Talk + Workshop

Racism and the Racial State || Rethinking the humanities: problems, opportunities, and prospects

April 7, 2021, 17h00 (GMT +01:00)

Room 1, CES | Alta


I. Talk: «Racism and the Racial State» |  David Theo Goldberg (Humanities Research Institute - UCalifornia),  Bruno Sena Martins (CES) and Marta Araújo (CES)

II. Workshop: «Rethinking the humanities: problems, opportunities, and prospects» |  Ana Delicado (ICS-UL), Inês Amaral (FLUC), Sofia José Santos (CES), Tiago Santos Pereira (CES)


1. Inês Amaral, Big Data and Computational Social Sciences: a paradigm disruption?
2.Sofia Jose Santos, Digital turn and post-positivism: shedding light on big data invisibilities
3. Ana Delicado, Doing (social) science in the digital age
4.Tiago Santos Pereira, Telework and new forms of digital mediation and control in the work space (TBC)


Big Data and Computational Social Sciences: a paradigm disruption? - Inês Amaral (FLUC)
The era of big data implies that Social Sciences rethink and update theories and theoretical questions such as small-world phenomenon, the complexity of urban life, relational life, social networks, the study of communication and public opinion formation, collective effervescence, and social influence. Big data reframe critical issues on the foundation of knowledge, the processes and techniques of research, the nature of information, and the classification of social reality. As technology-mediated behaviours and collectives are primary elements in the dynamics and the design of social structures, computational approaches are critical to understanding the complex mechanisms that form part of many social phenomena in contemporary society. Although computerized databases are not new, the emergence of an era of Big Data is critical as it creates a radical shift of paradigm in social research. This talk discusses the need for new research paradigms across multiple disciplines enabling interdisciplinary studies and the intersection between computer science, statistics, data visualization and social sciences.

Doing (social) science in the digital age - Ana Delicado (Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa)
Information and communication technologies have thoroughly changed the way science is done and the social sciences and humanities are no exception. Digital tools have become indispensable for the production and circulation of knowledge. From the ubiquitous computer to the myriad of software products that allow collecting, analysing and even reporting data, most research processes have become intrinsically digitalised. Researchers have at their disposal huge online repositories, with bibliography, statistical data, digitalised documents. Online platforms allow surveying large worldwide samples, unbounded by space and time constraints. The internet and social networks have opened up new channels for communication with the public and stakeholders. Access to these bountiful resources has undoubtedly improved the way research is done and even has somewhat democratised access to knowledge (e.g. access to digital libraries in the global south). But it has also raised many new concerns. From the hazards of fast science to issues around privacy, copyright, or misuse of big data, researchers have to learn to navigate a constantly changing landscape, learning new methods and techniques, while aware of ethical implications and accountability. Digital social science is crucial for opening up science, to make it more accessible among peers and especially to citizens and organisations, both public and private. But, like all social science, needs a critical approach, capable of assessing its potential and pitfalls.
Keywords: social research, ICT, ethics

Digital turn and post-positivism: shedding light on big data invisibilities - Sofia José Santos (CES/FEUC)
The centrality of the online is, to a large extent, supported by the Internet of Things which allows the permanent datafication of all aspects of individual and societal life, resulting in the generation of an unprecedented avalanche of information called Big Data. By means of digital methods, big data has been allowing to identify trends, behaviours and patterns in a way never before possible. The digital became, then, both object and subject, and the digital turn an epistemic transformation entailing, as Lunenfeld highlights, not only computational technologies but also, ontological, aesthetical, logical and discursive elements and dimensions. Shedding light on processes and trends otherwise invisible, big data analysis has been relying on digital footprints, privileging calculability while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the ways in which the digital reproduces, reinforces or allows the contestation of hierarchies of privilege and of discrimination. Taking cue on Critical Internet Studies, this presentation intends to explore how the "digital" has been contributing to maintain (and validate) structural inequalities in society, particularly through "digital universalism", and how post-positivists perspectives have been adopting a critical perspective towards "big data" analysis adding critique to descriptions, patterns and trends.


This activity will be accessible through the Zoom platform and will be limited to number of available places:
ID: 885 2636 4234 | Password: 179075

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