CfP: Marketization and the digital economy

Submissions are now open for SASE’s 30th annual conference, Global Reordering: Prospects for Equality, Democracy and Justice, hosted by Doshisha University from 23-25 June 2018. This is for a special section on digitalisation: 

Global reordering in the economy is occurring at many levels – between geographical regions, within geographical regions, between economic sectors, between different players in the same sector, and between market and non-market models of economic provisioning. The digital economy is at the forefront of these processes of reordering. For this miniconference we invite papers on all aspects of the socio-economic changes related to marketization and the contemporary digital economy, in all regions and sectors. Topics may include, for example:

Collaborative forms of digital economy

Digital technology has created new spaces for non-market and non-profit forms of economy, whether we call them collaborative, sharing, gift, or collective economies – from Wikipedia to Couchsurfing, from the open source software communities to Freecycle. How are these faring in their continuing competition with market forms? How do they combine or collide with more commercial forms? Are they able to deliver more equal and democratic forms of work and consumption?

Marketization processes

On the other hand, many practices previously considered as recreational or domestic are increasingly becoming marketized. Web platforms such as Airbnb.com, Craigslist.org, Etsy.com or Vizeat.com, encourage ordinary people to commodify their personal possessions as well as their common domestic or leisure practices. Human bodies and personal data are becoming commodified. Ordinary people are encouraged to turn themselves into entrepreneurs, changing forms of work-life articulation and generating altered social recognition. What are the causes and effects of these extensions of the market? How do market and domestic orders of worth combine? What are the consequences for the regulation of professions and the new challengers?

The platform economy

Platform sites like Amazon and Alibaba are well established, but the platform model is now breaking into vast new areas, most notoriously through taxi services like Uber and Didi. How do these new intermediaries benefit or harm competitors, states, workers and consumers? How can, and how should, they be regulated? Can those harmed by them find new ways to organize in response? Do the participants in the platform economy bring new values or moral economies to the markets that they impact? How do algorithm-based orderings, filterings and decisions fit with online platforms and their participants?

Digital market processes

The new economic sociology was largely defined by its account of embeddedness. Are digital commodity transactions and business models embedded in the social in different ways? How have the means of qualifying and valuing commodities changed, and who do these changes favour? Does digitalization favour specific forms of industrial organization? How does the massive collection of data on consumers affect the balance of power in and across markets and what risks does this generate? To what extent does digital automation (through algorithms, “artificial intelligence”) redistribute agencies and the balance of power within markets? What are the prospects for a digital transformation of the monetary form of commodity transactions?

Systemic consequences

What is the overall effect of these changes on macrosocial variables such as inequality, governance capacities, systemic risk, environmental change, and political engagement with economic issues? Does digital technology offer a prospect of greater economic and financial inclusion or is it systematically stacked against the poorest and most marginalized?

Deadline extended to January 29th. Submit online here: https://sase.org/uncategorized/sasekyoto-2018-submissions-open/


Categories: Conferences, Digital Sociology

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