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Automated Welfare Futures: Interrogating Automated Decision-Making in the Nordics
Malmö University, Data Society. Malmö University, Faculty of Technology and Society (TS), Department of Computer Science and Media Technology (DVMT).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7628-5829
University of Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7600-1419
Södertörn University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5879-2130
Lund University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8855-300X
Show others and affiliations
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can we, as social scientists, make sense of the promises and implications of automated and data-driven systems that are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and essential for the Nordic welfare states? What are the theoretical and methodological tensions and possibilities that these systems pose to research when they assemble and disassemble existing structures, organisational logics and dependencies?

Over the last few years, critical social science research has established that data harvesting and digital tracking, in particular, pose a general societal challenge that risks undermining Nordic values of autonomy and equity and the overall welfare of people. At the same time, the welfare state and welfare provision are increasingly characterised by processes of datafication, promoting uses of data analytics and automated decision-making (ADM). Researchers have flagged datafication as a specific concern for the public sector in relation to questions of ADM systems, and other forms of data-driven optimization. Despite the burgeoning literature on various concerns and the ethical guidelines and regulatory initiatives that try to respond to them, however, we have engaged so far with a limited range of theoretical and methodological approaches to explore the social dynamics at play in concrete contexts of ADM.

This roundtable brings together key scholars that engage critically with the social aims and implications of datafication to address how ADM is imagined, practised and experienced in different empirical contexts and across various organisational levels in the Nordics. The roundtable will open with short ’provocations’ through which the speakers present and contextualise concepts they have used or would like to promote in the study of emerging automated and data-driven systems. The provocations are followed by a joint discussion about how these concepts can support sociological research that studies the promises and implications of automated and data-driven systems as part of the myths and realities of the Nordic welfare states, now and in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
National Category
Sociology Media and Communications Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-54374OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-54374DiVA, id: diva2:1686881
Conference
30th Nordic Sociological Association Conference University of Iceland, Reykjavik, 10 – 12 August 2022.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2020-00977Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, F19-1053:1Available from: 2022-08-11 Created: 2022-08-11 Last updated: 2023-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Berg, Martin

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