Steps towards pragmatist solidarities at sociotechnical sites
Fran├žois Thoreau (University of Liege)
Kim Hendrickx (KU Leuven)
Ine Van Hoyweghen (KU Leuven)
Tamar Sharon (Maastricht University)
Situated practices
Economy 2
Wednesday 17 September, 10:30-12:15, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

solidarity; pragmatism; situated practices; multiple ontology

Long abstract:

The starting point of this track is to take the conference theme "Situating Solidarities" literally. In our view, solidarity is always more than one, solidarities are localized and embodied in practices, and more work needs to be done - empirically and conceptually - in order to identify how solidarities emerge and what normative potential they bear.

In this track we take a pragmatist approach to the notion of solidarity. Rather than providing a one-size-fits-all definition of solidarity, we will explore situations from which solidarity emerges, hence analyzing dynamics and/or practices of "solidarizing" in diverse sociotechnical sites. We believe this pragmatist approach is particularly relevant at a time when fears of "the end of solidarity" loom large; in other words, that it is important to make visible the practices where solidarities are being enacted, rather than criticize their absence, failures or shortcomings.

With this aim, we seek empirically-driven and theoretically engaged STS papers on solidarity and its enactments in diverse socio-technic sites, like markets for food, molecules, self-tracking apps, or nanoparticles. For each of these, efforts will be made to 1) identify situations which nurture a sense of solidarity; 2) question how this relates to the experience of the involved persons, i.e. how is solidarity lived and experienced in such situations? 3) clarify the conditions under which solidarity is put on trial, can be said to fail or succeed; and finally 4) analyze the prospects for a multiple ontology of 'solidarity' in current STS research.

The papers will be presented in the order shown and grouped 3-4 between sessions