STS Seminar Series continues with discussion on sociotechnical imaginaries of digital platforms

Global Digital
Global Digital

The STS Departmental Seminar Series continues on Feb. 9 with a discussion on “The Politics of Sharing: Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Digital Platforms,” presented by York University PhD Candidate in Science & Technology Studies Yousif Hassan.

The talk will take place virtually via Zoom from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Studies and coordinated by its members, the Research Seminar Series in Science & Technology Studies features seminars on a wide range of STS-related topics. The series is now in its 27th year and has hosted over 500 speakers from Canada and around the world.

Yousif Hassan
Yousif Hassan

Seminars are open to the public, and STS majors are especially encouraged to attend.

Policymakers are trying to tackle the sharing economy without potentially creating negative impact on innovation. While much of the recent discourse around the sharing economy portrays it negatively, early peer-to-peer digital platforms were envisioned as new pathways toward grassroots, inclusive, fair and low-impact economies.

Using the theoretical lens of sociotechnical imaginaries, Hassan examines the differences in governing the sharing economy between Canada and the U.S. From this perspective, the evaluation of the positive and negative aspects of technological change have been influenced by specific tacit or explicit political imaginations of nations in terms of how to power modern social life. Hassan argues that governance of sharing digital platforms is shaped by a set of diverse sociotechnical imaginaries including new economic freedom, sustainable consumption, decentralized society, demise of social hierarchies and regulatory freedom. Using a comparative approach, he shows that these sociotechnical imaginaries of digital platforms evolve in distinctive ways between the two countries, resulting in different governing models between them.

To receive a Zoom link for the seminar, contact the seminar series coordinator, Conor Douglas, at cd512@yorku.ca.