On June 1, 2015, Professor Lucy Suchman delivered the CSISP/Sociology Annual Lecture at Goldsmiths entitled “Digital practices: some methodological reflections.” In this lecture, Suchman returns to her earlier ethnographic research on airline ground operations and the use of CAD software by structural engineers to develop an account of ‘digital practices.’ Connecting her earlier studies with current work on robotic warfare, the lecture outlines some of the important methodological issues these practices have raised and continue to raise in social research as well as in social life.… Continue reading
At a time when a myriad of birth certificates increasingly declare novel ‘turns’ in the modes of thinking and practice of the social sciences and STS, it becomes progressively difficult to know what one is turning from, where one is turning to, and whether the very notion of ‘turning’ has not itself become a means of remaining still while one continues to think in circles. In this sense, one might be left wondering about the implications of a certain biopolitics of objects and concepts at work in the development of social scientific and STS propositions. As Achille Mbembe (2003) has taught us through his incisive reflection on late modern colonial occupations, however, attention to the politics of life must also include questions around the politics of death– biopolitics and necropolitics go hand in hand.… Continue reading
Data is a hot topic. It is both something that will save us, and something we must be saved from. It is the next revolution, a deluge and a particularly potent ideology. On the one hand we have major digital institutions, fronted by social physicists and computer scientists, developing ever more sophisticated tools for storing, analysing and visualising data. On the other hand we have a growing number of critical scholars interrogating issues ranging from privacy concerns to the data hype’s ontological and epistemological baggage.
Recent seminars on ‘Data Practices’ – the theme of this years Design and Social Science seminar series co-organised by the Design and Sociology Dept at Goldsmiths – have tried to combine the affirmative and the critical approach.… Continue reading
Earlier this month, we were pleased to have CSISP visiting fellow Israel Rodriguez Giralt open the autumn term’s lecture series with the lecture ‘Issue-oriented activism: Comparing the emergence of concerned groups around care policies for dependent people in UK and Spain’. You can find links to a full audio recording of the talk and slides below. Below is Israel’s lecture summary.… Continue reading
Lezaun’s talk looks at the use of film by two early 20th century social scientists: (1) Wolfgang Köhler, one of the founders of Gestalt Psychology, and his colleague (2) Kurt Lewin, the pioneer of Social Psychology. In the work of these two figures we find the idea of the social as a form of movement, as a kinetic event, most visibly manifested in the face-to-face interactions of small groups.… Continue reading