Universität Wien FIND
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230155 KO Discussion Class Politics of Innovation and its Institutional Dimensions (2017W)

1.00 ECTS (1.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung



max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Field trips: 19.10., 15:30-19:00 (Workshop 'Editing Genomes with CRISPR'); 25.10., 10:45-13:30 (Impact Hub Vienna)

Donnerstag 12.10. 15:30 - 17:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Donnerstag 16.11. 15:30 - 17:00 STS Bibliothek, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Talk of 'innovation' has proliferated in the past decades: it is core to political programmes and economic growth strategies (such as Europe 2020) as well as marketing strategies of firms and tactics of social movements. While today we have gotten used to thinking of innovation as core to societal development, this is by far self-evident in historical perspective. Back in the 17th century, innovation had the meaning of political change, reform and revolution and was used in rather pejorative ways: thus, the then only developing scientific profession was eager to write in line with Restauration values and 'novelty' in general was suspect (Godin 2014). This understanding is quite contrary to today’s understanding of innovation as central to wealth, well being and (sometimes even) survival. This lecture discusses the institutional framework conditions (e.g. for funding, measuring or owning innovation) that societies have created to stabilise this view. Amongst others, we discuss different attempts to steer innovation to serve societal needs better (e.g. the European framework programme Horizon 2020). Taking into account the broader societal context, we will also discuss how the dominant understanding of innovation as technological innovation for the market developed and stabilised during the 20th century, e.g. by institutionalising science and innovation statistics and 'innovation studies'. We further discuss, how alternative concepts of innovation gain (political) legitimacy; e.g. 'frugal innovation' that claims to 'contrast(s) sharply with the conventional approach' (Planning Commission 2013), or 'social innovation' that partly reclaims a meaning of social change or revolution.
The aim of the course is to learn to understand notions of innovation as co-produced by specific societal (institutional, political, economic, cultural, etc.) framework conditions. To do so, it explores how different meanings of innovation have developed historically and traces how we have learned to think of societal development in terms of 'innovation'. The lecture (VO) does so via talks by the lecturer, but also by interactive discussions, brainstorming, or reflections on contemporary representations (e.g. videos) of innovation policies. The discussion class (KO) takes up and reflects the topics of the lecture. It does so along readings of scientific texts and field-trips (regarding concrete practical examples), mostly in the framework of teamwork-based debate.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

The discussion class engages with the issues of the lecture class through debating the texts or policy documents that are indicated for this date and two field trips (see seminar schedule below).
To pass the discussion class, students are expected to:
prepare each session by reading the respective text(s), preparing two questions for the discussion and posting them on Moodle before the lecture (excl. the field trips).
participate actively in group works and discussions.
hand in the essay (800-1000 words) (on Moodle (Deadline: 09th November 2017).
chair a discussion: for each class, a group of students will be assigned to lead the discussion based on the reading of the texts and group work.
adhere to the general standards of good academic practice.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Grading Scheme
The grading of the course is based on the separate assessment of different tasks on a scale of 1-5. The relative weight of each task in relation to the overall grade is:

Preparation and active participation in the discussion of all sessions:
35 %, assessed individually
Conduct of a discussion: 25 %, assessed as group work
Delivery of assignments on time, meeting the formal criteria (see requirements below): 5 %, assessed individually
Essay: structure, line of reasoning, originality, language: 35 %,
assessed individually

To successfully complete the course, a weighted average of at least 4,5 is required. Failure to meet the attendance regulations, to deliver course assignments on time or to adhere to standards of academic work may result in a deduction of points.

Acceptance of assignment (Essay) implies compliance with the following requirements:
Citations are always marked and referred to in the bibliography at the end of a text
No unauthorized copying or pirating of existing texts; plagiarism will not be tolerated!
Cover sheet must include course title and number, name, student ID, title of assignment/topic and date
Style: A4 paper, 11 point font, 1 1/2 line spacing, page numbers in footer, author name and text title in header
Proofreading and language checks before submission of texts



Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

MA HPS: M 1.1, M 1.2, M 1.3

Letzte Änderung: Do 07.09.2017 11:09