Reorganizing Industries

WiSe 2018/19

Questioning Narratives of Change in Organizations, Industry and Innovation

Number: 0000004277

Lecturers: Carlos Cuevas Garcia, David Seibt

Since the 1970s and 1980s, scholars from several fields of the social sciences, including science and technology studies, organization studies, sociology, anthropology and social psychology have turned their attention to the arts and humanities, and literary theory in particular, intending to gain understanding of the role of narratives in the construction of social reality. From the Bible to the Manifesto of the Communist Party, to the first sentence of this paragraph, narratives help us to make sense of who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going – as individuals, organizations, nation-states, or social movements. Such a relevance also requires us to be critical of narratives, to understand how they are formulated, how accurate they are, and how they operate.

In this course the students will become familiar with key texts about the development of narrative approaches in the social sciences, paying particular attention to STS and Organization Studies. As an advanced course, the students will learn theory and case studies, but also the use of narrative as a methodological approach. The course will cover narrative studies looking at the development of regenerative medicine, energy systems, car safety testing, the development of products and standards, and industrial automation, amongst others. Besides this diversity of topics, students will learn that social scientists can explore existing narratives, explore topics as if these were narratives, or they can produce new narratives in order to be active participants in the generation of social change.

Basic Ideas and Concepts of Science & Technology Studies

Number: 0000003933

Lecturers: Cansu Birdal, Judith Igelsböck

This course provides an introduction into the field of Science and Technology Studies. It is directed to students, who have not touched upon Science and Technologies Studies or – more broadly speaking – social sciences yet. Students are exposed to basic STS ideas and learn to explore ways in which science and technology shape and are being shaped by social and political processes. The module is devoted to discussing and critically engaging with foundational works in STS in a playful and encouraging way. The course calls attention to a limited number of widely debated technological and scientific developments and leads the students to addressing them through an STS lens. In selected excursions our students practice to sharpen their senses for the ways how science and technology are political and social.

Basic Methods in Science & Technology Studies

Number: 0000004463

Lecturer: Carlos Cuevas Garcia

This course provides the students a first encounter with the methods commonly used in the social sciences. The key goal is to emphasize the similarities and differences between qualitative and quantitative research strategies, the common arguments for and against these research strategies, and their underlying epistemological and ontological assumptions. The course pays careful attention to the ethical and political issues that the practice of social scientific research involves. The students will become familiar with research ethics guidelines and the events that have made research ethics so important.

Immersion project

Number: 0000004462

Lecturer: Tobias Drewlani

The immersion project aims to immediately give students hands-on experience with academic research, decision-making, and communication in emerging socio-technical fields such as sustainable energy solutions, industrial biotechnology, biomedical health care, the internet of things, big data, and urban infrastructure. Students work on specific projects at the intersection of responsible research and innovation in small teams and are continually given the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquire in the module “Technology and Society” to their projects i.e. reflect on how different ethical, political, economic, legal and media-related dimensions of responsibility relate to their immersion projects.

SoSe2018

Innovation & Organization. Sociological Perspectives

Number: 0000004323

Lecturer: Uli Meyer, Carlos Cuevas Garcia, David Seibt, Tobias Drewlani

In contemporary societies, technoscientific innovation occurs within and across industrial fields, and the way industrial organizations work, play a key role in the complex process of innovation. This module provides the students with introductory knowledge about the concept of industrial innovation. The course content stems from theoretical perspectives developed in industrial sociology, sociology of organizations, institutional theory, and science & technology studies.

Methods in STS

Number: 0000004768

Lecturer: Carlos Cuevas Garcia, Cansu Birdal, Tobias Drewlani

This course will introduce the students to the main research methods used in the social sciences and particularly in Science and Technology Studies. These include qualitative interviews, ethnography and participant observation, ethnomethodology, and analysis of images and secondary sources.

The course will also provide an introduction to fundamental elements of conducting social research, such as key concepts on the philosophy of research, the ethics of research, and the presentation of empirical findings.

The course is based on discussion of theoretical material and on the completion of hands-on tasks, such as conducting an interview, an analysis of documents, and conducting a brief ethnographical observation.

(Doctoral workshop) A battle of networks concepts

Number: none

Lecturers: Judith Igelsböck, Uli Meyer

The use of the network metaphor is on the rise to grasp the multiple relations between individual and collective actors and reconstruct modes of ordering in contemporary studies of science, technology and organization. In not necessarily explicit ways, ‘network theories’ build on and distance themselves from theoretical assumptions and concepts as floating around in the ‘theoretical universe’ of social scientists (e.g. micro/macro scales, actors, institutions, structures, contexts…). This workshop is aimed to lay out theoretical presumptions as drawn in different ‘network theories’ (e.g. actor-network theory, social network analysis, governance networks). In a ‘battle of networks-concepts’ different ‘theoretical network accounts’ will be confronted with each other.

WiSe2017/18

Immersion project

Number: 0000004462

Lecturers: Judith Igelsböck, David Seibt, Melina Antonakaki

The immersion project aims to immediately give students hands-on experience with academic research, decision-making, and communication in emerging socio-technical fields such as sustainable energy solutions, industrial biotechnology, biomedical health care, the internet of things, big data, and urban infrastructure. Students work on specific projects at the intersection of responsible research and innovation in small teams and are continually given the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquire in the module “Technology and Society” to their projects i.e. reflect on how different ethical, political, economic, legal and media-related dimensions of responsibility relate to their immersion projects.

Basic ideas and concepts in Science & Technology Studies

Number: 0000003933

Lecturers: Uli Meyer, Carlos Cuevas Garcia

This course provides an introduction into the field of Science and Technology Studies. It is directed to  students,  who  did  not  touch  upon  Science  and  Technologies  Studies  or – more  broadly speaking  – social sciences  yet.  Students  are  exposed  to  basic  STS  ideas  and  learn  to explore  ways  in  which  science  and  technology  shape  and  are  being  shaped  by  social  and  political  processes.  The  module  is devoted to discussing and critically engaging with foundational works in STS in a playful and encouraging way. The course calls attention to a limited number of widely debated technological and scientific developments and leads the students to addressing them through an STS lens. In selected excursions  our  students  practice  to  sharpen  their  senses  for  the  ways  how  science  and  technology are political and social.

The cybernetic turn: Visions of communication and control

Number: 0000004461

Lecturers: Simon Schaupp, Georg Jochum

In the age of digitalization, cybernetic principles of feedback-based control become ever more important. In this seminar, we will study the theory and application of cybernetics from an STS-perspective. We will read texts from classical cybernetics, as well as STS reflections on them, but also study current examples for the application of cybernetic principles in the digital age. Thereby, we will explore the cybernetic ontology and ask questions like: What do cybernetic principles mean for social organization, be it the workplace or a government? What idea of man does cybernetics imply? And many more.

(Doctoral workshop) Warming up for analysis in STS

Number: none

Lecturer: Carlos Cuevas Garcia

This workshop will familiarize doctoral researchers with the process of doing an STS analysis (or sociological or interpretative social scientific) and transforming it into thesis chapters. It is commonly accepted in STS that, rather than linear, the process involved in the acts of gathering data, transforming them into ‘research findings’ and presenting them as novel and valid knowledge is complex, and it involves several contingencies. Among these, practical decisions such as ‘should I use this or that concept?’, ‘am I under/over analysing?’, ‘does this go in chapter X or chapter Y?’, or ‘will it all fit in?’ can contribute to the production of a social, material, and affective hell. In order to warm up for analysis, we will put others’ analyses, theses’ chapters’ and tables of content ‘under the microscope’. By the end of the workshop, doctoral researchers will have a richer idea of how to plan, shape and build up their theses, and will be more aware of how STS and social scientific empirical ‘facts’ are actually produced. During the workshop, we will examine different empirical pieces, to discuss forms of presenting analysis, and to define a few strategies to write up an empirical thesis. Researchers in all stages of the PhD are welcome.

SoSe 2017

Algorithmic and organizational control in digital societies

Number: 0000004187

Lecturers: Uli Meyer, Tobias Drewlani

This course seeks to investigate the various forms and effects of control in digital societies. Digital technologies not only have the potential to alter modes of control, but also can increase the temporal and spatial extension. Built into sophisticated tools and algorithms, control can remain invisible, can be organized in a decentral manner, and can be exercised by automatic decision making. Drawing on different social practices and fields, like work and financial markets, we focus on the interplay of social and technical aspects that enables new modes of control. We seek to understand how modern companies try to make use of digital technologies, which practices are becoming objects of control and which parts resist such attempts. During the course of the seminar, we will examine theoretical concepts of control and investigate case studies.

Understanding interdisciplinarity

Number: 0000003936

Lecturer: Carlos Cuevas Garcia

Interdisciplinarity is one of the most common terms in the academic world, and yet it is very difficult to grasp. In this course the students will enrich their understanding of disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and concepts alike, by engaging with the diverse literatures concerned with these practices. The main purpose of the course is to identify benefits and common challenges that arise from interdisciplinary work and become aware of the ways in which others have “made it work” under their specific practical and professional circumstances. The material for the course includes texts focused on examples of interdisciplinary work between natural science disciplines; between and across natural and social sciences; between natural, social sciences and arts; and work that crosses the borders between academia and the rest of society. Specific sessions will be focused on key dimensions of interdisciplinary research such as forms, modes, policies, success narratives, advantages and disadvantages

STS-MINT: STS in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Number: 0000003744

Lecturer: Uli Meyer

In this module, students visit courses from STEM fields and reflect their acquired knowledge on the basis of social, ethical and political aspects by repeated explanations and deepening within an accompanied tutorial given by research assistants. As students with humanities and social science background may visit the introductory courses in STEM fields, students who have already STEM background can visit advanced courses.

An introduction to Science and Technology Studies (Universität Tübingen)

Number: n/a

Lecturers: Judith Igelsböck, Carlos Cuevas Garcia

Science and technology studies (commonly known as STS) is an interdisciplinary field of enquiry that draws on different academic traditions within and beyond the social sciences. It formulates and addresses fundamental questions for understanding contemporary social phenomena such as: How does techno-science shape and is shaped by culture, society, politics, and the economy? How are the boundaries between science, culture, nature and technology currently produced? What is the relationship between knowledge, expertise, and democracy? How is the future designed and who is being included/excluded in its design? What is/should be the role of the arts and the social sciences in the production of our technological futures? In this course the students will become familiar with the foundational questions that have driven the development of STS since the field’s emergence as well as with current STS objects/subjects of study. The students will engage with key STS theoretical and methodological approaches and will have a chance to look at the world from these perspectives. The course will consist of a combination of reading-oriented discussion and other practical exercises.

 WiSe2016/17

Basic Ideas and concepts in Science & Technology Studies (Theory)

Number: 0000003933

Lecturers: Uli Meyer, Judith Igelsböck

This course provides an introduction into the field of Science and Technology Studies. It is directed to  students,  who  did  not  touch  upon  Science  and  Technologies  Studies  or – more  broadly speaking  – social sciences  yet.  Students  are  exposed  to  basic  STS  ideas  and  learn  to explore  ways  in  which  science  and  technology  shape  and  are  being  shaped  by  social  and  political  processes.  The  module  is devoted to discussing and critically engaging with foundational works in STS in a playful and encouraging way. The course calls attention to a limited number of widely debated technological and scientific developments and leads the students to addressing them through an STS lens. In selected excursions  our  students  practice  to  sharpen  their  senses  for  the  ways  how  science  and  technology are political and social.

Practical and professional issues of interdisciplinarity

Number: 0000003138

Lecturer: Carlos Cuevas Garcia

Interdisciplinarity is one of the most common terms in the academic world, and yet it is very difficult to grasp. In this course the students will enrich their understanding of disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and concepts alike, by engaging with the diverse literatures concerned with these practices. The main purpose of the course is to identify benefits and common challenges that arise from interdisciplinary work and become aware of the ways in which others have “made it work” under their specific practical and professional circumstances. The material for the course includes texts focused on examples of interdisciplinary work between natural science disciplines; between and across natural and social sciences; between natural, social sciences and arts; and work that crosses the borders between academia and the rest of society. Specific sessions will be focused on key dimensions of interdisciplinary research such as definitions, forms, modes, advantages and disadvantages.

SoSe2016

Organisation – Technik – Gesellschaft

Number: 0000003933

Lecturer: Uli Meyer, David Seibt

Das Seminar vermittelt einen Einblick in das Verhältnis von Organisation, Technik und Gesellschaft. Es widmet sich der Frage, wie Organisationen in modernen Gesellschaften von Technologien geprägt werden und andererseits sich selbst solche Technologien aneignen und neue technologische Innovationen hervorbringen. Verschiedene Mechanismen der Wechselwirkung von gesellschaftlichen Institutionen, Organisation und Technologie werden sowohl auf der Ebene der Einzelorganisation als auch auf der Mesoebene – etwa in organisationalen Netzwerken oder Feldern – diskutiert. Insbesondere wird dabei der Blick für die Ambiguität der Effekte neuer Technologien geschärft, die aus organisationaler und gesellschaftlicher Sicht sowohl wünschenswert als auch problematisch sein können. Neben grundlegenden Texten der Organisations- und Techniksoziologie sowie der Innovationsforschung werden im Seminar auch aktuelle Beispiele organisationalen und technologischen Wandels behandelt.

 Wirtschaftssoziologie

Number: 0000003934

Lecturer: Uli Meyer, Tobias Drewlani

Technisierte Gesellschaften sind stark von wirtschaftlichen Akteuren und Beziehungen geprägt. Somit ist ein Verständnis der Prinzipien wirtschaftlichen Handelns, der Konstitution von Märkten, von Geld und Kapitalismus grundlegend um die Technisierung in vielen Bereichen der Gesellschaft verstehen und erklären zu können. Gleichzeitig ändern sich wirtschaftliche Zusammenhänge aber auch selbst durch die Etablierung digitaler Technologien. So ermöglichen etwa digitale Technologien den Hochfrequenzhandel an Börsen oder lassen sich zum Aufbau von Online-Plattformen nutzen, auf denen Produkte und Dienstleistungen global gehandelt werden können.
Die Veranstaltung fokussiert zunächst auf die Analyse von Märkten, die soziale Einbettung wirtschaftlichen Handelns und, im zweiten Teil, auf die zunehmende Bedeutung digitaler Technologien in diesen Zusammenhängen. Ziele des Seminars sind (1) die Grundideen der Wirtschaftssoziologie zu verstehen und (2) einen Überblick über das aktuelle Forschungsfeld zu erhalten.