Sociologica 2020-09-24T15:13:31+02:00 Ester Cois Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Socio<em>logica</em> – International Journal for Sociological Debate – ISSN 1971-8853</strong> an international, peer-reviewed journal committed to fostering rigorous debate not only about theoretical and methodological issues but also about the practice of the sociological craft. Founded in 2007, Socio<em>logica</em> is one of the first international journals of sociology issued solely online and fully open access.</p> The Pandemic Doesn’t Run on Trolley Tracks: A Comment on Eyal's Essay "Beware the Trolley Zealots" 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Cansu Canca <p>The COVID-19 pandemic raises various ethical questions, one of which is the question of when and how countries should move from lockdown to reopening. In his paper “Beware the Trolley Zealots” (2020), Gil Eyal looks at this question, arguing against a trolley problem approach and utilitarian reasoning. In this commentary, I show that his position suffers from misunderstanding the proposed policies and the trolley problem and asserting moral conclusions without moral justifications.</p> 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Cansu Canca Moral Philosophy or The Sociology of Morals? Response to Cansu Canca 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Gil Eyal I make three points in my response. I begin by pointing out the differences between the sociological and philosophical approaches to moral questions. The sociologist is interested in the trolley problem as a frame, and in the rhetorical power it generates. Second, I reject the claim that I am forcing the debate into a binary choice. Instead, I show the similarity between the model of moral reasoning Canca advocates and risk assessment, noting the well-known limitations of risk assessment. Finally, I reject the claim that I make moral arguments without engaging in principled moral reasoning, and instead explain the sociological method of comparison and relativization upon which I draw. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Gil Eyal Pandemic Practices, Part One. How to Turn “Living Through the COVID-19 Pandemic” into a Heuristic Tool for Sociological Theorizing 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Tobias Werron Leopold Ringel This paper uses the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to engage in an experiment in sociological theorizing. For this purpose, we analyze the pandemic as an unpredictable event emerging before our very eyes. To account for the unpredictability of the event, we propose to think about it in terms of "pandemic practices": social practices that emerge and are being reproduced, connected, disconnected and (de)-institutionalized in the course of the pandemic. We introduce a tentative typology of pandemic practices which highlights what we call "pandemic meta-practices", that is, practices that discuss, compare, and evaluate other pandemic practices. Meta-practices, we argue, shape the likelihood of other pandemic practices to prevail by establishing relationships between them (e.g. by comparing the "management" of the pandemic in different countries). The concluding section explains the heuristic advantages of this approach with a number of research questions that we plan to study in more detail during future phases of the pandemic. Our experimental strategy of theorizing compels us to develop our view further during the event, making this only the first of a series of papers exploring the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Tobias Werron, Leopold Ringel A Factory of Sociologies from FIAT to FCA 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Riccardo Emilio Chesta This introductory essay puts the sociological debates on FIAT in perspective, by showing the relations between the evolution of the Italian multinational and the changes in the practice of sociological inquiry. At several junctures, the debate on FIAT has been so publicly relevant that it became a difficult and somehow hostile terrain for the development of a “quiet and cold” explanatory sociology independent of any positioning in the field of contention. But this is exactly what makes the relation between the Italian automobile factory and sociology a specific one, a privileged perspective through which it is possible to look not only at the changes in the world of labor, but also at the evolution of the discipline over time. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Riccardo Emilio Chesta Working Conditions within Italian FCA Group plants 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Matteo Gaddi This paper presents the main results of a research conducted on working conditions at FCA-CNHi Group plants in Italy. In particular, it analyses the consequences of the change in work organization following the transformation in the collective bargaining system and the introduction of organizational (Ergo-UAS and WCM) and technological innovations. The paper highlights the critical aspects of these changes from the workers' point of view. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Matteo Gaddi The Evolution of Blue-Collar Work in the Fiat Factories. On "The Car Profession" Research 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Guglielmo Meardi This comment reflects on "The Car Profession" research on the background of previous sociological investigations on Fiat factories and with references to parallel international debates. By looking at the historical, industrial relations and organizational aspects, it frames the question of why labour at Fiat appeared more successful in the "domestication" of Fordism than in that of post-Fordism, and outlines some avenues for further research on this question. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Guglielmo Meardi A Comment on "Working Conditions within Italian FCA Group Plants" by Matteo Gaddi 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Adam Mrozowicki The article is a commentary on the report by Matteo Gaddi (2020) on working conditions within Italian FCA Group. It reviews the commented paper with regards to research methodology and the presentation of the cases studied. It points to the need to explore the developments in the FCA in a broader institutional context of the Italian industrial relations as well as the global spread of the lean production as ideology and practice. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Adam Mrozowicki The Automaker that Changed the World. High Automation, Total Quality Management and Digitalization at FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). A Comment on “Working conditions within Italian FCA Group plants” by Matteo Gaddi 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Valeria Pulignano What we observe today are not the unintended social effects of the “Machine who changed the world.” Rather they are the outcomes produced by automakers and other leading industries, who have pursued a strategy intended to maximize profitability by thereby attempting to change "the Machine." When Womack, Jones, and Roos wrote <em>The Machine that Changed the World</em> in 1990, Japanese automakers, and Toyota in particular, were applying the principles of lean production. However, the outcomes and power of lean principles were still unproven, and they had not been applied outside of the automobile industry, yet. Today, surveys on the working conditions within Italian FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Groups plants illustrate that lean principles may be problematic. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Valeria Pulignano Lean Production and Neo-liberal Crisis. A Comment on “Working Conditions within Italian FCA Group Plants” by Matteo Gaddi 2020-09-24T15:13:31+02:00 Paul Stewart In addressing Matteo Gaddi’s prospectus on working life and labour relations in the Italian FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group, this paper considers a range of responses common to labour organizations in the automotive sector internationally. These include embracing them entirely, or engaging with them robustly in an attempt to change them. This has typically required the union to think outside the framework of straightforward opposition, going beyond seeing lean as a management fad or just a simple change in production requirements. The argument is made that lean, in addition to being understood as a manufacturing strategy, is also a managerial ideology developed in a period of neoliberal transformation. In consequence, quality of working life issues attendant on the supposed misapplication of lean are here understood as being critical to capital’s labour control strategies. Moreover, since lean is also part and parcel of wider societal change, it is argued that the union could consider developing, via network research, a bench marking agenda of workplace health &amp; safety and worker wellbeing. This can be a means by which “health and sickness dumping” are refracted back to the firm rather than supported through social wage. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Paul Stewart From Value to Values, from Field to Discipline: Understanding Journalistic Culture in the 21st Century 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 C. W. Anderson The Introduction to this Symposium, "Value and Values in the Organizational Production of News," outlines its primary themes. It begins with an elaboration of the argument that the past few years have seen a major shift in the analytical concerns of researchers interested in the production, consumption, and institutional transformation of news. Whereas public conversations about journalism in the first two decades of the internet era were primarily oriented toward questions of “value,” a series of political shocks have called into question not only the value but the normative values of news. The Introduction then discusses the two major aims of the Symposium through an overview of the articles and essays contained herein. The first aim is to apply the theories and tools of sociology to the analysis both of news value and news value(s). The second aim is to reflect on what this analytical framework can tell us about the disciplinary relationship between journalism studies and sociology. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 C. W. Anderson On #BlackLivesMatter and Journalism 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Sarah J. Jackson In this refined version of a 2020 talk given to journalism students at Duke University, Professor Sarah Jackson reflects on the newsroom controversies and tensions that have accompanied the rise of #BlackLivesMatter. She argues that normative news values have always been at least partially subservient to the larger values of society, which means that, in the United States at the very least they are unavoidably and structurally racist even as they simultaneously represent real efforts on behalf of an occupational group to enact values that help democracy function properly. Jackson’s goal in this powerful piece is for journalists to be more self-reflective about the manner by which their professional efforts can harm particular people and groups even while it purports to benefit society at large. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Sarah J. Jackson “A Nose for News”: From (News) Values to Valuation 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Juliette De Maeyer “News values” - that is, the set of criteria that journalists use to assess newsworthiness - are a central concern for journalism studies. Since Galtung and Ruge’s seminal piece (1965), scholarship about news values has repeatedly attempted to define and refine a list of qualities that facts and events should possess to become news stories. This article outlines the limitations of news values research: a proliferation of lists of news values complicates the matter instead of offering an explanation, researchers often have to rely on other factors or on an unsatisfactory gap between ideal and practice to explain what journalists actually do, and such research does not account for another way in which journalists and scholars explain news selection - through the “nose for news” metaphor. Consequently, the article discusses how John Dewey’s theory of valuation offers a good way to revisit the news-values conundrum. Through an exploration of metajournalistic discourse about the “nose for news” between 1863 and 2010, it shows that Dewey’s theory of valuation converges with how journalists think about newsmaking. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Juliette De Maeyer Making Peace with Metrics: Relational Work in Online News Production 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Angèle Christin Caitlin Petre How do workers make peace with performance metrics that threaten their professional values? Drawing on Viviana Zelizer’s concepts of relational work and “good matches,” we focus on the case of online news production and analyze efforts to align audience metrics with journalistic values. Whereas existing research on web metrics tends to frame editorial production and audience data as “hostile worlds” of professional and market forces that cannot be reconciled, we show that journalists rely on relational work to make metrics acceptable within organizations. Drawing on ethnographic material, we identify five key relational strategies: moral boundary-drawing between "good" and "bad" metrics, strategic invocation of "best-case scenarios," domestication through bespoke metrics, reframing metrics as democratic feedback, and justifying metrics as organizational subsidies. We then turn to cases of failure and document a process that we call overspelling, which can coincide with organizational breakdown. We conclude by discussing the concept of “failed matches” and the indirect relationship between metrics and markets in online news production. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Angèle Christin, Caitlin Petre From Movement to Institution: The "Global Fact" Summit as a Field-Configuring Event 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Lucas Graves Laurens Lauer <span>The last decade has seen the rise of a self-described worldwide "movement" of fact-checking groups which specialize in debunking false political claims and other forms of misinformation. This very heterogeneous movement now spans nearly 300 fact-checking outlets in more than eighty countries, led by their own professional organization. This study charts the emergence and development of this transnational institutional sphere with qualitative and quantitative analysis of the annual summit of fact-checking organizations, Global Fact, as a field-configuring event (Lampel &amp; Meyer, 2008). Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork by two authors as well as comprehensive data on the first six Global Fact meetings, we use shifts in the structure and content of the event to explore processes of structuration; we highlight a shift from a field-building ethic valuing inclusiveness and celebrating diversity to one valuing common practices and standards, marked by new governance mechanisms and increasing interest from powerful outside stakeholders. Ultimately, our data show the fact-checking field negotiating a necessary tension between managing internal diversity and consolidating as an increasingly recognized institutional actor in the domain of public communication.</span> 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Lucas Graves, Laurens Lauer Disrupting the News 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Elizabeth Hansen Disruption has become a popular shorthand explanation among news media executives and thought leaders for describing the massive business model and innovation challenges facing the incumbent producers of news. Yet the focus on digital disruption to the traditional business model of news obscures deeper changes in the values guiding journalistic practice. This essay unpacks disruptions to the landscape of news production and the practice of journalism with an attention to the institutional logic of digital media innovations. The digital values of openness and rationalization, visible in the adoption and use of metrics and analytics, crowds and engagement, and algorithmic distribution, have disrupted both the practices of journalism and the values guiding journalists’ work. This essay examines those disruptions in practice and values and outlines their consequences: new values and new identities that reconfigure the journalist/audience relationship and expand the complexity of the journalist role. The stakes of the digital disruption are issues of control and transparency in newswork. Overall, this essay claims, digital disruptions in journalism are issues of control and transparency in newswork. Overall, this essay claims, digital disruptions in journalistic values and practice are both discontinuous breaks from the past and evolutions of long-standing tensions in journalism as an institution. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Elizabeth Hansen Hope as a Portal to Change: Reimagining Journalism’s Value(s) 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Amanda Daniëlle Brouwers Tamara Witschge In this article, we explore how normative understandings of what "proper journalism" is affects journalistic practices, particularly for those who are trying to develop new types of practices. Drawing on the autoethnography of one of the authors of this article, who is both an academic and an entrepreneurial journalist, we explore how explicit and implicit norms of journalism, and the central values they imply, impact individual experiences of doing journalism. We highlight the pressure that these dominant values and understandings can induce and explore an alternative value that can help guide innovation in journalism. We argue that putting the value of “hope” centrally in the discourse and practice of journalism can help change journalism for the better. By seeing how hope is a driver of change in entrepreneurial journalism - as its practitioners see what is possible, but not yet actual - we provide a new conceptualization of innovation in journalism. In redirecting our attention away from pressure, and toward hope, we also redirect our focus to what is possible in the field. By doing so we can tap into the huge potential for change journalism’s hopeful practitioners endeavor to realize. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Amanda Brouwers, Tamara Witschge Virality, Algorithms, and Illiberal Attacks on the Press: Legitimation Strategies for a New World 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Ronald N. Jacobs <p class="western"><span style="color: #222222;">Historically, professional journalism has justified its importance through a series of binary oppositions that privileged objectivity over opinion, news over entertainment, impartiality over partisanship, and public interest over profit. Over the last half century these distinctions have become increasingly destabilized, and the press finds itself under attack from a number of different directions. This article examines the social forces that have combined to challenge press authority: (1) the changing ownership structure and revenue model for news organizations, (2) the shifting dynamics of media influence made possible by convergence culture and algorithmic culture, and (3) the attacks on expertise made possible by the spread of neoliberal and populist rhetorics in the public sphere. After describing this challenging new media climate, the article finishes by examining the different legitimation strategies journalists have used to defend themselves, considering the different challenges and constraints they confront when articulating these strategies as well as the different potential alliances that are available to them.</span></p> 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Ronald Jacobs Value and Values in the Interstices of Journalism and Journalism Studies: An Interview with Candis Callison and Mary Lynn Young 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Rick Harp Candis Callison Mary Lynn Young In this interview, Professor Candis Callison and Professor Mary Lynn Young, along with <em>MEDIA INDIGENA</em> podcast creator Rick Harp, provide a deep and sometimes personal set of insights as to why the field of journalism studies came to function the way it did and why that field so often falls short in its analysis of issues related to race, indigeneity, gender, and colonialism. Both Callison and Young highlight the arguments they make in their recent book, <em>Reckoning: Journalism's Limits and Possibilities</em>, about the role and practice of journalism as it relates to methods, ideals, aspirations, social order, and ethics. They conclude with a discussione of the theoretical and epistemological frameworks that undergird their analyses in the book, and address the tensions between value and values in the news. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Rick Harp, Candis Callison, Mary Lynn Young Reflecting on Forty Years of Sociology, Media Studies, and Journalism: An Interview with Todd Gitlin and Michael Schudson 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Jiang Chang Todd Gitlin Michael Schudson Reflecting on more than four decades in dual scholarly careers that cut across the boundaries between communication, the sociology of culture, and journalism studies, Professor Todd Gitlin and Professor Michael Schudson discuss the growth, evolution, and strengths and weaknesses of the media studies field with Professor Jiang Chang. The three reflect on the origins of the research, the gap between the field of journalism studies and the field of sociology, the role played by journalism in the growing conflict between China and the United States, the relationship between media and political protest, and whether there ought be any cause for optimism regarding the state of democracy in the twenty-first century. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Jiang Chang, Todd Gitlin, Michael Schudson Listening in a Time of Pandemic: New Mediations and Intimacies between Solitude and Solidarity 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Jessica Feldman Naomi Waltham-Smith During the pandemic, listening habits around the world have been undergoing significant transformation in response to various public health measures imposing physical distancing and stay-at-home-isolation. This situation has prompted new experiments with digital mediations, transformations in modalities of protest and autonomy, and impulses towards anecdotal accounts in a bid to share experiences of isolation. The essays in this special feature range across a variety of socio-political and disciplinary concerns and point towards a crucial issue facing societies today: how to design new forms and practices of listening to foster the forms of sociality and collectivity urgently needed in a changed world. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Jessica Feldman, Naomi Waltham-Smith, Listening and Falling Silent: Towards <em>Technics</em> of Collectivity 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Jessica Feldman <p>This piece reflects on the politics of listening practices and technologies during the 2020 COVID-19 confinement and the ensuing protests against racialized police violence. During this period, two ruptures have occurred in sonic environments and temporalities: first, one of isolation and confinement and, next, one of protest and refusal. I make two points. First, drawing on Hannah Arendt’s work connecting loneliness and totalitarianism, I argue that isolated silence is much more dangerous politically than collective silence. I then begin to show that corporate online communication tools are not designed to facilitate the forms of democratic listening and empathy required to overcome this isolation. I argue that this greater danger of isolated listening forces us to rethink remote listening and communication technologies, as we become ever more aware of the need to coordinate collective action, resource distribution, and democratic listening at a global scale.</p> 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Jessica Feldman Unhinged: Zoom, Crisis, Disabling Communication in the Ivy League 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Erin Soros <em>Unhinged</em> evokes how institutions of higher learning police their boundaries through codes of professionalism and sanity. It examines what kinds of bodies and minds are permitted to walk across campus grounds, to take up an office, enter a classroom, present research, speak in a Zoom meeting. Hiring a Mad scholar means more than ticking the requisite diversity box. The presence of madness within a scholarly setting disrupts boundaries between reason and unreason, between legitimacy and illegitimacy, between what should be heard and what should be silenced. The essay considers specifically a moment of failed listening, when assumptions were made about what a mad person means, as if she has no say in defining herself and her needs. What results is not a theoretical intervention into a given text, but into a living moment: the ethics of care within academic settings and the difficult translation of conceptual framework from page to face. This lyrical meditation ultimately imagines what madness might have to offer the forums of academia, what listening to madness might teach us about the signifying resonance of unordinary linguistics and why a sentence uttered in an international atrocity might need to break. The analysis subverts assumptions of pathology and risk, revealing how the negation of a madwoman's agency and voice is itself a danger. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Erin Soros Listening Alone Together. Political Subjectivation in the Time of Pandemic 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Naomi Waltham-Smith This short piece reflects on the challenges of poltical subjectivation at a time when organising largely had to move online. It also explores the play of liveness and mediation in mediatised street actions that have erupted in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The sense of isolation in both contexts stems not only from being physically apart from other activists but also from the loss of a common world. Following Derrida, it proposes that listening, as a form of carrying by ear in solitude after the end of the world, represents a way to interpellate caring subjects whose ecological attunement offers a possibility for repairing and recreating the world. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Naomi Waltham-Smith The Future of Institutional Listening: Conversation in the Cracks of the University 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 Emile Bojesen Listening to students is not only often a deficiency in educational theory, but also for educational leaders, policy-makers, teachers, parents, and educational actors in society more broadly. This article outlines this problem while suggesting that educational conversations that occur "within" the context of institutions can afford particular benefits to their participants and the institutions themselves. Topics of interest specific to the institutional experience of individuals, including those that are highly critical of them, can be developed in non-linear and non-efficiency-orientated directions, in a manner that is both individualised and pluralistic. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Emile Bojesen Outside In: Chorus and Clearing in the Time of Pandemic and Protest 2020-09-21T10:45:34+02:00 Julie Beth Napolin A sonic ensemble, this essay describes how the COVID-19 pandemic cleared the way for heightened protest against racial violence. Both the pandemic and Black Lives Matter address the acoustical threshold between the inside and outside, being a call to listen rather than simply to hear. Arguing that the call exceeds the confines of the first-person subject, particularly in its chants for justice, the essay moves through auditory fragments of pandemic and protest. These fragments are connected through the fact of air, breathe, and the recognition of a shared world and its chorus. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Julie Beth Napolin A Reflexive History of Jews in Classical Sociological Theorizing of Modernity 2020-09-21T10:45:35+02:00 David L. Swartz A reflexive history of sociological thought calls for uncovering the hidden intellectual assumptions that shape social theorizing often in unfruitful ways. According to Pierre Bourdieu, small number of binary oppositions haunt contemporary thinking by forcing unreflected perceptions into taken-for-granted alternatives that divide, simplify, and rank complex and interconnected social realities into rigid hierarchical classifications. Such is the case in much theorizing of the transition from traditional to modern societies --- the modernity problematic --- that is a unifying theme in classical social theory. Chad Goldberg, in <em>Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought</em>, deploys this kind of reflexive analysis by showing how the Jew/gentile binary has figured, sometimes positively mostly negatively, in the theoretical imagination of many of the classical sociologists in their views of modernization. 2020-09-18T00:00:00+02:00 Copyright (c) 2020 David L. Swartz