Panels details > Panel 13

P13 - Complementary or contradicting? Social meanings of technologies produced by different approaches of discourse analysis

PANEL Organizers
• Pfersdorf, Simon (, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

• Lösch, Andreas (, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

Technologies emerge in a complex societal interplay of statements, practices and events on the local, national or global level. There is no easy way to disentangle and to understand such constitutive interplays. One of the most promising approaches is discourse analysis. It offers the possibility to combine different kinds of data from a variety of sources over a long period of time. Apart from understanding who the speakers inside a discourse are and what the contents are, the research interests vary: Discourse analyses might focus on hegemonies and power structures, the assessment of future visions and expectations, the handling or regulation of potential risks, uncertainties and unintended consequences etc. However, not only the research foci vary but as well the researchers' understanding of what discourse analysis actually is. Depending on both, the individual research focus and the applied discourse analysis approach, we may get very different results concerning the societal interplay which constitutes a technology. We can distinguish between approaches primarily guided by theories and others which rely mainly on the empirical material. The specific methods of data collection and the analytical categories in the process of data analyses vary a lot between the different approaches. In the end these differences result in partly contradicting interpretations of the societal constitution of the same technology. Against this background, we invite contributions which discuss primarily the theoretical and methodological foundations of discourse analytical approaches. But we also invite abstracts which demonstrate the use of specific discourse analytical approaches by means of case studies on specific technologies. The scope of this session will be the comparison of various approaches in order to become aware to what extend they complement or contradict each other concerning our understanding of the social constitution and the social meaning of technologies.

Discourse analysis, scientific understanding and social meaning of technologies, methods of data analysis

Sciences Po Lille  B2.3

SESSION 1 : 9/07/15 : 14:00-15:30
Chair: Andreas Lösch (, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

Discourse coalitions and unconventional gas in Scotland: Risky ‘dash for gas’ or vital ‘bridge’ to a low-carbon future?
Hannes R. Stephan (, University of Stirling (United Kingdom)

Experimental re-arrangements of actors, power and knowledge: Smart Grid visions as socio-epistemic practices of the energy transition
Andreas Lösch (, Christoph Schneider (, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

The rights of the embryo: straddling between the private and the public in the Italian debates over the Law on Medically Assisted Procreation
Volha Parfenchyk (, Tilburg University (Netherlands)

Overall discussion: Discursive constructions of technologies, moderated by Andreas Lösch, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology

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