Recent Technological Developments and Its Implications for (better) Employment

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology (host committee)

Language: English

The introduction of technological innovations stands still for economic growth, productivity and improvement of working conditions. The evidence suggests that, taking dynamics of globalization into account, the first two issues are reflecting the digital organization and control of global value chains. However, recent studies focusing on rationalization potentials of digital technologies form the quest for a renewed look into technology-driven working practices (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014; Frey and Osborne 2013; Neff 2015). 
For many years, there has been a strong focus on technology and work across different disciplines, not only in industrial sociology (Schein, 1984; Turel et al., 2011) but also in technology studies (Hinds et al. 2004; Thrun, 2004). Today, however, this relationship seems no longer in the centre of the scientific discourses. Reasons for this decline may lay in the change of the economic structure: in the past, industrial work was very much scientifically discussed.
Although (especially with the development and emerging fields of applications of new technologies) the relationship between technology and work is crucial, specifically with regard to the ongoing rationalisation of sectors, it remains “underanalysed”. This has been already mentioned and criticised by scholars (Pfeiffer, 2010; Wajcman, 2006) and international institutions (Dhondt et al., 2002; ILO, 2006). 
We invite empirical and conceptual papers focusing on digital technologies, robotics, health care technologies or other and their implications on employment, employability or working relations. We consider this collection of actual research in the field as a start for further discussions on the normative preconditions of employment with technologies as well as the improvement of employability.
Session Organizer:
Antonio MONIZ, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Digital Myth? Visions and Open Questions in the Field of “Digital” Work
Linda NIERLING, KIT, Germany; Bettina KRINGS, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; Antonio MONIZ, KIT, Germany
What about the Workers? the Latest Industrial Revolution and Its Shop Floor Effects
Florian BUTOLLO, FSU Jena, Institute for Sociology, Germany; Martin EHRLICH, FSU Jena, Institute for Sociology, Germany; Thomas ENGEL, FSU Jena, Institute for Sociology, Germany; Ingo SINGE, FSU Jena, Institute for Sociology, Germany