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Marion Fourcade: Social order in the digital society

Modern institutions, both public and private, rely on tools and procedures that track individuals, assess their behavior, and assign them membership in various categories. They use them, variously, in their efforts to monitor conduct, calculate risk, or extract value. These classifications distribute value, rank people and things, and shape their future lives. How is social order constituted and legitimated in a society ruled by digital classifiers and associated actuarial techniques? What do these developments mean for fundamental principles such as equality and fairness? What are the moral implications of looking at individuals through the lens of these new classificatory architectures? And how do we justify the use of techniques that are growing ever more efficient at predicting outcomes but are ever less amenable to human sense making?



Marion Fourcade is professor of sociology at UC Berkeley and an associate fellow of the Max Planck – Sciences Po Center on coping with instability in market societies. Fourcade’s upcoming book The Ordinal Society investigates new forms of social stratification and morality in the digital economy.


18:30Doors open
19:00 – 19:15Welcome and introduction
19:15 – 20:00Social order in the digital society
Marion Fourcade (UC Berkeley)
20:00 – 21:00Moderated discussion and questions from the audience
21:00 – 22:00Get-together

Making sense of the digital society

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb are organising an academic lecture series on Making Sense of the Digital Society. The high-profile series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing. It started with an inaugural lecture by Manuel Castells about power and counter-power in the digital society on December 12, 2017 and was continued by Christoph Neuberger in January 2018 and Elena Esposito in March 2018. José van Dijck, author of the forthcoming book The Platform Society and president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, is another confirmed speaker of the lecture series, further speakers are to be announced.

Event date

07.05.2018 | 7.00 pm – 10.00 pm ical | gcal


Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus,  Luisenstraße 58/59,  10117 Berlin


Christian Grauvogel

Former Head of Dialogue & Knowledge Transfer | Project Coordinator SET


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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