Universität Wien

230212 SE Information Infrastructures (2018S)

designing communities, technologies and knowledge

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 05.03. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien (Kickoff Class)
Monday 09.04. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 16.04. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 23.04. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 30.04. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 14.05. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 28.05. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 04.06. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 11.06. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 18.06. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 25.06. 09:30 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

When we hear the term ‘infrastructure’ we think of roads, rail tracks, or the electricity grid. Yet, the digital networks that have become necessary to many human activities are also part of an infrastructure. Information infrastructures co-shape new forms of sociality, ethical and political values, as well as the nature of knowledge work and knowledge itself. Bowker and colleagues (2010) have described them as 'pervasive enabling resources in network form'. Beyond 'tubes and wires', they also encompass more abstract entities, such as standards, protocols, and memory. Studying the social arrangements that information infrastructure is sunk into, helps us to see how it enables distributed collective practices, how people create, share, and dispute knowledge, and what it means to ‘know’ in an age of social networks, big data, and new modes of access to ‘bigger’ and ‘faster’ information.
Infrastructure typically exists in the background. It is invisible, just as much of the work of building and maintaining it. However, the power of infrastructure becomes manifests in the way in which it put things and people into relation with one another: the daily work of one person is the infrastructure of another. In this spirit, Science and Technology Studies (STS) explore the phenomenon of ‘infrastructuring’ and, thus, unfold the political, ethical, and social choices that have been made throughout the development of an infrastructure.Topics covered in the seminar include the politics of standards, classifications, and protocols, infrastructures supporting new forms of labour (e.g. crowd work, industry 4.0) and social organisation (e.g. commons), as well as knowledge infrastructures in the sciences.
By ways of a close reading of relevant literature on information infrastructures, participants will learn about basic concepts and methods in infrastructure studies. Students are required to prepare reading cards for every class, participate in group assignments and plenary discussions, and explore an agreed upon research question in more detail in their final seminar paper.

Assessment and permitted materials

To pass the seminar, students are expected to complete the following tasks:
Preparation of each session: Read the required texts and write one to two pages per class outlining the main arguments of the readings based on questions provided. These reading cards have to be handed in via Moodle until one hour before the respective session.
Active participation in discussions (groups and plenary).
Research paper (10-15 pages): Explore a research question in relation to the topics covered in the seminar. The question has to be agreed upon with the lecturer beforehand. Has to be handed in via Moodle until July 31, 2018.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading of the course is based on the separate assessment of different tasks on a scale of 1-5.

Preparation of readings: 30 percent, assessed individually, feedback on request
Regular attendance and demonstrated grasp of the main arguments of each reading: 30 percent, assessed individually, feedback on request
Research paper: 10-15 pages, to be handed in via Moodle until July 31, 2018: 40 percent, assessed individually, feedback by lecturer

Minimum requirements
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 also be considered in the course assessment.

Attendance
Presence and participation is compulsory. Absences of four hours at maximum are tolerated, provided that the lecturer is informed about the absence. Absences of up to eight hours in total may be compensated by either a deduction of grading points or/and extra work agreed with the lecturer. Whether compensation is possible is decided by the lecturer.
Absences of more than eight hours in total cannot be compensated. In this case, or if the lecturer does not allow a student to compensate absences of more than four hours, the course cannot be completed and is graded as a ‘fail’ (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfil the attendance requirements on the student’s side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the lecturer.

Important Grading Information
If not explicitly noted otherwise, all requirements mentioned in the grading scheme and the attendance regulations must be met. If a required task is not fulfilled, e.g. a required assignment is not handed in or if the student does not meet the attendance requirements, this will be considered as a discontinuation of the course. In that case, the course will be graded as ‘fail’ (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfill the task on the student's side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the lecturer.
If any requirement of the course has been fulfilled by fraudulent means, be it for example by cheating at an exam, plagiarizing parts of a written assignment or by faking signatures on an attendance sheet, the student's participation in the course will be discontinued, the entire course will be graded as ‘not assessed’ and will be entered into the electronic exam record as ‘fraudulently obtained’. Self-plagiarism, particularly re-using own work handed in for other courses, will be treated likewise.

Examination topics

Reading list


Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:39