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Marion Fourcade: Social order in the digital society


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Modern institutions, both public and private, rely on tools and procedures that track individuals, assess their behaviour, and assign them membership in various categories. They use them, variously, in their efforts to monitor conduct, calculate risk, or extract value. These classifications distribute value, sustain the rank ordering of people and things, and structure their life chances. How is social order constituted and legitimated in a society ruled by digital classifiers and associated actuarial techniques? What do these developments mean for fundamental principles such as equality and fairness? What are the moral implications of looking at individuals through the lens of these new classificatory architectures? And how do we justify the use of techniques that are growing ever more efficient at predicting outcomes but are ever less amenable to human sense making?

MARION FOURCADE is professor of sociology at UC Berkeley and an associate fellow of the Max Planck – Sciences Po Center on coping with instability in market societies. Fourcade’s upcoming book 'The Ordinal Society' investigates new forms of social stratification and morality in the digital economy.

REGISTRATION MANDATORY: https://www.hiig.de/en/events/marion-fourcade-digital-society/ The event will be in English and simultaneously translated into German.

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb) are organising an academic lecture series on Making Sense of the Digital Society. The high-profile series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing. It started with an inaugural lecture by Manuel Castells and was continued by Christoph Neuberger and Elena Esposito. José van Dijck is another confirmed speaker.