Dykan B. Subjectivity of mobile electronic devices: nature, production, practices

Українська версія

Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

State registration number


Applicant for


  • 054 - Соціальні та поведінкові науки. Соціологія


Specialized Academic Board

ДФ 64.051.055

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University


The urgency of the topic is due to the controversial and paradoxical situation in which, on the one hand, there is a mass distribution of mobile electronic devices for the vast majority of the population, and on the other hand - the decline of capabilities and ability of formal owners to control and understand. At the epistemological level, there is a contradiction in which at the level of human discourse and everyday practices, mobile electronic devices show new qualities, while sociology has not yet put forward an approach to defining, measuring, researching, quantifying and qualifying these qualities. In the first section of the dissertation text the conceptual and categorical apparatus of research of subjectivity of things is developed. Individual socially developed subjectivity is interpreted as a property of a socialized actor, which is manifested in the implementation of a social act, which expresses the interdependence of "I" -identity and historically determined "We"-identity of this actor and his awareness of his own objectivity (and hence boundaries of social subjectivity - its conditionality by social circumstances). Socially fabricated subjectivity is a property of a social actor, which is manifested in the implementation of his social act, which expresses the dominance of "I"-identity over "We"-identity, and consumed through the demonstration of external indicators of "I"-identity and "We"-identity of the actor. As a clarification of these categories, the definition of such concepts as the social act of the bearer of the developed subjectivity and the act of fabricated subjectivity is given. The nature and mechanisms of production of individual social subjectivity (human) and social subjectivity of institutions and things (including mobile electronic devices) are determined. The second and third chapters of the dissertation text explore, correct and verify approaches to the study of things as part of the social world, in particular, narrow the boundaries of social subjectivity of things that had no clear boundaries in the works of B. Latour, M. Callon, J. Lo, K. Knorr Cetina and W. Wachstein. In particular, modern media are an important actor in producing such discourses. Discourse analysis of news headlines showed that of the 80 news headlines that mentioned electronic devices or software, 22 contained messages with indicators of fabrication of subjectivity. The list of tools for fabricating the social subjectivity of things has also been empirically refined. Discourse analysis of Internet jokes allowed to reach such tools as anthropomorphization, empathy, sexualization, recognition of dominance (over man). Sociologization of the concept of "triggering the appearance" of things M. Heidegger. It was synthesized with the concept of B. Latour's actants. From the above, the hypothesis of "exohabitus" was constructed and verified, built on the basis of the concept of "habitus" by P. Bourdieu. In the second and third chapters, the authour also refers to, verifying and instrumentalizing: - theories of social practices of P. Bourdieu, V. Volkov, O. Kharkhardin. - the concept of "objectification" by K. Knorr Cetina. It is clarified that the phenomenon of objectification is a consequence of ratification in relation to social institutions and things. - György Lukacs' theories of reification. It is clarified that the phenomenon of reification is related to the processes of fabrication and occupation of subjectivity described by us, and is a consequence of these processes. - theories of institutionalization of P. Berger and T. Lukman. The affinity of institutionalization processes with the processes of fabrication and occupation of subjectivity is analyzed. - methodologies of metatheoretical research of sociological categories. The analysis of subjectivity studies takes into account the socio-historical context of the development of different views on the phenomenon of subjectivity. - John Ritzer's theory of McDonaldization, in the implications of which the processes of transformation of McDonaldization into uberization and amazonization were identified and conceptualized. The process of uberization is considered in the framework of three case studies, which demonstrated that uberization is an important context of such fabrication of human subjectivity, in which fabricated subjectivity replaces the developed subjectivity.


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