictatum de un giro pragmático del lenguaje, que tuvo efectos sobre el interaccionismo simbólico, la etnometodología y hasta sobre la teoría de la acción comunicativa. En este sentido, el artículo destaca cincos aspectos de continuidad entre dichas perspectivas: i) el problema de la definición de una acción situada, ii) la influencia del carácter ordinario de las acciones, iii) el cumplimiento de reglas prácticas, iv) la incorporación del problema moral en un sentido práctico, y v) una articulación entre coherencia del lenguaje y consistencia con un mundo material.

The pragmatic turn in sociology. From the American sociologies to the political-moral perspective of Boltanski

Abstract. His article seeks to define the profiles of the political-moral approach, of the so-called pragmatic sociology, which in France was co-founded by Boltanski. We will articulate its main arguments with some pragmatics traditions of which it is heir. The article’s hypothesis is that this approach followed the dictatum of a pragmatic turn of language, which had effects on symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology and even on the theory of communicative action. In this sense, the article highlights five aspects of  continuity between these perspectives: i) the problem of defining a situated action, ii) the influence of the ordinary nature of the actions, iii) the compliance with practical rules, iv) the incorporation of the moral problem in a practical sense, and v) an articulation between coherence of language and consistency with a material world.

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Quantitative Marbling. New Conceptual Tools for the Socio-history of Quantification

Emmanuel Didier (2021)

Anton Wilhelm Amo Lectures no 7, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Press

Abstract. Socio-history of quantification is not a simple sub-domain of Science and Technology Studies. On the contrary, it can provide tools for investigating a wide range of social situations from a new and interesting perspective. We begin by providing a new definition of quantification. Next we consider the way numbers permeate society to its very core, forming rich veins of data for social science research. From this process, referred to here as “quantitative marbling,” three distinct categories emerge: data veins produced by governments, those produced by social activists (often contesting the former), and lastly, those produced by non-governmental global networks. We conclude by suggesting that social processes aiming to free certain social aggregates of quantitative analysis are also worthy of attention.

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Decision-making, now in 3D: Exploring three dimensions of decision-making processes and their consequences for biodiversity research

Yann Laurans, Xavier Leflaive & Aleksandar Rankovic (2020)

Environmental Science and Policy, 113, pp. 31-38.

Abstract. Science and knowledge are called to participate in the institutional, political and behavioral changes that are necessary to address biodiversity loss. Knowledge however does not possess direct performative powers, and the relationships between knowledge production and use are complex, as has been documented for multiple issues and by different fields of research. This paper proposes to unpack three dimensions of “decision-making”. By taking the field of ecosystem service assessment and valuation as its main example, the paper discusses and illustrates how this unpacking can help researchers situate themselves in the diversity of decision-making contexts that can exist, and how this can influence the contributions they can make to try and solve biodiversity issues they are involved in. After describing some key characteristics of the “rationalist” vision of decision, it suggests that looking at the temporal continuity of decision-making processes (e.g., a one-time moment versus a continuous and diffuse process), the degree of conflict in a process, and the range of actors involved and their modes of interaction, widely expands the variety of ways that ecosystem service assessment and valuation can be involved in decision-making. The paper uses three case studies to illustrate this variety, and discusses some implications for researchers, both in terms of acknowledging their situatedness and of future research prospects.

Extract. “It is only in the second half of the last decade that the question of how ecosystem service assessment and valuation are actually used in real-life decision-making has progressively been empirically studied, in various environmental contexts (Guerry et al., 2015; Kilham and Reinecke, 2015; Lautenbach et al., 2015; McKenzie et al., 2014; Ruckelshaus et al., 2015) or more specifically for tropical coastal management contexts (Laurans et al., 2013; Marre et al., 2015, 2016; Waite et al., 2015). This – rather new – research field is congruent with mounting evidence that ecosystem services assessments and valuations are not commonly used as assumed by textbooks and mainstream theoretical frameworks (Laurans et al., 2013b). It is also congruent with the diverse body of work mentioned above, and reflects the results of diverse works rooted in sociology and economics, especially convention theory, that shows how groups use varied tests and proofs in their disputes, putting the question of modes of commensurability at the centre of their observation (Boltanski and Thévenot, 1991; Centemeri, 2015; Fourcade, 2011; Hertin et al., 2009). […]  Conventions that frame a particular decision (or account of a decision) can be challenged from another perspective, which embodies a competing convention. There is no rational way competition or tensions across conventions can be addressed and mitigated (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2007; Boltanski and Thévenot, 1991). In that context, knowledge and science can be used to fuel the critique of a prevailing convention. A requisite is to demonstrate the very possibility of a critique and alternative worldviews. In such contexts, information does not focus so much on facts, but on the assumptions that frame the narratives used to account for facts. Literary critique can be a resource.” (p. 32/38)

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Sewage systems, treatment plants, ‘blue–green solutions’: The role of professionals in the historical justifications and planning of urban wastewater infrastructures

Marie Leth Meilvang (2021)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 8(1), pp. 59-80.

Abstract. This article analyses three key moments in the historical development of urban wastewater infrastructure and points to the important role that professionals, and particularly engineers, play in these transformations in relation to public issues and concerns over wastewater. The article uses historical documents and interview data to illustrate the work of professionals, as well as suggesting more specifically that professionals have the capacity to translate public concerns into material solutions—in this case, infrastructures. By combining and developing Laurent Thévenot’s pragmatic sociology and Andrew Abbott’s sociology of professions to understand the historic role of professionals in urban wastewater planning, the article reveals a growing concern with ‘green’ justifications in this area, and how these justifications both enable and constrain professional work on specific infrastructures.

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Power as a cultural phenomenon

Paul Blokker, Ulrike M. Vieten & Veikko Eranti (2021)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 8(1), pp. 1-6.

Extract. “Analysis in political- and cultural-sociological terms requests the engagement with complexity and the application of methods and methodologies that help conceptualising and analysing the clashes, conflicts, as well as affinities between different political projects, and the way these are understood and acted upon in society. In other words, how do ordinary actors – citizens, professionals, migrants – make sense of distinctive forms of politics and how to they engage with these? Approaches that stress forms of meaning-making and ordinary actors’ critical engagement with the world, featuring in some of the contributions in this issue, include Jeffrey Alexander’s strong program in cultural sociology as well as Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s pragmatic sociology. Both approaches offer, in different ways, concepts and tools to study the pluralistic nature of political life and the contrasting forms of meaning-giving involved.” (p. 4)

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Prácticas de distinción, justificación y reproducción de la elite: evidencia de los ámbitos financiero y tributario en Chile

Jorge Atria Curi & Javier Hernández Aracena (2020)

Revista Española De Sociología, 29(3), pp. 543-559.

Resumen. Este artículo aborda los fenómenos de construcción y persistencia de las elites desde una perspectiva de prácticas sociales, enfocándose específicamente en los procesos de distinción, justificación y reproducción. Con base en 53 entrevistas en profundidad a miembros de la elite económica en Santiago de Chile, se analizan distintas prácticas simbólicas, relacionales e institucionales asociadas a este grupo, favoreciendo la conservación de posiciones, privilegios y centralidad en el contexto de profundas transformaciones sociales y económicas en el país. Partiendo de estos hallazgos, el desarrollo económico chileno se muestra impulsado por prácticas apoyadas en procesos adscriptivos y no meritocráticos de asignación de posiciones y recursos.

Practices of distinction, justification and reproduction of the elite: evidence from the financial and taxation spheres in Chile

Abstract. This article aims at understanding the issue of elite construction and persistence, focusing on processes of distinction, justification and reproduction, adopting a social practices’ perspective. Based on 53 in-depth interviews with members of the economic elite in Santiago de Chile, this paper describes and analyzes relational and institutional practices displayed by members of the elite, which allow them to preserve their positions, privilege, and centrality, despite the deep and steady transformations that Chilean society and economy have experienced recently. In Chile, economic institutions and dynamics show the persistence of ascriptive logics rather than meritocratic ones at the time of distributing valuable resources and positions.

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Lebendige Produkte. Obst und Gemüse als gestaltete Dinge

Johanna Kleinert, (2020)

Bielefeld: Transkript. PhD thesis, Technical University of Munich.

Über dieses Buch. Nicht nur Dinge des täglichen Gebrauchs, Gebäude oder Kampagnen werden designt – auch Obst und Gemüse unterliegen mittlerweile einer immer ausgefeilteren aktiven Gestaltung. Als erste designwissenschaftliche Untersuchung zur Gestaltung von gewachsenen Lebensmitteln analysiert Johanna Kleinert das Handeln der am Produktionsprozess beteiligten Akteur*innen im Hinblick auf die Bedingungen und Zielsetzungen dieser Art des Food-Designs: Welche Vorstellungen von Produktqualität dominieren die Herstellung? Und wie bedingt die Lebendigkeit der gestalteten Dinge den Gestaltungsprozess selbst? Mit diesen Perspektiven regt sie dazu an, die Werte und Ziele, die Grundlage der Gestaltung unserer pflanzlichen Lebensmittel sind, offen zu legen und neu zu verhandeln.

Auszug. “Die Konventionentheorie
Die Konventionentheorie, auch bekannt als Économie des conventions (EC), ist ein einf lussreiches Forschungsfeld in den interdisziplinären französischen Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften. Entwickelt wurde die Konventionentheorie in den 80er und 90er Jahren am Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE) in Paris. Das Forschungsfeld der EC ist von besonderer Interdisziplinarität gekennzeichnet – wichtige Beiträge stammen unter anderem von Ökonomen, Historikerinnen, Statistikern und Soziologinnen. Einflussreiche Figuren waren in der Anfangszeit Alain Desrosières, Laurent Thévenot und Robert Salais […] Produktqualität Meine Verwendung des Begriffes „Produktqualität“ folgt dem oben beschriebenen Verständnis von Qualität auf der Basis der Konventionentheorie. Einige Aspekte dieses Verständnisses sind für meine Arbeit besonders hilfreich: Zum einen betont dieses Begriffsverständnis, dass Vorstellungen von Qualität nicht objektiv und absolut sind. Sie verändern sich und sie folgen dem gesellschaftlichen Wandel; zudem gibt es eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen und gleichermaßen gültigen Vorstellungen von Qualität. Zum anderen wird mit diesem Verständnis deutlich, dass Qualität nicht plötzlich und zufällig entsteht, sondern dass sie im gesamten Produktionsprozess in vielen einzelnen Schritten hervorgebracht wird. Des weiteren unterstreicht diese Auffassung des Begriffs, dass die Vorstellungen von Qualität den Produktionsprozess formen und damit weitreichende Konsequenzen für die materiellen Eigenschaften der Produkte haben. In der vorliegenden Arbeit erlaubt mir dieses Verständnis von Produktqualität, nach den menschlichen Intentionen und Zielen zu fragen, die der Gestaltung von Obst und Gemüse zugrunde liegen: Was macht ein gutes Produkt aus? Gleichzeitig lenkt das erläuterte Konzept von Qualität den Blick auch auf die Praktiken der alltäglichen Überprüfung dessen, ob und inwiefern ein bestimmtes Produkt den Qualitätsvorstellungen der verschiedenen Akteure entspricht.” (pp. 183/190-191)

Living products. Fruits and vegetables as designed things

About the book. Not only things of daily use, buildings or campaigns are designed – also fruits and vegetables are meanwhile subject to an increasingly sophisticated active design. As the first design-scientific study on the design of grown food, Johanna Kleinert analyzes the actions of the actors involved in the production process with regard to the conditions and objectives of this kind of food design: Which ideas of product quality dominate the production? And how does the liveliness of the designed things condition the design process itself? With these perspectives, it encourages us to reveal and renegotiate the values and goals that are the basis of the design of our plant-based foods.

EXTRACT
« Convention Theory.

Convention theory, also known as Économie des conventions (EC), is an influential field of research in the interdisciplinary French social and economic sciences. Convention theory was developed in the 1980s and 1990s at the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE) in Paris. The EC research field is characterized by particular interdisciplinarity – important contributions come from economists, historians, statisticians, and sociologists, among others. Influential figures in the early days were Alain Desrosières, Laurent Thévenot, and Robert Salais […] Product Quality My use of the term « product quality » follows the understanding of quality based on convention theory described above. Some aspects of this understanding are particularly helpful for my work: First, this understanding of the term emphasizes that notions of quality are not objective and absolute. They change and follow social change; moreover, there is a multitude of different and equally valid notions of quality. On the other hand, this understanding makes it clear that quality does not arise suddenly and by chance, but that it is produced in many individual steps throughout the entire production process. Furthermore, this understanding of the term emphasizes that the ideas of quality shape the production process and thus have far-reaching consequences for the material properties of the products. In this paper, this understanding of product quality allows me to ask about the human intentions and goals that underlie the design of fruits and vegetables: What makes a good product? At the same time, the explained concept of quality also directs attention to the practices of everyday verification of whether and to what extent a particular product meets the quality expectations of the various actors. » (pp. 183/190-191)

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Comunas, comunicación y políticas públicas: la gobernanza del agua en la ruralidad costera ecuatoriana

Manuel Mera, Amarilis Lainez, Lenin Mera & Gisella Ibáñez (2021)

Revista Ibérica de Sistemas e Tecnologias de Informação, 40, pp. 397-409. Open access

Resumen. El funcionamiento de ecosistemas naturales generalmente situados en territorios rurales contrasta con los niveles de pobreza y exclusión que suelen afectar a su población, que en su relación con actores externos se exponen adicionalmente a tensiones asociadas con el manejo de recursos esenciales para su existencia. El agua es uno de los recursos de uso común de múltiples usos y con significados vinculados a casi todas las dimensiones de la vida. En este contexto, se analiza el proceso de gobernanza del agua en el territorio comunal de Santa Elena (Ecuador), articulando las perspectivas teóricas de los bienes comunes y las convenciones, y enfatizando en algunas de sus principales dinámicas comunicacionales. Se muestra que el uso de determinadas instituciones de acción colectiva conlleva también la activación de diferentes discursos y principios de justificación de los actores comunales que participan en espacios vinculados a la política pública estatal relacionada con la gestión del agua.

Communes, communication and public policies: water governance in Ecuador’s rural coastal areas

Abstract. The performance of natural ecosystems generally located in rural territories contrasts with the levels of poverty and exclusion that tend to affect their population, which in their relationship with external actors are additionally exposed to tensions associated with the management of essential resources for their existence. Water is one of the resources of common use of multiple uses and with meanings linked to almost all dimensions of life. In this context, the process of water governance in the communal territory of Santa Elena (Ecuador) is analyzed, articulating the theoretical perspectives of common goods and conventions, and emphasizing some of its main communicational dynamics. It is shown that the use of certain collective action institutions also entails the activation of different discourses and justification principles of the community actors who participate in spaces linked to state public policy related to water management.

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Algorithmic Management in the Platform Economy

David Stark & Ivana Pais (2021)

Sociologica 14(3), pp. 47-72.

Abstract. The platform model is the distinguishing organizational form of the early decades of the twenty-first century. Whereas actors in markets contract, hierarchies command, and networks collaborate, platforms co-opt assets, resources, and activities that are not part of the firm. As a distinctive organizational form, the platform model confronts a distinctive managerial challenge: how to manage value-creating activities that are undertaken on the platform but not in the firm? In a triangular geometry, platform owners co-opt the behavior of providers and users, enrolling them in the practices of algorithmic management without managerial authority having been delegated to them. Acting on their own behalf, the ratings and other activities of providers and consumers are algorithmically translated into rankings and other calculating devices that circulate through feedback loops that are twisted rather than circular. Algorithmic management involves a peculiar kind of cybernetic control because at each fold of the feedback loop accountability can be deflected and denied. Whereas Scientific Management in the early twentieth century offered a legitimating principle for the growth of a new managerial class, algorithmic management in the early twenty-first century is reshaping the managerial class. Its power asymmetries at the organizational level are related to coalitions at the regulatory level in which platform owner and investors are in alliance with platform consumers.

Extract. “Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot (1991) triple this number, offering six “orders of worth” which can serve as principles for coordination: market, industrial, civic, loyalty, inspiration, and renown. Boltanski and Chiapello (1999) raise the number to seven by adding the network form; Thévenot (2006) adds an eighth, a green or ecological principle. […] A comprehensive analysis of the legitimating discourse of platform capitalism would need to highlight the prominence of what Boltanski and Chiapello (1999) refer to as the “connectionist” order of worth, keying, for example, on the role of “matching” in the platform discourse.” (FN 3/40)

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