Solidarity in TDEs: Work and organisation between humans and machines
Attila Bruni (Trento University)
Manuela Perrotta (Queen Mary University of London)
Situated practices
C. Humanisticum AB 1.16
Thursday 18 September, 17:00-18:45, Friday 19 September, 10:30-12:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Long abstract:

Working and organizing are embedded in increasingly complex technological arrangements and they are performed through locally situated social practices. The notion of Technologically Dense Environments (TDEs) refers both to concrete places in which human actors and technological artefacts work ‘together’; and to virtual places in which human interaction is made possible by technologies. In TDEs, complex socio-material practices mobilise the coordinated activities of heterogeneous elements, blurring the distinction between purely technological and purely organisational processes.

In this track, we seek to explore in how far organisations can or should be conflated with the notion of ‘environment’ in TDEs; and in how far technologies expand or disrupt such a simple equation. We ask, if TDEs naturally extend past the boundaries of organisations or if they condense organisations into situations of local practice. Or, of course, if technological and organisational structures and processes actually coincide.

In order to answer these questions, we specifically, but not exclusively, focus on the human/machine solidarities created in TDEs. Information infrastructures may, for instance, create new solidarities or publics within and across organisations. They may be used to mobilise allies or become allies themselves. A novel solidarity with objects, for instance in the natural environment, may be created in TDEs which monitor and evaluate pollution. On the other hand, increased technological density may make the solidarities of ‘sentimental work’ visible in opposition to objectified technologies. We could thus assume that some technologies, humans or organisations show more solidarity than others. We welcome both conceptual and empirical contributions.

The papers will be presented in the order shown within one sessions