Logo der Universität Wien

July 7, 2015 - 7pm

Professor Saskia Sassen

Digital Formations of the Powerful and the Powerless

From Financial Markets to Open-Sourced Neighborhoods

Small Ceremonial Chamber (Kleiner Festsaal) of the University of Vienna Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna


The lecture focuses on the point at which the digital becomes specific in interactive domains. The assumption is that digital technologies deliver their utilities through large ecologies of meaning. That is, when it comes to interactive domains we miss a lot if we just focus on technical capabilities. These issues are developed via two very different types of cases.  One compares two kinds of socio-technical formations: electronic financial networks and local social activist movements that are globally networked. Both cut across the global/national duality and each has altered the economic and political landscapes for, respectively, financial elites and social activists. Using these two cases helps illuminate the very diverse ways in which the growth of electronic networks partially transforms existing politico-economic orderings. They are extreme cases, one marked by hypermobility and the other by physical immobility. But they show us that each is only partly so: financial electronic networks are subject to particular types of embeddedness and local activist organizations can benefit from novel electronic potentials for global operation. The second case concerns a new project on how digitization can enhance the work life of low-income workers by addressing the specific needs of these workers at their workspace and in their neighborhoods. Low-wage workers can gain from the development of digitized apps and tools that address their needs. The high-end worker is already a full and effective user of these technologies, and in the US, most digital applications have been geared to the middle classes and high-end workers and households. Very little has been developed to meet the needs for low-income workers, their families, and their neighborhoods. Can digital technology help transform the low-income neighborhood into a social back up system for low-wage workers?

Saskia Sassen is professor at the Columbia University and visiting professor at the London School of Economics. Her research covers globalisation, immigration, global cities, new technologaies nd changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions.


Please send registrations to franz.astleithner@univie.ac.at

July 9, 2015 - 6pm

Professor Ursula Huws

Labour in the Global Digital Economy

The Cybertariat Comes of Age

Chamber of labour

Theresianumgasse 16 – 18, SR 11 A + 11 B


The 21st century is characterized by widespread digitisation of information and communication. Against this background Prof Huws sheds light on the current status of the digitalized capitalistic economy tying together disparate economic, cultural and political developments. Questions of organisation of work and social inequality arise in this context. How are class relations changed in the context of digitisation and does a cybertariat come of age?

Ursula Huws is professor of labour and globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire, chair of the COST Action IS1202: Dynamics of Virtual Work and editor of Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation. Among other fields she is an expert on the digital economy and the restructuring of work through ICT.

Please send registrations to sabine.jovic@akwien.at

Institut für Soziologie
Universität Wien
Rooseveltplatz 2
1090 Wien

Fragen zum Studium:
T: +43-1-4277-49104
T: +43-1-4277-49105

T: +43-1-4277-49201
Universität Wien | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Wien | T +43-1-4277-0