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P096


Gordian knot: unravelling knowledge, temporality and change in STS and sociology 
Convenors:
Tadeusz Józef Rudek (Jagiellonian University)
Aleksandra Wagner (Jagiellonian University)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel looks at how urgency and delay are constructed in sociotechnical projects. The question of how perceptions of time relate to knowledge, imaginaries and decisions is crucial. We welcome contributions from STS and sociology through presentations on their research and positionality on time.

Long Abstract:

"None of a hundred philosophers could disentangle this knot. No wonder each now shrinks in some secluded spot" W. Szymborska, Lesson.

Social change, at the heart of sociotechnical transformation, is inescapably linked to time. The way people understand and experience these temporalities is intertwined with notions of progress, development, etc. It is linked to movement, knowledge and choice. It implies notions of past and future horizons. It traps us - humans - in the co-produced reality of our observations, which we can call an event horizon, borrowing this metaphor from physics. Making choices and 'making transformations' underlines the importance of knowledge, its co-production and its role in opening the future by maintaining multiple possibilities and closing the future by making a choice. Sociology and STS look differently at the notion of time and temporality. Intuitively, technological developments challenge the relationship between time and our co-produced choices. Do they? Rather than discussing the acceleration of sociotechnical change, we propose to focus on urgency and delay - their role in the change process and how they are co-produced.

A particular interest of this panel is how urgency and delay are constructed in the variety of sociotechnical projects in STEM and SSH. In this sense, the question of how different perceptions of time and ways of dealing with time in relation to knowledge production, imaginaries, and decision-making shape the positionality and reflexivity remains valid in relation to the positionality of our own research: How do sociology and STS think about time? How do they position their research in terms of urgency and delay? How do these two fields talk about the notion of time? While globally visible postulates for making and doing transformations are visible, the questions of temporalities ( seen in the dichotomy of urgency and delay) are often overlooked.

Accepted papers: