Technology and society

Information technologies are deeply implicated in the shaping of the contemporary human condition and its social ordering. To some extent, these technologies are ‘micro-politics’ which endorse, in their concepts and designs, moral and political choices affecting our relationships to oneself, to the others and to the world. They are both a social construction and a social constraint.

The first research axis concerns the critical analysis of the moral and political choices embedded into concepts and design of new information systems. These choices are seen as problematic because they are inscrutable, silent, and opaque. To disclose these choices and assess their potential impacts for human condition and its social ordering is a major issue for the democratic governance of technologies. This research is inspired by constructivist theories and the disclosive ethic approaches.

The second axis concerns the democratic deliberation of technological design. Inspired by the ‘co-design’ and the ‘value sensitive design’ approaches, oriented towards an enhanced integration of ‘social and ethical requirements’ from the very starting stage of technological design in order to foster its social acceptability. This needs to set up the conditions for a sound collective process to deliberate the social and ethical requirements to be embedded into a technological design.

The third axis addresses the impacts of a technology on various sociological issues such as social identity, social differentiation or divide, social interactions, work organization, governance… This research aims to better understand the confrontation between technological normativity and social norms.

Contact: Claire Lobet