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233042 SE The worth of things. STS, values, markets and governance (2021S)

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

These are the dates for the 2 groups [update on 1 March]:

GROUP 1
04.03. Kick-off Meeting (Thu, 13-15:00), 11.03. (Thu, 13-15:00), 18.03. (Thu, 13-15:00), 25.03. (Thu, 13-15:00), 15.04. Liliana Doganova - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 22.04. (Thu, 13-15:00), 29.04. (Thu, 13-15:00), 06.05. Kristin Asdal - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 20.05. (Thu, 13-15:00), 27.05. Sarah de Rijcke - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 24.6 Course close (Thu, 13-15:00)

GROUP 2
04.03. Kick-off Meeting (Thu, 13-15:00), 12.3. (FRI, 10-12:00), 19.3. (FRI, 10-12:00), 26.3. (FRI, 10-12:00), 15.04. Liliana Doganova - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 23.4. (FRI, 10-12:00), 30.4. (FRI, 10-12:00), 06.05. Kristin Asdal - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 21.5. (FRI, 10-12:00), 27.05. Sarah de Rijcke - Guest lecture (Thu, 13-15:00, digital), 24.6 Course close (Thu, 13-15:00)

Thursday 04.03. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital (Kickoff Class)
Thursday 11.03. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 12.03. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 19.03. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 25.03. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 26.03. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 22.04. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 23.04. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 29.04. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 30.04. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 06.05. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 20.05. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Friday 21.05. 10:00 - 12:00 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 24.06. 13:00 - 15:00 Digital

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The way we ascribe value to objects and processes in the world matters for how we choose to live in the world, to paraphrase an STS mantra. Three examples: What is the value of an ecosystem that might be destroyed by building a renewable energy plant? What is the value of a year of good quality life that may be achieved with a new cutting edge medical therapy? What is the value of an academic’s work in hiring for a professorship?
In all of these questions, and in many like them, valuations are linked to difficult decisions, often decisions that need to be made under high uncertainty. But these decisions have important consequences. Careers are built and destroyed, people, animals and plants live or die. At the same time, what value is in each of these cases is far from straightforward. It is not simply there, but needs to be produced in processes. Markets are the most well-known of these processes, but there are many more. For most valuations, there are also different, often competing ways of attributing value. In all of this, value can be defined in economic terms, or in other, different registers.
Valuation Studies is an approach in STS (and other fields) that analyses the processes in which values are made and the consequences the making of these values has for how decisions are made and more broadly, for how societies are governed. Valuation processes are very interesting for STS, because on the one hand, valuation processes draw on different forms of knowledge and use technological tools. Markets do not simply exist, for example, they need to be brought into being and sustained by infrastructures comprised of technologies and expertise. On the other hand, valuation processes are of key importance for understanding many processes we are interested in in STS, such as why scientists choose to work on some topics rather than others.
In this course, we will first read and discuss central texts in valuation studies to get a grasp on the perspective and vocabulary of this approach. Then, we will discuss work that analyses processes of valuation and their consequences in four different fields: the economy, the environment, health and scientific knowledge production.
In doing so, we will have the opportunity to interact with three “digital guest professors”, STS scholars that use valuation studies concepts in their own research, connected to one of our focal areas. Kristin Asdal (TIK, Oslo), Liliana Doganova (Ecole des Mines, Paris) and Sarah de Rijcke (CWTS, Leiden) will join us in our cosy Zoom classroom for one unit each to discuss their work.

Assessment and permitted materials

Students are expected to be present in class, to read the literature and actively participate in the discussion.
As a seminar paper, students will individually identify a valuation process they are interested in, do independent literature research on this process, and write a paper in which they analyze this valuation process and its governance implications. Students will hand in a two-page expose of their seminar paper. The seminar paper is expected to be between 4000 and 5000 words (excluding references).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Grading scheme

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

In-class participation: 25 percent; assessed individually; feedback on request.
Seminar paper: 75 percent (including exposé); 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.

Examination topics

Reading list


Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.03.2021 11:49