Research Training Group SEAS


Prof. Dr. Jannika Mattes
Organisation and Innovation



Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll
Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems



MSc Hatice Şahin
Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems




MA Sabrina Paustian
Organisation and Innovation


Conversations on the Social Embeddedness of Digital Technologies


Digital technologies are characteristic of our society. At the same time, they lead to for-reaching changes in the processes of work, organisation, privacy and also in the society as a whole. This raises questions and challenges about how the digital revolution shall be steered in a way that is consistent with normative and ethical foundations of libertarian civil societies, which are a precondition for modern democratic statehood.

The general aim of these conversations is to gain an insight into the interplay of society and digital technologies. We welcome researchers from different academic disciplines, e.g. social science and computer sciences, who present current perspectives and research results on digital technologies and their social embeddedness.

The conversations take place every Tuesday from 16:00 to 17:00 during the summer term 2021 in form of a virtual meeting. After a short introduction, the speakers will present recent work, followed by a discussion of the content in plenary session.

The conversations are part of the research training group “Social embeddedness of Autonomous Cyber Physical Systems (SEAS)” and the research center “Human Cyber-Physical System (HCPS)” with the cluster “Human – Technology – Society”. The target group of the conversations are members of SEAS and HCPS. Moreover, the conversations will be also attractive for undergraduate and graduate students and researchers from disciples such as Social Science, Computer Science, Health and Neuroscience.


Every Tuesday between 16:00-17:00 (CEST)

Next Conversation:

20.04.2021 "Disruptions of Networked Privacy"

Prof. Dr. Susann Wagenknecht (Micro-Sociology and Techno-Social Interaction, TU Dresden)

Privacy, as danah boyd and others have argued, is networked. Privacy is achieved in the midst of far-flung practices, involving heterogeneous media ensembles, trans-local infrastructure, multiple data, and various people. When privacy is disrupted, bystanders are involved. In this talk, I outline an interdisciplinary perspective on bystanders and their implication in disruptions of privacy.

For more information about Prof. Dr. Susann Wagenknecht click here.

Upcoming Weeks:

Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller (IT for the ageing society, University of Siegen)


Dr. Martin Kuhlmann (director of the Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen (SOFI))


Prof. Dr. Judith Simon (Ethics in Information Technology, University of Hamburg)


Prof. Dr. Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten (Individual and Technology, RWTH Aachen University)


Prof. Dr. Markus Tepe (Political System of Germany, University of Oldenburg)

01.06.2021 - How should automated systems be regulated? A citizens' perspective.

Effective governance of self-driving cars requires broad public support. Although policy-makers and practitioners agree upon the growing need to regulate the development of self-driving cars and the importance of regulation that is consistent with citizens' moral believes and societies' legal standards, there is little systematic evidence about which type of regulation citizens prefer and whether the public is sensitive to specific features of possible regulation regimes.
In a conjoint experiment, respondents are asked to compare two hypothetical regimes regulating self-driving cars and to decide which regime they prefer. The regime profiles vary with respect to three substantive dimensions: (1) Safety (admission agency of self-driving cars and safety standards compared to conventional cars), (2) legal framework (liability for accidents caused by the autopilot and ethical prioritization and (3) autonomy (data protection and supervision of autopilot by the driver). The pre-registered conjoint experiment has been conducted on representative online samples for the USA (N=1,188), Japan (N=1,135), and Germany (N=1,174). While all three countries have a substantive automotive industry, the country selection also reflects cultural differences regarding the subjective evaluation of AI and autonomous vehicles. However, across all samples, we find that citizens strongly prefer regulation that requires permanent human supervision of self-driving cars and stricter safety standards. Cross-country differences emerge on the safety dimension, as respondents from Japan and Germany see public authorities to be in charge of the approval of self-driving cars, while respondents in the US are more likely to accept industry self-regulation. Furthermore, in-depth sub-group analysis reveals that preferences towards self-driving cars' regulation are weekly affected by respondents' attitudes towards technology (technophobia) while their partisan orientation does not affect regulatory preferences whatsoever.

For more information about Prof. Dr. Markus Tepe click here.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Weyer (Sociology of Technology, TU Dortmund)

08.06.2021 - Real-time society. Theoretical and methodological challenges for sociology

Understanding – and maybe shaping – the real-time society requires modelling the mechanisms that are guiding the dynamics of socio-technical systems in general and of the real-time society in particular. Agent-based modelling is a suitable means to experiment with various governance scenarios, and to better understand the functioning of complex systems.

For more information about Prof. Dr. Johannes Weyer click here.


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Büchner (Sociology of Digitalisation, Leibniz University of Hannover)

15.06.2021 - Augmented Smartess - Organizations and the (Dis-)Embeddings of Digital Technologies

Digital Technologies are not only envisioning typical users but also typical situations of use, e.g. a user consulting a decision support systems. Many of these situations are occurring in organized contexts where users are members and decisions are part of a much broader architecture of decisions and expectations. What difference do organizations as active contexts make for understanding the embeddings and disembeddings of digital technologies?

For more information about Prof. Dr. Stefanie Büchner click here.

Prof. Dr. Stephanie Catani (Modern German Literature / Media Studies, University Saarland)


Prof. Dr. Uli Meyer (Sociology with a focus on Innovation and Digitalization (SID), Johannes Kepler University Linz)

29.06.2021 - The Social Embeddedness of Artificial Intelligence

Prof. Dr. Martin Butler (American Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Oldenburg)


(Changed: 2021-04-14)