Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Japanologie und Koreanistik

28. Februar 2022

“Digital Transformation in East Asia. Impacts on Economy and Society II: From Discourse to Praxis” 18th/19th of March 2022 “Digital Transformation in East Asia. Impacts on Economy and Society II: From Discourse to Praxis”

The hypothesis of ‘technical determinism’ was conceptualised in the 1920s by American sociologists, most notably William Fielding Ogburn. He argues that the driving force of social change is material culture and therefore technical progress (Ogburn 1922; Ogburn 1947). Although this century-old concept has legitimised the technological rationalisation in the production process, it has been criticised since the mid-1980s (Lutz 1987). According to Manuel Castells (2017), the dilemma of technological determinism is a pseudo-problem since technology per se is actually embedded in the dynamics of society. Thus, society itself is equipped with its technological tools, and is capable of discoursively determining and reflexively dealing with technology.

In this respect the beginning of the socio-technical change is not technological progress itself, but rather a discoursive formation accompanied by power constellations that condition knowledge orders of a society. A discoursive concept like ‘digitalisation’ is present in a concentrated form and, through its articulation, shapes the perceptual horizon and legitimises the modus operandi. Repetitive performances of these modes of actions by members of a society recursively constitute meaning structures and release the opus operatum, i.e. a set of empirically analysable practices (Bourdieu 1987; Bourdieu 1998).

Digitalisation is precisely this leap from the discoursively formed modus operandi to opus operatum in which performativity is set in motion from the discoursively generated mode of action and allows itself to be consolidated through repetitive actions in a society (Bourdieu 1987; Butler 1995; Boltanski and Chiapello 2003). The legitimised performance of the digitalisation (re-)articulates itself in a ‘self-enforcing’ manner into a society and reproduces the social praxis of digital transformation. This spiral of socio-technical change is precisely the issue that this workshop seeks to address thus significantly contributing to research on the discoursive process of legitimisation, the political-economisation and the standardisation through the praxis of digitalisation in East Asia.

The workshop programme can be downloaded here.

This international workshop is organised by the Institute of Orient and Asian Studies, University of Bonn and the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Tübingen within the framework of the research project "Digital Transformation and the Changing World of Work in East Asia", funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the Federal State of the North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW) as a part of the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the States, and associated with the DFG priority programme, ‘Digitalisation of the Working Worlds. Conceptualising and Capturing a Systemic Transformation’ (Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer et al.).

Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer, Professor of sociology at the interdisciplinary Nuremberg Campus of Technology (NCT) of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, will deliver a keynote lecture.

The workshop, which is the second part of the presentation of our research project “The Digital Transformation in East Asia”, explores digital transformation as a discourse formation which is successively developing into a self-enforcing praxis in a society. We aim to elucidate the legitimisation process in digitalisation discourses, the political-economisation, and the performative actions of digitalisation in the economy and society of East Asia. For more information, please see the short description above and our project homepage.

Attendance of the workshop is free of charge.
Please register here by March 15.

We look forward to seeing you at the international workshop.

Best regards,

Takahiro Nishiyama (University of Bonn)

Wird geladen