Archives mensuelles : mai 2023

Controversies’ Roots in Digital Business Models—The Case of Academic Publishing

Simon Engert (2023)

Conference paper

Abstract. Digital business models (DBMs) are built on digital technologies with complexity-inducing characteristics. Thus, they form ever-more complex (eco)systems as they connect heterogeneous actors for value cocreation and blur the boundaries of organizations, markets, and industries. The co-existence of actors’ multiple logics in pluralistic settings has been associated with tensions and controversies. However, information systems (IS) research has ignored controversies’ role in DBMs in settings of logic multiplicity. Drawing on the ‘orders of worth’ framework, we follow the controversies over DBMs in the academic publishing ecosystem. Building on our in-depth case study data, we develop a model highlighting three roots of controversies in sociotechnical DBMs. We add to the literature by furthering our understanding of controversies’ role in DBMs and enriching the community’s methodological toolbox in applying a theory from French pragmatic sociology to study pluralistic contexts.

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What can mathematical modelling contribute to a sociology of quantification?

Andrea Saltelli & Arnald Puy (2023)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10. Online first, open access

Abstract. Sociology of quantification has spent relatively less energies investigating mathematical modelling than it has on other forms of quantification such as statistics, metrics, or algorithms based on artificial intelligence. Here we investigate whether concepts and approaches from mathematical modelling can provide sociology of quantification with nuanced tools to ensure the methodological soundness, normative adequacy and fairness of numbers. We suggest that methodological adequacy can be upheld by techniques in the field of sensitivity analysis, while normative adequacy and fairness are targeted by the different dimensions of sensitivity auditing. We also investigate in which ways modelling can inform other instances of quantification as to promote political agency.

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Comparative moral principles. Justifications, values, and foundations

Tuukka Ylä-Anttila (2023)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10, Online first, open access

Abstract. The article compares three influential theories used in sociology and psychology to categorize types of morality—Luc Boltanski & Laurent Thévenot’s justification theory, Shalom H. Schwartz’s basic human values theory, and Jonathan Haidt’s moral foundations theory—to simplify the complexity presented by three different categorizations, while retaining necessary nuance, and to translate the concepts of each into the language of the other two. A comparative table is presented to evaluate which categories of the three theories correspond to each other and where do theories make distinctions that are lacking from the other two. This summary framework of Comparative Moral Principles (CMP) consists of eight principles to compare, explain, and interpret practices of moral motivation and meaning-making: Liberty, Inspiration, Safety, Community, Care, Equality, Deservingness, and Competition.

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European food quality schemes in everyday food consumption: An exploration of sayings and doings through pragmatic regimes of engagement

Virginie Amilien, Roberta Discetti, Jean-Loup Lecoeur, Gun Roos, Barbara Tocco, Matthew Gorton, Beatrice Biasini, Davide Menozzi, Matthieu Duboys de Labarre, Jelena Filipović, Kathrin Meyer, Török Áron, Saša Veljković, Pierre Wavresky, Vilde Haugrønning, Péter Csillag, Johannes Simons, Galjina Ognjanov (2022)

Journal of Rural Studies, 95, p. 336-349,

Abstract. While European consumers generally support the principles underpinning Food Quality Schemes (FQS) sales of certified products remain modest. This phenomenon is known as ‘attitude-behaviour gap’ and considerable scholarly and policy efforts have been geared towards ‘filling’ or ‘bridging’ the gap. This study aims at casting new light on this ‘discrepancy’ between consumers’ sayings and doings through a study of everyday food practices connected to FQS. We used a qualitative, multi-method research design comprising extensive ethno-graphic fieldwork data, gathered from 41 households across seven European countries, including interviews, walk-along tours, and food diaries, in order to understand consumers’ perceptions of FQS in relation to their everyday food consumption practices. Building on convention theory and Thévenot’s work, we showed that food practices can be understood through different ‘regimes of engagement’, namely different ways of thinking and behaving, following different logics corresponding to varying levels of knowledge and interest. We thus argue that the ‘attitude-behaviour gap’ should be reconceptualised as the co-existence of multiple regimes of engagement, namely a dynamic and always evolving process of adjustment through which consumers understand and engage with FQS in everyday food practices.

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Debating the Drug Policy in Sweden: Stakeholders’ Moral Justifications in Media 2015–2021

Tuulia Lerkkanen & Jessica Storbjörk (2023)

Contemporary Drug Problems, 50(2), pp. 269-293.

Abstract. Drug-related harms continue to increase globally and governments struggle in search of effective and legitimate countermeasures. The choice between policy options is intertwined with the arguments that dominate drug policy discussions, which in turn are closely related to who has access to the policy debate. In this study, we examine stakeholders’ visibility and moral justifications of argumentation in the Swedish drug policy debate in the media (2015–2021). Justification analysis (JA) is used as a methodological and theoretical tool to illustrate the moral principles behind the claims by the stakeholders. The results show that the most visible stakeholders were politicians, government agencies and molders of public opinion. Furthermore, the stakeholders with successful active attempts to participate in the debate were molders of public opinion, NGOs, and politicians. The silent stakeholders in the media were people who use drugs and significant others. Stakeholders generally revolve around a dividing line regarding the restrictive features of Swedish drug policy, and were divided into proponents, opponents and neutral ones. All stakeholder groups included all three sides, hence reflecting the ingroup dissonance that may explain the continuing deadlock in Swedish drug policy. Justifications that value evidence-based policymaking (industrial worth) was used in the argumentation by the majority of the stakeholder groups, often combined with other moral justifications. This notion challenges the dichotomy of evidence and values in drug policy debates. Proponents relied more on the justifications that value paternalism (domestic worth), while opponents leaned toward the justifications valuing civil rights and social justice (civic worth). The development of Swedish drug policy may depend on the relative strength of these two value positions (domestic versus civic worth) in society and among stakeholders in power. This study continues the discussion of making contesting values explicit in the drug policy, serving a riveting case for international comparison.

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Warum Konventionentheorie? Die Ökonomie und Soziologie der Konventionen als ein integrativer sozialwissenschaftlicher Ansatz

Why convention theory? The Economics and Sociology of Conventions as an Integrative Social Science Approach

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2023)

In Sozioökonomie und Wirtschaftssoziologie im Spiegel sozialwissenschaftlicher Bildung [Socioeconomics and economic sociology in the mirror of social science education. Festschrift for Reinholdt Hetdke.] Tim Engartner, Andrea Szukala & Birgit Weber (eds. ), Wiesbaden: Springer VS

Zusammenfassung. Der Beitrag führt in die Ökonomie und Soziologie der Konventionen (kurz Konventionentheorie) ein. In dieser transdisziplinären Wissenschaftsbewegung werden Konventionen als pragmatische Koordinationslogiken und zugleich als institutionelle Logiken aufgefasst, die „Wert“, „Qualität“ und „soziale Ontologien“ fundieren und so das Problem der Unsicherheit über Qualitäten in sozio-ökonomischer Koordination praktisch zu lösen ermöglichen. Die pragmatische Fundierung der Konventionentheorie zeigt sich auch in der Annahme einer radikalen koexistierenden Pluralität von Konventionen, die einfachen differenzierungstheoretischen Annahmen entgegenstehen. Handelnde werden als kompetent aufgefasst, die Angemessenheit von Konventionen in Situationen zu beurteilen und sich kritisch sowie rechtfertigend auf Konventionen zu beziehen. Dabei kommt Konventionen eine besondere Wirkmächtigkeit zu, da sie das kollektive Handeln auf ein Gemeinwohl beziehen. Letztlich ermöglicht der transdisziplinäre Charakter der Konventionentheorie die Reintegration verschiedener sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektiven, die lange durch disziplinäre Grenzen separiert worden sind.

Über Das Buch. Dieser Sammelband identifiziert die Schnittstellen der politischen, gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Domäne aus wirtschaftssoziologischer und fachdidaktischer Perspektive wie auch vor dem Hintergrund nationaler wie internationaler Forschungsansätze der sozialwissenschaftlichen Bildung. Dabei werden die Innovationspotenziale einer sozioökonomischen Perspektive an den Übergängen von Fachwissenschaft und Fachdidaktik(wissenschaft) ausgearbeitet. U. a. werden diese in Beiträgen zu Theorieentwicklungen des Neopragmatismus sowie der an sie anschließenden Curriculum- und Partizipationsforschung diskutiert, welche jeweils Weiterentwicklungen des Feldes – insbesondere im Lichte der Neuformulierung eines sozio-ökonomischen Curriculums – in den Blick nimmt. Die auf Pluralität, Interdisziplinarität, Multiparadigmatizität und (kritische) Reflexion angelegte Festschrift für Reinhold Hedtke schlägt die Brücke zwischen den zentralen sozialwissenschaftlichen Bezugsdisziplinen Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Soziologie, Politikwissenschaft und Geographie sowie Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Erziehungswissenschaft.

Abstract. This contribution introduces the economics and sociology of conventions (in short convention theory). In this transdisciplinary scientific movement, conventions are conceived as pragmatic logics of coordination and, at the same time, as institutional logics that ground “value”, “quality”, and “social ontologies” and thus make it possible to practically solve the problem of uncertainty about qualities in socio-economic coordination. The pragmatic foundation of convention theory is also reflected in the assumption of a radical coexisting plurality of conventions, which is opposed to simple differentiation theory assumptions. Actors are seen as competent to judge the appropriateness of conventions in a situation and to refer to conventions critically and justifiably. In this context, conventions have a special social impact, since they relate collective action to a common good. Finally, the transdisciplinary character of convention theory enables the reintegration of different social science perspectives that have long been separated by disciplinary boundaries.

About the book. This anthology identifies the intersections of the political, social, and economic domains from the perspectives of economic sociology and subject didactics as well as against the background of national and international research approaches in social science education. The innovation potentials of a socio-economic perspective at the transitions of subject science and subject didactics (science) are elaborated. Among other things, these are discussed in contributions to theoretical developments of neopragmatism as well as the curriculum and participation research that follows on from them, which in each case takes a look at further developments of the field – especially in the light of the reformulation of a socio-economic curriculum. The Festschrift for Reinhold Hedtke, which is based on plurality, interdisciplinarity, multiparadigmaticity and (critical) reflection, builds a bridge between the central social science disciplines of economics, sociology, political science and geography as well as history, philosophy and education.

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How Economics and Sociology of Conventions Helps to Understand the Social Dynamics of Testing and Sorting

Kenneth Horvath (2023)

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

Abstract. School education is troubled by a deep dilemma: to radically ensure equality by providing fair opportunities for all pupils while producing inequality by differentiating and sorting students according to individual merit and potential. School systems handle this dilemma by designing and conducting myriad forms of testing and sorting. These testing and sorting practices, however, persistently fail to function in an equitable manner. This handbook chapter discusses how economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) help to understand and to problematize this “malfunctioning.” It provides an overview of existing studies that have implemented the neopragmatic perspective of EC/SC to understand dynamics that evolve between the politics of education, organizational forms of school education, and everyday pedagogical practices. On this basis, the chapter sketches five ways in which research centered on the guiding heuristic of conventions furthers understanding of educational inequalities: (1) accounting for the plurality of understandings of what makes “good and fair” school education (and hence of what counts as “inequitable” or “unfair” in the first place); (2) conceptualizing the relations and the interplay between everyday pedagogical situations and wider social formations, including the field of politics; (3) understanding different forms of testing and sorting as negotiated and contested outcome of concrete practices of design, critique, and research; (4) deciphering how (unintended) patterns of disadvantaging arise from how social actors define and handle uncertain educational situations; (5) providing a framework for reflecting about how social research is itself entangled in the formation, reproduction, and transformation of educational inequalities.

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App oder Arzt?

App or doctor?

Round table with Valeska Cappel

Thursday 25 May 2023, Zurich

Digital wellbeing is a booming market. Mobile applications and increasingly sophisticated algorithms provide competent advice and support for individual fitness goals, but also recommend themselves as sensitive early warning systems for one’s own health. This is accompanied by a host of ethical questions: How do such programs handle the highly sensitive data that make their success possible in the first place? What incentives for behavioral prevention using trackers and apps can be justified? And how serious and accurate are diagnoses made by the virtual health professional?

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Eingliederung als Rechtfertigungsarbeit. Konventionen betrieblicher Arbeitsintegration am Beispiel psychisch erkrankter Beschäftigter

Integration as justification work. Conventions of Work Integration in Companies: The Example of Mentally Ill Employees

Anna Gonon (2023)

Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Open access

Über Das Buch. Dieses Open-Access-Buch analysiert Praktiken der Wiedereingliederung von Beschäftigten mit psychischen Erkrankungen in drei Unternehmen in der Schweiz. Ausgehend von den konkreten Handlungsproblemen der Akteurinnen und Akteure wird die These entwickelt, dass betriebliche Arbeitsintegration zu einem wesentlichen Teil „Rechtfertigungsarbeit“ bedeutet. Eingeschränkte Leistungsfähigkeit und Maßnahmen zur weiteren Beschäftigung werfen – gerade im Falle nicht direkt wahrnehmbarer Gesundheitsprobleme – Rechtfertigungsbedarf im Unternehmen auf. „Rechtfertigungsarbeit“ kann darin bestehen, die kooperative Haltung der Betroffenen gegenüber dem Betrieb zu bekräftigen oder plausibel zu machen, dass sie in ihrer Arbeitsstelle trotz der Erkrankung weiterhin leistungsfähig sein werden.

About the book. This open access book analyzes practices of reintegration of employees with mental illness in three companies in Switzerland. Based on the concrete problems of action of the actors, the thesis is developed that corporate work integration means “justification work” to a substantial extent. Limited performance and measures for continued employment – especially in the case of health problems that are not directly perceivable – give rise to a need for justification within the company. “Justification work” can consist of reaffirming the cooperative attitude of those affected toward the company or making it plausible that they will continue to be able to perform in their jobs despite the illness.

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Higher Education and Convention Theory

Henna Juusola & Mikko Kohvakka (2023)

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

Abstract. In this chapter, the economics and sociology of conventions (EC/SC) approach is explored by reviewing EC/SC-oriented higher education research literature published in recent decades. Higher education research covers interdisciplinary and practical-oriented traditions that include a wide range of approaches to teaching and learning, institutional management and administration, societal responsibility of higher education, and knowledge transfer across national borders. These themes are typically embedded in national higher education policy and wider societal development. The aim of this chapter is twofold: to present an approachable description of current EC/SC applications in higher education studies and to explore the possibilities that EC/SC could provide in this field of studies. Based on the review, EC/SC provides a pragmatic-oriented and critically framed approach to considering quality, academic work, equity, justice, legitimation, and institutional management in the higher education context. Moreover, multisided approaches of EC/SC can be further utilized in higher education research by considering plural (various) underlying principles, justifications, the interplay between agency and institution, and (institutional) resilience during uncertain times, as well as identifying environmental values in the field.

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Convention Theory and Social Policy: Historical Perspectives

Noel Whiteside (2023)

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

Abstract. Convention theory understands social policy as dynamic, as a series of constantly changing compromises between conflicting social values. This conflict is not merely between those wanting more social services and governments reluctant to pay for them, but between different analyses of the problem at hand – how people are evaluated, categorized, and their rights determined. In so doing, convention theory analyzes how specific sectors of the poor and needy are viewed in terms of the principal cause of their plight. Governments identify this as an object for public action – but that object differs widely at different times and between different situations. Opinions differ, both within and between different professions, between advocates of private and public provision. All have their own agendas for promoting the public good. Convention theory thus develops a critique on the use of statistical targets or benchmarks to evaluate the performance of agencies charged with policy delivery, which pay no attention to differences in what is being counted, how it is being counted, and who is doing the counting. Historical perspectives on welfare state development illustrate how identities and objectives change by stressing how contextual factors shape situations.

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Economics and sociology of conventions – Taking stock, Looking ahead

There will be four sessions devoted to economics and sociology of conventions at the upcoming 12th congress “Crises et inégalités: comment habiter le monde de demain?”[Crises and inequalities: how to inhabit the world of tomorrow?] of the French Association of Political Economy (AFEP), 4-7 July in Paris.

Economics and sociology of conventions – Taking stock, Looking ahead (1): “Perspectives of the founders”

  • Olivier Favereau (Paris/France): “The economics and sociology of conventions, a critical theory?”
  • André Orléan (Paris/France): “Où en est l’économie des conventions?”
  • Robert Salais (Paris/France): “Convention et capacités”

Economics and sociology of conventions – Taking stock, Looking ahead (2): “Labor and finance”

  • Guillemette de Larquier (Lille/France): “Labor, conventions and conventions of labor”
  • Julia Brandl (Innsbruck/Austria): “Economics and sociology of conventions in the field of human resource management: taking stock and looking ahead”
  • Lisa Knoll (Paderborn/Germany): “EC and the plurality of finance”
  • Tom Duterme (Louvain-La-Neuve/Belgium): “Standards as reforms. The role of conventions in sustainable finance”

Economics and sociology of conventions – Taking stock, Looking ahead (3): “Value and valorization”

  • Christian Bessy (Paris/France): “Contributions of economics of convention to theories of value and valuation”
  • Samuel Zarka (Paris/France): “The power of valorization. A notion to reconcile political economy and the sociology of work?”
  • Daniel Urrutiaguer (Paris/France): “Art Worlds facing the socio-ecological stakes”
  • Antoine Rieu (Paris/France): “The conventional construction of the economic values of social joint-ventures”

Economics and sociology of conventions – Taking stock, Looking ahead (4): “Methodology and explanatory strategies”

  • Rainer Diaz-Bone (Lucerne/Switzerland): “Methodological positions and perspectives of economics and sociology of conventions”
  • Cécile Vasseur (Lille/France): “Conventions, democracy and social economy”
  • Kenkichi Nagao & Junya Tatemi (Osaka/Japan): “Regional development. How convention theory explains economic development”

Registration deadline: 6 June 2023 :