Digital Sociology and the Archimedean Affect

Friday, 20 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Alphia POSSAMAI-INESEDY, Western Sydney University, Australia
Alan NIXON, Western Sydney University, Australia
With the advent of the internet, particularly Web 2.0, sociologists have been called to take up the challenges and the promises of the Web. In the face of this, sociologists are caught up in debates and practices of how to ethically approach and develop appropriate methods/methodologies for the field. While these are important endeavours, more robust debate needs to be placed on the unintended consequences of the promises of the internet, as well as the power relations that are at play in what we term the digital social. Employing the metaphor of the Archimedean screw and Archimedean point, the presentation argues that the space we now find ourselves in is unprecedented. The Archimedean affect demonstrates that the promises of the internet have gone off track resulting in the evolution and de-evolution of the digital social framed by the re-enforcement of existing power relations. Yet, rather than viewing this time as a crisis, we should see it as a defining moment for our discipline, one where the demands of public sociology need to be adopted broadly.