The current discourse on the transformative powers of digitization challenges our understanding of technology in a fundamental way. One stream of research therefore focuses on the question of “What's new?”, aiming to find promising and unexplored areas of sociological research, e.g. the impact of Big Data on organizations. Another stream concentrates on the empirical realities of digitization work in organizations, using single case study designs or comparative approaches to map how digital technologies reshape organizational reality.
Instead, this reading course takes the chance to (re)turn to the more fundamental question of how we can understand and describe technology apart from common and taken-for-granted schemes of subject and object, of technology and its use. For advancing our understanding of technologies, we will explore and discuss the classical work of Lucy Suchman, a leading researcher and an intellectual in the field of Science and Technology Studies. Therefore we aim to “rethink the intricate, and increasingly intimate, configurations of the human and the machine.” (Suchman 2007, 1).
The course especially invites students from different disciplinary backgrounds.
Literature: Suchman, Lucy (2007): Human-Machine Reconfigurations - Plans and Situated Actions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.