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Software: The Shaping of Social Participation by Codes

Software: The Shaping of Social Participation by Codes

This sub-project runs in the context of the DFG proposal, “Communicative Figurations”, for establishing a special research area at the universities of Bremen and Hamburg (see project 3). Its purpose is to investigate the role of software systems in communicative figurations. To that end, we will conduct two case studies on participation in the public sphere of the media. They will analyse the communicative figurations of producing and adopting web-based communication platforms and analyse the software as such. What are the multiple options and services are supported by such platforms?To what extent does their differing distribution represent an asynchronicity in the changes in media?


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Project Description

Using a multi-method design, the case studies demonstrate how communicative figurations comprising users, providers and developers shape the basic software and how these, in turn, integrated into the practise as tools and communication space, determine the communicative figurations of social participation. In this process, the regulations for control and the securing of it through software occupy the foreground, and we will investigate the patterns of transformation in them.

Project Information


Duration: 2012-2014

Research programme:
RP2 - Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Digital Communication

Involved persons

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Third party

Contact person

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
Senior Researcher Digital Interactive Media & Political Communication

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17-83
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17-77

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