Universität Wien FIND

233045 SE Identity and community (2019W)

and how they come to matter in contemporary technoscience

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

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 02.10. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien (Kickoff Class)
Wednesday 09.10. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 16.10. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 13.11. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 20.11. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 27.11. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 04.12. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 11.12. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 08.01. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 15.01. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 22.01. 12:30 - 14:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Addressing issues of identity and community goes way back in the history of science and technology studies. From Fleck’s ‘thought collectives’, via Hagstrom’s ‘scientific communities’ to Knorr Cetina’s ‘transepistemic arenas’ and ‘epistemic cultures’, STS scholars have raised questions about social units of science and they have variously tied these - implicitly or explicitly - to configurations of belonging and identity. References to such issues have also undergone several instances of deconstruction, reconceptualisation and differentiation.
With this long, and partly ambivalent history, both categories may currently seem too big to address (or grasp conceptually). At the same time they once again prove too big to ignore. Lately, new kinds of events and social ties like the iGEM competition have been invented to socially engineer new kinds of technoscientific community; it was also decisively ‘the community’ that ‘spoke back’ via a Nature article when the so-called CRISPR babies were born and led to an intra- and extra-scientific debate. Identities are being questioned, blurred or ‘performed’, but at the same time (and in a totally different discourse) taken for granted and ‘protected’.
This course aims at giving an overview on influential conceptions of (techno)scientific community and identity with a focus on how they came or come to matter. Its central ambition is to enable students to address related issues with an awareness of potential pitfalls, theoretical constraints and explanatory potential.
To do so, we will discuss overview articles and seminar papers, as well as empirical/discursive contexts and individual experiences and positions.

Assessment and permitted materials

To pass the seminar, students are expected to complete the following tasks:
a) Read the required literature and/or attend to the empirical task and hand in written responses: For each session, every student has to hand in a response of 1-2 pages that engages with the required reading(s) and/or an empirical task along guiding questions. These contributions should compare and critically reflect the readings and/or empirical material and reflect an own position of the student towards the author’s main arguments. They should facilitate discussion during the sessions. Reading responses are to be uploaded on Moodle no later than noon, the day before each session.
b) Give a presentation: Each session (except session 1), 1-3 students will be required to start class discussion by briefly (5-8 minutes each) summarizing the main arguments of the respective reading assignment and comparing the various approaches along guiding question (concerning e.g. varying conceptions of community and identity and discussing respective strengths and weaknesses) and/or present the results of the empirical task (relating a distinct empirical case to various conceptual/analytical approaches). This presentation is complemented by a written text of up to 10 pages.
c) Participate actively in the discussions of all sessions, reflect on their own presumptions and elaborate on their own positions.
d) Adhere to the general standards of good academic practice.

'This course uses the plagiarism-detection service Turnitin for larger assignments.'

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Grading Scheme

Written responses: 40 points, assessed individually, general feedback by lecturer;
Presentation + written text: 30 points, assessed individually or as group work, detailed feedback by lecturer;
Active participation: 30 points, assessed individually, feedback on request;

Minimum requirements
A minimum of 50 points is necessary to successfully complete the course. 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.

Grades
100-87 points Excellent (1)
86-75 points Good (2)
74-63 points Satisfactory (3)
62-50 points Sufficient (4)
49-0 points Unsatisfactory (5) (fail)

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: We 04.09.2019 17:48