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Conference schedule “The digitalization of the social and the socializing of the digital”

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Call for Papers: The digitalization of the social and the socializing of the digital

International Conference at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, June 7th & 8th, 2012

The “social” as a unique issue – distinct from the state, politics, law or culture – was the central concept around which the new discipline of the social sciences has been formed. For Durkheim, for instance, the social constitutes the space of relations between individuals that is irreducible to the sum of these. For others, the social is based on association (from socius: companion, associate). It therefore contains all that is likely to associate, including the connections and interactions that can engage humans and nonhumans, subjects and technical objects. It is the study of the social and the exploration of its various forms that was (and still is) the basic project that constitutes the social sciences.

For more than a decade, much has been written about the so-called “digital revolution”. Today, information and communication technology is present in most areas of social activity. As a result, digital mediation pervades almost all social relations. Administration, education, culture, friendship, love – in all these different practices, digital interfaces play a crucial role, although it is sometimes not completely clear how and to which extend. According to several analysts, the rise of digital interfaces has given birth to new modes of relations – particularly in the field of emotional relationships where the growing digitalization seems to generate significant changes at present.

But how does this digital revolution affect the constitution of the social? How can we conceptualize the social in the digital age? Is digital media a new basis for association and the constitution of the social? And if so, does this raise the classic question of the social sciences concerning the very “nature” of the social in a new way? In recent years, rich and extensive work has been devoted to these questions. In reviewing these works, to main axes seem to appear: the digitalization of the social and the socializing of the digital.
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About this Blog

This blog will serve as a kind of public notebook for thoughts, ideas, and discussions around the project “Online Dating – Mediated Communication between Romantic Love and Economic Rationalization”. This three-year sociological research project is a cooperation between the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt/M., Germany, and is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

You can find out more about the project on the following pages:

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