Conversa + Oficina
Racism and the Racial State || Rethinking the humanities: problems, opportunities, and prospects
Ana Delicado (ICS-IUL), Bruno Sena Martins (CES), David Theo Goldberg (Diretor do Humanities Research Institute - Universidade da Califórnia), Inês Amaral (FLUC), Irina Velicu (CES), Sofia José Santos (CES/FEUC), Tiago Santos Pereira (CES)
7 de abril de 2021, 17h00 (GMT +01:00)
Evento em formato digital


I. Conversa: Racism and the Racial State | Conversa entre David Theo Goldberg (Humanities Research Institute - UCalifornia), Bruno Sena Martins (CES) e Irina Velicu (CES)

II. Oficina: Rethinking the humanities: problems, opportunities, and prospects | Oficina com Ana Delicado (ICS-UL), Inês Amaral (FLUC), Sofia José Santos (CES), Tiago Santos Pereira (CES)



1. Inês Amaral, Big Data and Computational Social Sciences: a paradigm disruption?
2. Sofia Jose Santos, Digital turn and post-positivism: shedding light on big data invisibilities
3. Ana Delicado, Doing (social) science in the digital age
4. Tiago Santos Pereira, Digitalisation at Work: Innovation and control in the changing world of work


Big Data and Computational Social Sciences: a paradigm disruption? - Inês Amaral (FLUC)
The era of big data implies that Social Sciences rethink and update theories and theoretical questions such as small-world phenomenon, the complexity of urban life, relational life, social networks, the study of communication and public opinion formation, collective effervescence, and social influence. Big data reframe critical issues on the foundation of knowledge, the processes and techniques of research, the nature of information, and the classification of social reality. As technology-mediated behaviours and collectives are primary elements in the dynamics and the design of social structures, computational approaches are critical to understanding the complex mechanisms that form part of many social phenomena in contemporary society. Although computerized databases are not new, the emergence of an era of Big Data is critical as it creates a radical shift of paradigm in social research. This talk discusses the need for new research paradigms across multiple disciplines enabling interdisciplinary studies and the intersection between computer science, statistics, data visualization and social sciences.

Doing (social) science in the digital age - Ana Delicado (Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa)
Information and communication technologies have thoroughly changed the way science is done and the social sciences and humanities are no exception. Digital tools have become indispensable for the production and circulation of knowledge. From the ubiquitous computer to the myriad of software products that allow collecting, analysing and even reporting data, most research processes have become intrinsically digitalised. Researchers have at their disposal huge online repositories, with bibliography, statistical data, digitalised documents. Online platforms allow surveying large worldwide samples, unbounded by space and time constraints. The internet and social networks have opened up new channels for communication with the public and stakeholders. Access to these bountiful resources has undoubtedly improved the way research is done and even has somewhat democratised access to knowledge (e.g. access to digital libraries in the global south). But it has also raised many new concerns. From the hazards of fast science to issues around privacy, copyright, or misuse of big data, researchers have to learn to navigate a constantly changing landscape, learning new methods and techniques, while aware of ethical implications and accountability. Digital social science is crucial for opening up science, to make it more accessible among peers and especially to citizens and organisations, both public and private. But, like all social science, needs a critical approach, capable of assessing its potential and pitfalls.
Keywords: social research, ICT, ethics

Digital turn and post-positivism: shedding light on big data invisibilities - Sofia José Santos (CES/FEUC)
The centrality of the online is, to a large extent, supported by the Internet of Things which allows the permanent datafication of all aspects of individual and societal life, resulting in the generation of an unprecedented avalanche of information called Big Data. By means of digital methods, big data has been allowing to identify trends, behaviours and patterns in a way never before possible. The digital became, then, both object and subject, and the digital turn an epistemic transformation entailing, as Lunenfeld highlights, not only computational technologies but also, ontological, aesthetical, logical and discursive elements and dimensions. Shedding light on processes and trends otherwise invisible, big data analysis has been relying on digital footprints, privileging calculability while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the ways in which the digital reproduces, reinforces or allows the contestation of hierarchies of privilege and of discrimination. Taking cue on Critical Internet Studies, this presentation intends to explore how the "digital" has been contributing to maintain (and validate) structural inequalities in society, particularly through "digital universalism", and how post-positivists perspectives have been adopting a critical perspective towards "big data" analysis adding critique to descriptions, patterns and trends.

Digitalisation at Work: Innovation and control in the changing world of work - Tiago Santos Pereira (CES/CoLabor)
As the narrative goes, our jobs are at risk. This time, it is not just 'their' jobs, but also 'ours'. Automation, as a particularly visible impact of the digitalisation process in the organisation of work, is said to be threatening a large share of employment, not just in the less qualified jobs, as has been the case in previous waves of technological change, but also threatening highly qualified jobs. Images of robots substituting workers in the shop floor are not new but the present wave of innovation through the diffusion of digital technologies has brought AI (artificial intelligence) technologies to the fore, highlighting their potential wide impact, namely in the service sectors. While the initial more catastrophic projections were the object of methodological criticism, the image of a future where most of current jobs are at risk has been sustained. Despite what a more pragmatic approach to the impact of innovation on jobs and employment, and of our understanding of prior impacts of innovation on employment, may bring to the discussion, it is clear that the world of work is changing due to the digitalisation processes. But this is not just an issue of the distribution of jobs, of which jobs are remaining, which will go and which will be created, but also, if not mostly, about how work is changing through digitalisation. While the narrative supports our attention to the global distribution of jobs, it displaces our attention from the reshaping of labour relations and forms of control, through algorithms and digital traces, as Shoshana Zuboff has shown in detail, that go together with innovations in the workplace. Digital platforms or telework are most visible forms of such rearrangements, which are firstly hailed for their facilitation of new opportunities of work but from which new forms of digital control cannot be separated, clearly impacting the quality of work. Science and technology studies (STS) has taught us to question technology to understand how technology and society are coproduced. I argue that to understand the changing world of work we need to understand the uses of digital technologies in the workspace and to, collectively, assess their impacts not just on jobs and the economy, but also on workers and on the meaning of what is decent work.


Esta atividade realiza-se através da plataforma Zoom, sem inscrição obrigatória. No entanto, está limitada ao número de vagas disponíveis.
ID da reunião: 885 2636 4234 | Senha de acesso: 179075

Agradecemos que todas/os as/os participantes mantenham o microfone silenciado até ao momento do debate. A/O anfitriã/ão da sessão reserva-se o direito de expulsão da/o participante que não respeite as normas da sala.

As atividades abertas dinamizadas em formato digital, como esta, não conferem declaração de participação uma vez que tal documento apenas será facultado em eventos que prevejam registo prévio e acesso controlado.

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