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Research approach

Digital technologies increasingly enter society’s sociocultural evolution and its subsections. They initiate a surge towards globalisation as they boost communicative ranges and interdependencies. Besides, they constitute an innovative need for adjustment which they endeavour to tackle within their own dynamics.


Four sets of questions are at the core of this scientific horizon of analysis, which are to be examined along selected examples:

  1. How do digital technologies reorganise social communication in the different areas of our society? Which new decision economies and distributional logics of control and control withdrawal are useful, for instance, when the process of decision-making is duplicated in the field of politics or when it is shifted to a different level by redundant procedures? Alternatively, to name a second example, how are scopes, fields of research, leading questions, theories, and range of methods modified and initially established by new forms of data acquisition and computing within the sciences?
  2. How do the modes of interaction between the different sections of society change when more and more information and various processes are structurally implemented? Which secondary needs of an (again technologically based) isolation of processes (keyword: data security) are triggered? Which new functionalities, risks, and irreversibilities are connected with the growing dependencies (keyword: Big Data) and how do these artificially generated dependencies relate to natural interdependencies of ecological systems?
  3. In how far are digital technologies and their potential to merge heterogeneous elements (e.g. in physical, biological, mental, or communicational forms) in an electronic way reconfiguring the 'human' (as a semantic construction)? In the context of a digital anthropology, what is the big picture of digital data procressing in which the 'human' is embedded? Moreover, which cultural technologies develop at these new intersections?
  4. Which semantic and theoretical repertoires shape the dynamics of digital innovations? Which imaginations regulate their modes of operation, application scenarios, and, last but not least, their design and aesthetics? What is the reverse effect on the framework of cultural communication?
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