‘The New Social-ism’ – 11th December 2013

What is knowable, valuable and visible in the emerging social economy?

A one-day conference hosted by Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies

10am-6.30pm, 11th December 2013

Room MS.01, University of Warwick

The era of ‘advanced liberalism’ or ‘neoliberalism’ was characterized by an expansion of economic rationalities and methodologies, beyond the limits of the market. Sociology, social policy and other forms of social expertise were amongst the victims of this ‘economic imperialism’, leading to an apparent ‘death of the social’ (Rose, 1996).

Today, however, appeals to the ‘social’ are everywhere: ‘social enterprise’, ‘social media’, ‘social neuroscience’, ‘social prescribing’, ‘social marketing’, ‘social analytics’, ‘social innovation’. This is thanks partly to the affordances of new techniques of accounting, network visualization and behavioural analysis, many of which take advantage of the ubiquitous digitization of market and non-market activity. The social world can be seen, quantified and influenced via new forms of expertise and data analytics. Managers, marketers and policy-makers make explicit appeals to the ‘social’, in order to sustain brands, rational decision-making, mental health and public goods. But the question of how the social sciences relate to this new-found interest, or contribute to it, remains an open one (Savage & Burrows, 2007).

How do we make sense of this? What is the ontology of the ‘social’ that is being appealed to, and how does it differ from the ‘social’ of 20th century statistics, society and sociology? What methodologies are at work in rendering this form of sociality visible, measurable and governable? Is social network analysis now performative, as neo-classical economics has been described in the past? What power relations are latent in this new notion of the social, and to what extent is it in fact reducible to the economic after all – or, perhaps, the biological?

This conference brings together scholars working in economic sociology, science and technology studies, social studies of finance, media studies, social studies of Big Data and other fields, to address these questions. Confirmed speakers include:

The conference is free to attend, but registration is essential. You can register for this conference here. All queries should be sent to Will Davies –William.j.davies@warwick.ac.uk

The event takes place in Room MS.03, which is in the Mathematics and Statistics building. A campus map is available here (the building is number 38 on the map). Information on how to get to Warwick University is available here.

The conference is sponsored by Economy and Society.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s