|Convenors||Marian Preda, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work|
Ștefania Matei, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
|Organiser||Romanian Sociologists’ Society|
|Main event||The 6th International Conference of the Romanian Sociologists Society|
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The present world is characterized by significant structural, institutional and systemic changes. While there is general consensus that the digitalisation processes play a significant role in economy and culture, the nature of the emerging technological transformations is highly debated and no agreement seems to be forthcoming soon. The current society is mostly understood as facing a transitional phase towards advanced forms of social organisations, with new spatial and temporal orders being enacted. In this context, we invite contributions that explore how digital technologies shape the understanding and experience of social time, thus aiming to establish a dialogue between postpositivism, socio-constructivism, new materialism, critical theory, posthumanism and postphenomenology. We invite authors to consider especially, but not exclusively, the following lines of inquiry:
Time-use patterns in human interaction with technologies: Digital technologies changed media production and distribution processes by allowing various forms of leisure to emerge at the intersection between public and private spheres. Interactive media support specific forms of collaboration and social interaction that invite audiences to engage with time in novel ways. Multiple temporalities, several forms of synchronicity and various temporal dynamics are developed around the consumption of new media technologies, all of which have consequences on self-constitution and personal identity. How do digital technologies change our perception of time? What kind of time work is accomplished in the use of technologies? How do digital technologies change our relation with the past, the present and the future? How do digital time-use patterns differ across generations and social groups?
Time as a variable in socio-technical design: Socio-technical design is not neutral, but it conveys values and constructs through which human make sense of their world. Devices and gadgets are social actors that play significant roles in the circulation and production of meaning. By design, technological products operate on a temporal order and generate temporalities in which social actions take place. How do the latest gadgets and applications change people’s understanding of themselves and the world? How are cognition and agency configured and reconfigured through digital media? What are the ethical implications of time-related measures and functionalities embedded in the design of technological products? How are digital technologies deconstructing notions through design?
Temporal aspects in technological innovation processes: The shift towards an innovation-driven economy comes up with the entrepreneurial creation of new markets, business models and organisational cultures in which time is appropriated not only as an asset but also as a constitutive feature. The quest for automation implies the transformation of time into a mathematical concept operated by algorithms that rely on data patterns to extract commercial value. Surveillance capitalism is basically an algorithmic capitalism in which time is transformed into a commodity and assigned with an exchange value on behavioural future markets. How does the innovation culture become sensitive to the emerging temporal processes imposed by datafication and digitalization? How is time capitalized and monetized in the provision of good and services according to a profit-driven framework? What versions of capitalism transpire in the commodification and algorithmic formalization of time?
Temporal regimes related to technologies: The digital environment integrates a complex mix of biological and cultural rhythms, thus regulating social relations and human practices. The timescapes of modernity are reconfigured by means of technological instruments that impose different speeds and tempos in the social organisation of everyday life. Compelling routines appear as manifestation of disciplinary power and effective knowledge-making practices emerge alongside new ways of ordering social processes within online communities. The temporal regimes arisen in the digital sphere through machine learning and artificial intelligence bring about new forms of authority and control that have an impact on the political economy and governance at multiple levels. What kind of power structures and types of influence are supported by digitally-mediated routines? How are acceleration processes induced technologically? What kind of social institutions are legitimated in human interaction with technologies and how do they shape temporal subjectivities of the digital natives?