Rethinking social theories and methods in a digital society
8-9 June 2023 @ University of Finance and Administration, Prague
The conference focuses on the main challenges digitalization poses to different strand of sociological theories and methods particularly investigating the distinctive topics of digital social research and the digital biases. The digitalization raises a number of both theoretical and methodological issues. Theoretically, it permeates the micro, meso and macro areas shaking sociological theories and transforming the most basic assumptions underlying them such as the public-private boundary, identity formation, reflexivity, self-understanding, forms of social ties and relationships, models of community, sources of social capital, organizational forms. Apart from entailing broad societal transformations which need to find a place in sociological theory, the incorporation of technology into our daily materiality, is also transforming social research methods by providing methodological resources for researching social phenomena (both intentionally and unintentionally produced digital data such as social media posts, narratives, storytelling, search engine queries, phone calls, and banking interactions). This opens methodological challenges at different levels of the research process. At the level of data collection where the non-neutrality of algorithms, the identity strategies of self-presentation applied online, the invisibility of the research design in repurposing digital data, need to be taken into account. At the level of research design where new competences are required implying technological proficient researcher able to use a digital language based on the affordances of online environments (the socio-technical architectures of media). At the level of sampling which is complicated on the web by direct digital discriminations (sampling biases deriving from procedures discriminating against minorities or disadvantaged groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) and indirect digital discrimination (sampling biases deriving from procedures intentionally or accidentally discriminating against a minority). At the level of data analysis both in qualitative approach due to online narratives being intertextual, transmedial, multimodal and interdiscursive and in quantitative analysis for example in big data-based correlation which are not automatically meaningful and do not tell much about humanity (human motivations, feelings, values, norms, meanings, etc.) failing to understand deep motivations.
Thus, the conference especially (but not exclusively) collects contributions that shed new light on the following topics:
- Digital sociology;
- Revised sociological theories;
- Revised sociological concepts: identity, citizenship, social capital, inequalities, institutions, power, work, community, etc.;
- Revised social research methods and digital transposition of traditional methods;
- Social research methods that incorporate digital and gaming practices, such as the game-based methods;
- Digital biases;
- Digital discriminations.
Enrica Amaturo (University of Naples Federico II, IT), Biagio Aragona (University of Naples Federico II, IT), Davide Bennato (University of Catania, IT), Gianmaria Bottoni (City University of London, UK), Alessandro Caliandro (University of Pavia, IT), Nico Carpentier (Charles University Prague, CZ), Marianna Coppola (University of Salerno, IT), Cleto Corposanto (Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, IT), Paola Di Nicola (University of Verona, IT), Irina Dimitrova (Centrum for forskining om ekonomiska relationer, Mittuniversitet, SE), Wendy Nelson Espeland (Northwestern University, USA), Maria Paola Faggiano (University of Rome La Sapienza, IT), Alessandro Gandini (University of Milan, IT), Anthony Giddens (London School of Economics, UK), Brian Joseph Gilley (University of Indiana Bloomington, USA), Estrella Gualda (University de Huelva, ES), Susanne Halford (University of Bristol, UK), Gennaro Iorio (University of Salerno, IT), Francesca Romana Lenzi (University of Rome Foro Italico, IT), Tomislav Potocký (University of Finance and Administration of Prague, CZ), Carolina Rebollo (University of Huelva, ES), Richard Rogers (University of Amsterdam, NL), Ondřej Roubal (University of Finance and Administration of Prague, CZ), Andrea Salvini (University of Pisa, IT), Claudia Santi (University of Campania Vanvitelli, IT), Monica Scarano (University of Lille, FR), Barbara Segatto (University of Padova, IT), Giulio Sodano (University of Campania Vanvitelli, IT), Sonia Stefanizzi (University of Milan Bicocca, IT), Simona Tirocchi (University of Turin, IT), Stefano Tomelleri (University of Bergamo, IT), Luigi Tronca (University of Verona, IT), Lucia Velotti (City University of New York, USA), Zuzana Virglerová (Bata University, CZ), Debora Viviani (University of Verona, IT).
Peer review statement
The contributions presented at the IV International Conference ILIS have been selected through a double-blind review process. During the presentation of selected contribution presenters receive suggestions for improvements by panel chairs. The revised version of selected papers (post the conference), all focused on future theoretical, epistemological and methodological frontiers for social research in the digital society, will be further reviewed by two members of the organizing and scientific committee of the conference through a double-blind peer-review process. The scientific committee of the conference will select best papers for publications in special issues dedicated to the conference and/or national or international books.