The members of CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” publish their research results in the widest possible range of publication venues suitable for their respective researches and disciplines. You will find a chronological list of CRC-related publications by all members under the point “All Publications”.

Beyond that, the CRC has various publication formats of its own in which CRC members as well as other researchers publish. These include the book series Medien der Kooperation (Springer Verlag) and Beiträge zur Praxeologie (Metzler Verlag), the open-access magazine Media in Action. An Interdisciplinary Journal on Cooperative Media, and the Internet blog series Debating Anthropology (in cooperation with the Global South Studies Center an der University of Cologne, the Institute for Ethnology and Cultural Studies (IFEK) at the University of Bremen, and the Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften).

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 262513311 – SFB 1187 Media of Cooperation

You will find detailed information on the contents of the publications in the following:.


Bergermann, Ulrike; Dommann, Monika; Schüttpelz, Erhard; Stolow, Jeremy; Taha, Nadine

Connect and Divide. The Practice Turn in Media Studies


Media divide and connect simultaneously: they act as intermediaries between otherwise disconnected entities, and as a “middle” that mediates, but also shields different entities from each other. This ambiguity gives rise to conflicting interpretations, and it evokes all those figures that give a first clue about this janus-faced relationship of “connect and divide”: gate-keeper, parasite, amongst others. If we give accounts of media before and after their mediated action, we refer to persons and organizations, automatisms and artifacts, signals and inscriptions, and we seem to find it easy to refer to their distinct potentials and dis/abilities. But within the interaction – the “middle” of media itself seems to be distributed right across the mix of material, semiotic and personal entities involved, and the location of agency is hard to pin down. In case of breakdown we have to disentangle the mix; in case of smooth operations action becomes all the more distributed and potentially untraceable – which makes its attribution a matter of the simultaneously occuring distribution of (official and unofficial) knowledge, labour and power. The empirical and historical investigation of this two-faced relationship of “connect and divide” has thus resulted in a veritable “practice turn in media studies.”


The publication studies four aspects of the practice turn in media studies: Media history from a praxeological perspective, the practice turn in religion and media studies, the connecting and dividing lines of media theories concerning gender and post_colonial agencies, and a historical and theoretical examination of the current relationship of media theory and practice theory.

Jutta Wiesemann, Clemens Eisenmann, Inka Fürtig, Jochen Lange, and Bina E. Mohn (eds.). 2020.

Digitale Kindheiten

Digital society is characterised by structural change across all aspects of social life. How are digital media integrated within contemporary childhoods? Offering diverse analyses of how family and childhood are constituted in and through media, this volume demonstrates the potential of ‘digital childhoods’ as a new research field of its own.

Claudio Coletta, Tobias Röhl, and Susann Wagenknecht (eds.)

On Time

Special Issue, Mobilities 15 (5)

This special issue examines how multiple normative and temporal orderings unfold in practice, how they overlap and interfere, support and challenge one another. The multiple orderings that characterize today’s mobilities are typically coordinated by means of infrastructure – sequences, breaks and buffers, brackets, borders and walls – in ways that we describe as co-existence, conflict, containment, and collation.

Sebastian Gießmann, Tobias Röhl, and Ronja Trischler, eds. 2019.

Materialität der Kooperation

The social has always been medial and the medial has always been social. "Materiality of Cooperation" questions the material conditions and media practices of cooperation. Cooperation is understood here as mutual interaction, which can take place with or without consensus, with or without the co-presence of the actors involved.

Korn, Matthias, Wolfgang Reißmann, Tobias Röhl, and David Sittler, eds. 2019.

Infrastructuring Publics

The volume scrutinizes publics and infrastructures not separately but in their constitutive interrelations and resonances. The contributions share a praxeological approach, discussing historical and current processes of mediated cooperation in infrastructuring and making public(s) by tracing different forms of the production, design, and historic trajectories of various publics and infrastructures.

Garfinkel, Harold. 2019. Parsons’ Primer. Edited by Anne Warfield Rawls.

Harold Garfinkel: Parson’s Primer

This previously unpublished manuscript titled Parson’s Primer in which Garfinkel explains Talcott Parsons’ position on systems of social interaction and how it relates to Garfinkel’s own position is an important missing piece of Garfinkel’s sociological argument. The original manuscript from 1962/63 has been edited and a new introduction written for it by Anne W. Rawls and Jason Turowetz.

The Working Paper Series of the Collaborative Research Center 1187 „Media of Cooperation“ promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research. The CRC Working Paper Series provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research located at or associated with the CRC. The purpose of the Working Paper Series is to circulate in-progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. Publication in the Working Paper Series does not preclude publication of a more developed version of the same paper in another journal. Contributions from established academics and postdoctoral researchers are welcome. Editorial responsibility  lies with the author(s). The journal’s ISSN is: 2567–2509 (Online: 2567–2517). As a limited number of copies will be circulated, the total number of characters should not exceed 40-50.000. We ask interested parties to send a paper proposal (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note (max. 50 words) to


No 24 (2022) “Mit Wittgenstein Arbeiten – Ein Methoden Manual”

Das Manual bietet in Form von 10 Einsätzen einen Zugang zur Methodologie in den mittleren Schriften und im Spätwerk Ludwig Wittgenstein. Sowohl Hintergründe, Zitate im Kontext, als auch weiterreichende Fragen und Hinweise werden übersichtlich präsentiert. Dadurch wird eine erste Orientierung hinsichtlich der wesentlichen Eckpunkte einer praxeologisch orientierten Sprachphilosophie ermöglicht. Zentrale Theoreme wie grammatische Untersuchung, Beschreibung, Sprachspiel, Familienähnlichkeit werden vertiefend und in ihrem gedanklichen Zusammenhang dargestellt. In seiner überblickshaften Darstellung zielt dieses Manual auf ein theoretisches und praktisches Verständnis der Philosophie Wittgensteins als Arbeitsform und damit auf eine Erschließung dieser Philosophie als eine ebenso praktikable wie durchgreifende Vorgehensweise im Spektrum wissenschaftlich-kritischer Methodologien


No 23 (2022) “The ‘Conditional Voice Recorder’: Data practices in the co-operative advancement and implementation of data-collection technology

Stationary voice-controlled systems are installed in an increasing number of households. The devices are operated primarily via voice-user interfaces, which evaluate the spoken commands cloud-based, and are aligned to the principles of interpersonal interaction. This raises questions about the integration of the devices into everyday practices carried out in the household: How is use of smart speakers negotiated situationally, embedded in interpersonal interactions, and (how) are aspects of data privacy, data processing and potential exploitation reflected by the users? The project “Un/desired Observation in Interaction: Intelligent Personal Assistants” in the CRC “Media of Cooperation” approaches these questions empirically. However, such an investigation of smart speakers faces the methodologi-cal challenge that this requires voice data documenting not only the use of the smart speaker itself, but also the contexts of the use that go beyond mere “voice commands”. Therefore, a “Conditional Voice Recorder” (CVR), a technology developed in Nottingham by Porcheron and colleagues (2018), was brought to bear to create audio recordings of usage contexts. These include not only the voice command itself, but also a few minutes before and after the smart speaker is addressed. However, the original device required further technical development to be compatible not only with Amazon’s smart speaker model, but also products from other providers (Google and Apple). The paper reflects on this advancement and the implementation of the CVR i.e. our own research practices as data practices. On the one hand, it makes visible which (otherwise opaque) data were collected and processed during the advancement, how the usage of the CVR itself is inscribed in the data recorded with it, and which data practices were carried out in the evaluation. On the other hand, it documents the advancement and application of the CVR to enable other studies with it (or similar technologies).


No 22 (2022) “In den USA ist in alltäglichen Interaktionen ein stillschweigender Rassismus institutionalisiert. Und anderswo?”

In unserem Buch Tacit Racism („Stillschweigender Rassismus“) zeigen wir, dass Rassismus in den Vereinigten Staaten in die „alltäglichen“ Erwartungen an zwischenmenschliche Interaktionen eingeschrieben ist. Dafür gehen wir der Frage nach, wie es auf einer sozialen Ebene, die wir als „Interaktionsordnung von race“ (Interaction Orders of Race) bezeichnen, zur ständigen Produktion und Reproduktion von unbewusstem Rassismus kommt, der sich im Alltag auf „stillschweigende“ und unhinterfragte Weise bemerkbar macht. In den USA sind soziale Konstruktionen von race spätestens seit dem 16. Jahrhundert die wichtigste Kategorie bei der Herstellung der sozialen, professionellen und bürgerschaftlichen Ordnung in den USA, bis heute sind sie tief in den Strukturen sowohl des formalen Rechts als auch informeller Praktiken verankert. In unserem Buch beschreiben wir, wie Menschen in der Begegnung mit anderen kontinuierlich und unbewusst auf eine Reihe von Erwartungen zurückgreifen, die unser Handeln bestimmen und anleiten. Da diese Erwartungen und Voreinstellungen durch einen über Jahrhunderte gewachsenen systemischen Rassismus geprägt sind, sehen wir uns permanent dazu veranlasst, auf der Grundlage rassistischer Vorurteile zu agieren, die unser gesamtes Handeln beeinflussen können: von der Art, wir wir unsere Nachbarn begrüßen, bis hin etwa zur Frage, ob wir einen zweiten Blick auf einen bestimmten Lebenslauf werfen. Bei dem „stillschweigenden Rassismus“, so unsere These, handelt es sich um eine der sich am schnellsten ausbreitenden und gefährlichsten Bedrohungen für die Zukunft der Demokratie. Wir gehen davon aus, dass die US-amerikanische Entwicklung eines binären kategorialen Schemas, das sich an der strikten Opposition von Schwarz und Weiß orientiert, in gewisser Weise singulär ist. Mit der Absicht, Forschungen und Ansätze zu race auch in anderen Ländern zu bereichern, fragen wir in dem Sonderheft der Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 2/2021 darüber hinaus, ob und inwiefern sich auch in anderen Ländern Elemente eines „stillschweigenden Rassismus“ finden lassen. Dabei argumentieren wir, dass die spezifischen Bedingungen, die in den Vereinigten Staaten zur Herausbildung eines binären Systems der Rassen geführt haben, zwar ganz andere sind als in Europa, die US-amerikanische Praxis und Konstruktion von race jedoch in die ganze Welt exportiert wurde, wodurch auch in anderen Gesellschaften die tiefe Verankerung von „stillschweigendem Rassismus“ verschärft werden konnte.


No 21 (2021) “From Instruments to Containers, from Containers to Media: The Extensions of the Body

There is a long tradition of conceptualising the ‘extensions of man’ or the ‘extensions of the body’ as devices enabling the emergence of technical instruments and/or of media, a tradition renewed by recent discussions in German media studies (Siegert, Harrasser, Kassung). But most of the earlier protagonists of this tradition focussed exclusively on the extensions of human extremities and the brain (McLuhan, Leroi-Gourhan, Kapp). Only a minor tradition mentioned ‘containers’ as technical and figurative externalisations of the rump and of whole bodies (Mumford). Especially the British archeologist Clive Gamble has recently pointed to a long ‘drift’ from instruments to containers, and to the ambiguities of technical and figurative containers. Gamble’s renewal of Mumford’s intuition gives media theory a unique chance to develop a new prehistory of today’s media and computer interfaces: acknowleding the long-term impact of gender divisions of labour; completing the incomplete matrix of Leroi-Gourhan’s technical extensions by pondering the distributed cognition of traps and work-places; elucidating the spatial intelligence of useful, ritual and aesthetic skills; explicating the cooperative spatial action enabled by media such as maps and cosmograms, Amerindian bundles, Sub-Saharan masks and Siberian drums and many others yet to be explored in the long drift from instruments to containers to media.


No 20 (2021) “The Technicity of Platform Governance: Structure and Evolution of Facebook’s APIs”

Researchers, policymakers, and competition and regulation authorities worldwide recognise application programming interfaces (APIs) for powering the digital economy and driving processes of datafication and platformisation. However, it is unclear how APIs tie into the power of, and governance by, large digital platforms. This article traces the relationality between Facebook’s APIs, platform governance, and data strategy based on an empirical and evolutionary analysis. It examines a large corpus of (archived) developer pages and API reference documentation to determine the technicity of platform governance – the technical dimension and dynamics of how and what platforms like Facebook seek to govern. It traces how Facebook Platform evolved into a complex layered and interconnected governance arrangement, wherein technical API specifications serve to enforce (changes to) platform policy and (data) strategy. Finally, the article discusses the significance of this technicity in specifying the material conditions for app and business development ‘on top of’ platforms and for maintaining infrastructural and evolutive power over their ecosystems.


No 19 (2021) “Lost and found: transforming assistance at digital Deutsche Bahn”

Paying close attention to the intricacies of the episode below, this paper sets out to reflect in situ a shift to digitizing “lost and found” services. Foreshadowing a more extensive study on a contemporary redistribution of assistance at Deutsche Bahn, it refers to a pragmatist tradition concerned with preserving the condition of voice. Following this vein, it faces a purist critical attitude – epitomized in the practice of economics (Orléan 2014), which defends market forces (“exit”) as a way to outperform voice in any situation of decline, decay or dissatisfaction (Hirschman 1970). Anti-elitist suspicions, brought to perfection by another branch of social sciences, have become a powerful ally of this position. Rather than criticizing elitism and privilege, however, the present contribution draws on ethnographic research which displays the ambiguity of privileged users’ encounters with assis- tants. Exploring ambiguous patterns in the practice of assistance, it seeks for a politics of pity which has been largely absent from current appraisals of digital sociality.


No 18 (2021) “In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media”

This collection of articles considers the possibility of taking an “additive” approach to studying media, which the contributors to the collection refer to as a “practice + approach”. In this spirit the collection attempts to establish novel connections that potentially bring new life to the study of practice, by exploring new concepts, thinkers, energies, methodologies, and disciplinary traditions. These additional engagements, it is argued, are intended to augment and supplement (rather than displace or replace) popular practice approaches offered through, and found within, ethnomethodology, organizational studies, workplace studies and similar. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, social media APIs, automotive navigation systems, and health data apps. In these cases not only does one find a welter of varied, interconnected, multiscalar, differentially located practices but in the process of their articulation, one also discovers new vocabularies with which to document and articulate them. The contributions, thus, gesture towards how relations between media and their practices can be alternatively and fruitfully approached, evidencing new lines of thinking and doing in the study of practice.



No 17 (2020) Sebastian Gießmann: Identifizieren: Theorie und Geschichte einer Medienpraktik

Registrieren, Identifizieren und Klassifizieren sind Praktiken, die in digitalen Kulturen kaum mehr zu trennen sind. Anhand der Mediengeschichte des Passes und der Kreditkarte geht der folgende Text der Frage nach, wie immer neue infrastrukturelle Kaskaden des Identifizierens entstehen und welche öffentliche Brisanz den entsprechenden Datenverarbeitungen innewohnt. Beim Identifizieren handelt es sich um eine kooperative Medien- und Datenpraktik, an der stets mehr als eine Person beteiligt ist. Sie involviert von Anfang an menschliche Körper samt ihrer semiotischen Ressourcen und koppelt diese mit bürokratischen Aufschreibesystemen. Auch die neuesten digitalen Prozeduren greifen bevorzugt auf Gesichter und Fingerabdrücke zu: Biometrie versucht, den für das Identifizieren konstitutiven Abstand zwischen Konten, Körpern und Personen aufzuheben.


No 16 (2020) Asko Lehmuskallio & Airi Lampinen: Material Mediations Complicate Communication Privacy Management

Increasingly, school settings are implementing digital technologies to coordinate teachers’ work. The article examines the role of these technologies in teachers’ boundary regulation processes through the lens of communication privacy management theory, and it provides empirical insight into the renegotiation of being a teacher in the presence of rules formalized in software code. The case of Finnish high school teachers exposed to the use of Wilma, a distributed computing system used to store, process, and transmit student data, revealed experiences of a need to renegotiate formalized and trackable work processes, faster and more colloquial communication, and intensified day-to-day work. These influence modes of accountability and the need to negotiate visibility, along with understandings of rules as a central coordination mechanism for interpersonal boundary regulation. The authors suggest in addition that these technologies inure various social stakeholders to constant technical monitoring and regular accounting, thereby advancing the normalization of surveillance practices. This creates good reason to pay closer attention to how rules of engagement may be coordinated.


No 15 (2020) Julian Genner: To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn?

This article reviews the “practice turn” (PT) in sociology, social theory, and media studies. In addition, it develops a sociological perspective on turns in general. As other turns, PT presents itself as heterogeneous and interdisciplinary phenomenon lacking clear conceptual and institutional boundaries. In order to grasp this fuzziness inherent to PT, I regard PT as a “sign-post” (Wittgenstein 1984) giving rather vague directions and thus “assembling” (Latour 2005) a heterogeneous research community. Thus, my main question is as follows: How does PT guide research and how do researchers follow PT? Drawing on interviews with researchers involved in PT, I distinguish two major ideal-typical ways of following PT. Revolutionary approaches aim for overcoming existing ways of doing research by turning to practice. In contrast, reformative approaches aim for a renewal of disciplines. Whereas revolutionary approaches mainly arise in interdisciplinary fields and various “studies”, reformative approaches flourish on the margins of sociology. In exploring this pattern, the article develops a sociological way of reflecting PT and turns in general. Thereby the article establishes an institutional perspective drawing on the work of Boltanski and Chiapello (2007).


No 14 (2020) Tim Moritz Hector & Christine Hrncal: Intelligente Persönliche Assistenten im häuslichen Umfeld

Sprachassistenten werden in einer steigenden Zahl von Haushalten in den Alltag eingebunden. Es zeigen sich dabei sprachliche und kulturelle Praktiken, die durch die Integration artifizieller Mündlichkeit in die Interaktion entstehen, wie sie bisher noch nicht beschrieben werden konnten. Diese untersucht der gesprächslinguistisch ausgerichtete Teilbereich des Projekts B06 „Un/erbetene Beobachtung in Interaktion: ,Intelligente Persönliche Assistenten‘ (IPA)“ im Sonderforschungsbereich „Medien der Kooperation“ an der Universität Siegen. Sprachassistenzsysteme sind außerdem für ihre Funktionalität auf die dauerhafte Beobachtung des häuslichen Umfelds angewiesen. Die Reflexion der NutzerInnen über dieses „Mithören“, das im öffentlichen Diskurs teilweise sehr kritisch betrachtet wird, steht ebenfalls im Fokus der im Projekt durchgeführten Untersuchungen. Im Rahmen der hier vorgestellten Pilotstudie werden methodische Prämissen im Hinblick auf das Vorgehen bei der Datenerhebung reflektiert und aus den gewonnenen Daten erste Anhaltspunkte für die sprachwissenschaftlichen Analysekategorien herauskristallisiert. Der Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf der Identifikation von sprachlich-interaktionalen Praktiken und deren Einbettung in soziokulturelle Praktiken, die in der Hauptstudie ebenfalls näher beleuchtet werden sollen. Unsere Daten zeigen, dass Interagierende ein Sprachassistenzsystem nicht wie einen zusätzlichen Gesprächsteilnehmer in die Interaktion einbeziehen, sondern es durchaus wie ein technisches Gerät behandeln. Gleichzeitig scheint die parallele Nutzung des medial mündlichen Kanals zur Bedienung eines Geräts auf der einen und zum Führen einer Konversation auf der anderen Seite Auswirkungen auf das Repertoire sprachlich-interaktionaler sowie kultureller Praktiken zu haben.


No 13 (2019) Christian Erbacher: Das Drama von Tübingen

Was geschah am Tübinger Wittgenstein Archiv? – Unter Wittgensteinforschern regt diese Frage seit mehr als 30 Jahren zu Spekulationen und Legendenbildung an. Das Archiv war das erste große Projekt zur Herstellung einer maschinenlesbaren Transkription von Ludwig Wittgensteins nachgelassenen philosophischen Schriften (ca. 20.000 Seiten) als Vorbereitung für eine wissenschaftliche Gesamtausgabe. Dieses Projekt begann mit großen Hoffnungen und versprach, eine Sternstunde sowohl für die philosophische Editorik als auch für die frühen Digital Humanities zu werden. Doch die Projektgruppe zerbrach alsbald. Bis heute sind die näheren Umstände des Zusammenbruchs nicht bekannt. Daher stellt dieser Beitrag auf der Grundlage ausführlicher Archivrecherchen und Interviews die Geschichte des Archivs dar. Im Kern erweist sich diese Geschichte als ein sich ausweitender Vertrauensverlust innerhalb einer Forschergruppe und darüber hinaus. Wie etwa bereits Harold Garfinkels breaching Experimente erwarten lassen würden, führt auch in diesem Fall der Verlust von Vertrauen zum Kollaps der Kooperation.


No 12 (2019) Christian Henrich-Franke: The Mickey Mouse Telephone

The 1980s saw the triumph of neoliberal thinking in Western European societies and economies. Referring to neoliberal economists, governments across Europe implemented policies to deregulate (inter)national markets and to privatise national monopolies. One priority were the large postal and telecommunication services monopolies. In terms of media iconography, one icon of this ‘turn of the tides’ in the regulation of German telephone markets was the ‘Mickey Mouse Telephone’. It was a symbol of the American way of life and the freedom of choice, of the firm belief in the power of markets and the deregulation of monopolies. Nevertheless, the Mickey Mouse Telephone was an antagonism in itself. It was a symbol of American (technological) superiority, and yet, when it was introduced in the German market, it was overpriced and featured an outdated technology. Provided by the ‘Deutsche Bundespost’ – the German state-owned postal and telecommunications monopoly business – the Mickey Mouse Telephone was an analogue model equipped with a dial. The price was several times higher than for a standard phone model. This paper places the Mickey Mouse Telephone in the broader historical context of the relationship between the state, the economy and society in 1980s Germany.


No 11 (2019) Harold Garfinkel: Common Sense Knowledge of Social Structures (1959)

The text presented here was written by Harold Garfinkel for the Fourth World Congress of Sociology in Stresa (Italy) in 1959, where Garfinkel participated in the Section on the Sociology of Knowledge organized by Kurt Wolff. The “General Theme” of the Fourth World Congress of Sociology was “Society and Sociological Knowledge / La Société et la Connaissance Sociologique”. Garfinkel’s original Stresa paper had to be “heavily abridged” for publication (Garfinkel 1961).
The present text may be categorized as a “missing link” both in the history of Ethnomethodology and in a crucial period of the history of the Post-War Social Sciences.


No 10 (2019) Mark Priestley & Thomas Haigh: Colossus: The Missing Manual

There has until now been no comprehensive, convenient, and reliable description of the actual capabilities of the Colossus codebreaking machines used at Bletchley Park during World War II, the way they were used, and the jobs they were applied to. This gap in the literature has led to a lack of understanding of the machines’ functionality and hence to exaggerated claims about their capabilities. In this report we remove the Colossi as far as possible from their cryptanalytical context and consider them simply as computational devices. We give an architectural description of the whole family of related machines, including the initial model known as “Heath Robinson”, and a functional description of the major capabilities of the second and final Colossus design. We include detailed examples of how the machines would have been set up to perform a range of typical tasks, and conclude with a discussion of their versatility, examining in particular the question of how useful they would have been once the war had ended. We present several examples of actual Colossus configurations and the historical output they produced, illustrating the cooperation between figures typed automatically by Colossus and text and annotations added by the human operator.


No 9 (2019)  Tristan Thielmann: Sensormedien: Eine medien- und praxistheoretische Annäherung

Da gegenwärtig immer mehr Sensoren in Medien, Gebrauchsgegenständen und Infrastrukturen verbaut und diese so zu mobilen „Smart Devices“ transformiert werden, entstehen neue sozio-technische Bedingungen der Datenerfassung und -verarbeitung, denen nicht mit etablierten Konzepten zur Informations- und Wissensgesellschaft begegnet werden kann. Sie zeichnen sich durch eine entgrenzte Datenerfassung aus, da wir mit Hilfe von Sensoren eine unaufhörliche Verbindung zur Umwelt eingehen. Das Konzept der Sensormedien erlaubt es daher, den Fokus darauf zu richten, was das Beständige medialer Environments ist und was unsere „digitale Gesellschaft“ zusammenhält. Die Grundidee des vorliegenden Working Papers ist, dass Sensormedien einen epistemischen Shift von der Informations- zur Sensorgesellschaft einleiten und nur in der wechselseitigen Verrechnung und Re-Sensibilisierung von Daten, Umwelten und Körpern zu verstehen sind. Sensormedien sind zudem prädestiniert für eine praxistheoretische Auseinandersetzung, da die mediale Erfassung und Darstellung der Körper-Umwelt-Beziehung durch neue Sensortechnologien ein Diversitätsniveau erreicht, welches der Komplexität praxeologischer Beschreibung besser gerecht wird. Umgekehrt lassen sich die kulturellen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen der Sensormedien nur auf Grundlage methodologischer Innovationen wirklich adäquat beschreiben.


No 8 (2019)  Silvia Gherardi: Practice as a collective and knowledgeable doing

This paper explores the relationship between knowledge and practice, knowledgeable practices, knowing in practice and knowledge as a situated activity. It traces a tradition of sociological thought in practice theories that derives from studies of scientific knowledge and that challenges the conventional understanding of the ‘social’ as human-centred. The understanding of practice is grounded in an actor-network approach and in feminist Science and Technology Studies. In fact, the precursors of the empirical study of knowing in situ were the so-called laboratory studies, and section 1 presents their contributions to the study of knowledge practices. Later, section 2 proposes a posthumanist practice theory that joins other post-epistemologies in the project of de-centring the human subject as the main source of action and moving from a formulation of practice theory as ‘humans and their practices’ to a vision of practice as the entanglement of humans, materialities, discourses, knowledges and any other relevant element in the situated activities. The aim of the paper is to interpret practice as an empirical phenomenon; therefore, sections 3, 4 and 5 illustrate the core assumptions: i) the sensory and elusive knowledges embedded in knowing in practice; ii) realities as enacted in practices; and iii) interdependent practices as woven in a texture of practices.


No 7 (2019)  Luc Boltanski: Reality and its twin:
The thematic of conspiracy in political metaphysics

This paper will focus on the thematics of mystery, conspiracy and inquiry, a subject area explored in one of my more recent books, where I sought to un- derstand the prominent place these thematics have occupied in the representation of reality since around the turn of the 20th century. It has also long been my aim to analyse the role that these thematics may have played in the formation of political metaphys- ics. Although not necessarily one of the canonical forms of political philosophy, political metaphysics left its mark on the last century and, in all probability, continues to haunt the present one. It can be seen as a kind of mythology that is equipped with a for- midable practical e ectiveness, which gives it the power to shape the contours of reality. The thematics of mystery, conspiracy and inquiry have constantly ipped back and forth between the representation of reality in literature, particularly in so-called ‘popular’ literature, and the most disturbing and sometimes most dramatic aspects of reality itself.


No 6 (2019)  Arjun Appadurai: Mediants and the Making of Narrative Assemblages

In this lecture, I will highlight the ways in which the current world of nancial markets, mechanisms, and risk-taking is saturated with linguistic and literary forms. These include the promissory language of derivatives, the public pronouncements of central bankers, and the internal narratives of financial analysts. Finance today has a deep literary infrastructure that needs to be recognized and demystized. When we think about finance, our main association is with an ocean of numbers: stock prices, interest rates, currency exchange values, pro t-earnings ratios, mortgage costs, credit ratings, and many other elements in the nancial world are numerically expressed. We are also led to believe that nancial managers and entrepreneurs are mathematics whizzes and that their work is inscrutable to the rest of us because it is too numerically complex for us. Yet, nance itself is deeply saturated with narrative and linguistic forms to which numbers are entirely subordinate or marginal. What are the forms and functions of the literature of global nance? I will use this question to combine my interest in derivative nance with my interest in mediants and mediation, on both of which I have published some work.


No 5 (2018)  Kjeld Schmidt, Ina Wagner: Writ Large: On the logics of the spatial ordering of coordinate artefacts in cooperative work

Enter a modern workplace, look around and look carefully, and you will notice a profusion of inscriptions of the most modest and unassuming kind. We are not here primarily referring to the mountains of text produced and perused as part of everyday work (such as letters, emails, reports, contracts), which naturally typically are the center of practitioners’ attention, but to an assortment of inconspicuous and mundane artifacts, such as fault report forms, folders, binder labels, part routing schemes, kanban cards, identification codes, that have been specially designed to facilitate the coordination and integration of cooperative activities. We call this vast and heterogeneous family of specialized artifacts ‘coordinative artifacts’. Though unremarkable, such artifacts play an essential role in enabling workers in modern work settings to get the work done in a reasonably orderly fashion. They provide a manifold latticework of signs by means of which distributed cooperative work activities are coordinated and integrated. Based on a series of ethnographic and similar studies of cooperative work in different domains of work (manufacturing, software engineering, architectural design, oncology treatment, ICD pacemaker treatment), the paper will attempt to show that we can begin to identify and describe the logics of the practices of designing and using such coordinative artifacts.


No 4 (2018)  Michael Dieter, Carolin Gerlitz, Anne Helmond, Nathaniel Tkacz, Fernando van der Vlist, Esther Weltevrede: Store, interface, package, connection: Methods and propositions for multi-situated app studies

This paper discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focussing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach arises by paying close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, makes apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Engaging with and even staging these situations, therefore, allows for political-economic, social and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures can be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. The piece offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this overarching framework, focussing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.


No 3 (2018)  Thomas Haigh: Finding a Story for the History of Computing

Thomas Haigh is working with Paul Ceruzzi of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on an expanded and completely reorganized version of Ceruzzi’s classic monograph A History of Modern Computing. Haigh discusses the challenges involved in producing a one volume history of a uniquely flexible technology. Since the first edition of the book was published twenty years ago our sense of what the computer is for has shifted utterly, to encompass media consumption, personal communication, and shopping as well as the traditional activities of business administration and scientific number crunching. To reflect this, Ceruzzi and Haigh are adopting a new structure, in which each chapter of the book tells the story of how “the computer” becomes something different through its interaction with a particular set of users and applications. Haigh connects this structure to the work of historian Michael S. Mahoney, and his discussion of the “Histories of Computing(s).” He ponders the particular difficulty of avoiding a simplistic narrative of historical progress, often called a “whig history,” in summarizing the evolution of a technology whose spectacular technical improvement has come to define our idea of modernity. Haigh also discusses Ceruzzi’s text in relation to other comprehensive histories of computing, the production process of the new edition, and some of the editorial choices involved in a project of this kind.


No 2 (2017)  Sebastian Gießmann: Drawing the Social: Jacob Levy Moreno, Sociometry, and the Rise of Network Diagrammatics

The following article discusses the combination of graphical methods and network thought in early sociology. It combines a case study of Jacob Levy Moreno’s sociometric work and diagrammatic practice with media-theoretical thoughts about the characteristics of network diagrams. These are understood as inscriptions that perform both an act of drawing and writing at the same time. Moreno’s mappings, as well as other early visual techniques of social research, are understood along Michel Serres’ understanding of the network diagram as a topo­logical narration. Seen from the vantage point of a history of knowledge, Moreno’s sociometric and performative practices can not only be understood as a contribution to social network thought, but as actual research on the cooperative character of human interaction.


No 1 (2017)  Erhard Schüttpelz: Hunter into Prey: Trying to Make Sense of the »Media Revolution« at Göbekli Tepe

The essay tries to make sense of the iconography and monumentalism of Göbekli Tepe by way of a comparison with recent ›hunting ideologies‹ in forager situations of abundance or ›super-abundance‹. The article refers to two North American situations of super-abundance (North-West Coast societies based on seasonal aquafaunal abundance; and the seasonal congregations of large-scale Bison hunting groups on the Plains) to demonstrate how foragers coping with a situation of seasonal super-abundance are still able to ritually perform the reversibility of prey and predator inherent in hunting ideologies. The radical iconography of predators at Göbekli Tepe may likewise point to the ritual function of turning ›hunter into prey‹, and the monumentalism of Göbekli Tepe may be interpreted as a ritual setting celebrating the unity of a hunting congregation quite foreign to – and even deliberately pitted against – later regional developments.






Book Series: Media of Cooperation

Digital network media are designed as cooperative tools, platforms and infrastructures which transform existing publics and give rise to new ones. Digital media can no longer be understood as individual media, but demand a practice-theoretical perspective on media and their history. All media are cooperatively accomplished devices of cooperation. Media practices and techniques evolve from the mutual making of shared resources and joint processes. That’s why the study of digital media disturbs our scientific division of labour and remains a challenge for the intersections between media theory and social theory.


Digitale Kindheiten

Wiesemann, J., Eisenmann, C., Fürtig, I., Lange, J., Mohn, B.E., Hrsg. 2020

Die Digitalität der Gesellschaft ist durch einen Strukturwandel in allen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen gekennzeichnet. Wie sind digitale Medien Teil gegenwärtiger Kindheiten? Die Untersuchung von Medien und Medienpraktiken im Alltag der Kinder sind neue Herausforderungen für die Kindheits- und Familienforschung, denen mit einem innovativen methodischen und methodologischen Repertoire begegnet wird. Der Band leistet einen Beitrag dazu, die medialen Formen von Kindsein und Familiesein zu klären und etabliert digitale Kindheiten als ein eigenständiges Forschungsfeld.


Materialität der Kooperation

Sebastian Gießmann, Tobias Röhl und Ronja Trischler, Hrsg. 2019

Die Autorinnen der „Materialität der Kooperation“ fragen nach materiellen Bedingungen und Medienpraktiken der Kooperation – vor, während und über Situationen hinaus. Kooperation wird als ein wechselseitiges Zusammenwirken verstanden, das mit oder ohne Konsens, mit oder ohne Kopräsenz der beteiligten Akteure in verteilten Situationen vonstattengehen kann. Materielle Bedingung von Kooperation sind Medien als Artefakte, Körper, Texte, Bilder und Infrastrukturen. Sie ermöglichen, bedingen und figurieren wechselseitige Verfertigungen – und entstehen selbst durch Medienpraktiken in kooperativen Situationen.


Infrastructuring Publics

Korn, Matthias, Wolfgang Reißmann, Tobias Röhl, and David Sittler, eds. 2019

The volume scrutinizes publics and infrastructures not separately but in their constitutive interrelations and resonances. The contributions, originating in a range of disciplinary perspectives, share a praxeological approach, discussing historical and current processes of mediated cooperation in infrastructuring and making public(s) by tracing different forms of the production, design, and historic trajectories of various publics and infrastructures.


Researching Complex Information Infrastructures

Thomas Ludwig, 2017

Thomas Ludwig reveals design characteristics when aiming at researching information infrastructures and their diverse information resources, types of users and systems as well as divergent practices. By conducting empirically-based design case studies in the domain of crisis management, the author uncovers methodological and design challenges in understanding new kinds of interconnected information infrastructures from a praxeological perspective. Based on implemented novel ICT tools, he derives design characteristics that focus on integrating objective and subjective queried insights into situated activities of people as well as emphasizing the subjective nature of information quality.


Die vom DFG-Sonderforschungsbereich »Medien der Kooperation« konzipierte Open Access-Buchreihe »Media in Action« untersucht die Geschichte und Gegenwart vernetzter, datenintensiver Medien und deren soziale Implikationen an der interdisziplinären Schnittstelle von Sozial- und Medienwissenschaften. In der Tradition von Science and Technology Studies und Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie fokussieren die deutsch- und englischsprachigen Monographien, Sammelbände und Dissertationen der Reihe auf die Praktiken, (Ko-)Operationen und Verfahren im Gebrauch, in der Herstellung und in der Analyse alter und neuer Medien. Eine zentrale Herausforderung, der sich die Reihe stellt, liegt in der Entwicklung angemessener ethnografischer, digitaler, sensorbasierter und designorientierter Methoden für eine Neukonzeption der Beschreibung verteilter ‹agency› zwischen Menschen, Computern, Körpern und Umwelten.

Gefördert durch die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) – Projektnummer 262513311 – SFB 1187. Kontakt:


All Publications


An Ethnography of Publicness, Transnational Cooperation and Mountain Tourism in Morocco

Simon Holdermann studierte Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie an der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster und der Universität zu Köln in Deutschland, mit Auslandssemestern in Uppsala, Schweden, und an der University of California, Berkeley, USA. Er war wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am SFB 1187 “Medien der Kooperation” der Universität Siegen und führte Feldforschungen im Hohen Atlasgebirge in Marokko durch. Seine Forschungsinteressen liegen im Bereich der Medien- und Technologieanthropologie sowie in Nordafrika und dem Mittelmeerraum.


How do digital media technologies shape or restructure social practice? And which transitions and demarcations of different forms of publicness arise in this context? Simon Holdermann examines this question in his ethnography of everyday life in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. In order to approach the ongoing, historically situated social transformations of the region, he analyses a variety of media practices concerning the organizational work and transnational cooperation that take place there – in particular at the intersection of mountain tourism, NGO work, and local self-government.



Mit Adorno im Tonstudio – Zur Soziologie der Musikproduktion

David Waldecker (Dr. phil.) ist Soziologe und wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Sonderforschungsbereich 1187 »Medien der Kooperation« an der Universität Siegen. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Medien- und Techniksoziologie (insbesondere auditiver und digital vernetzter Medien), Musik- und Kultursoziologie, Methoden qualitativer Sozialforschung und Sozialtheorie, insbesondere Kritische Theorie.


Adorno and the Recording Studio. On the Sociology of Music Production

Recording music is rarely understood as a autonomous form of music making. In this theoretical and empirical study of the recording process, David Waldecker combines Theodor W. Adorno’s critical music sociology, themes from praxeology, and ethnographic research of hardcore and jazz recording sessions. This book demonstrates how the technical and spatial particularities of the recording studio shape production processes as a particular way of making music. Also, current music sociology and the relation of Adorno’s Negative Dialectics to ethnography as a research methodology are discussed.


Digitale Materialität – Eine Ethnografie arbeitsteiliger Visual-Effects-Produktion

Ronja Trischler ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Schwerpunkt Methoden der interpretativen Sozialforschung am Institut für Soziologie der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Sie lehrt und forscht zu digitaler Arbeit, visueller Soziologie, Technologie und Materialität.


Das Digitale gilt als artifiziell, synthetisch, fluid. Was, wenn sich derart jede Stofflichkeit gestaltet, die es zu bearbeiten gilt? In der arbeitsteiligen, teilautomatisierten Herstellung von Filmbildern stellt digitale Materialität Projektteams vor allerlei praktische Probleme, die diese zu bewältigen wissen. Ronja Trischler beobachtet die schrittweise Entstehung medialer Bilder in Visual-Effects-Firmen in Deutschland und England und zeichnet grundlegende Praktiken des gemeinsamen digitalen Gestaltens nach. Ihr Fokus auf Alltagsvollzüge digitaler Arbeit eröffnet eine gehaltvolle Perspektive auf digitale Kreativarbeit — und deren Materialisierung ganzer Bilderwelten.



Interrogating Datafication – Towards a Praxeology of Data

Marcus Burkhardt (Dr. phil.) arbeitet am Centre for Digital Cultures der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg und leitet dort das Hybrid Publishing Lab. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind die Geschichte und Theorie digitaler Medien und Medien des Wissens sowie Medienphilosophie und allgemeine Medientheorie.

Daniela van Geenen (promoviert im SFB) is a PhD-candidate at the DFG Locating Media Graduate School (University of Siegen). She investigates »critical technical practice« in the context of sensor-based technologies and sensing infrastructures locating, making accessible, and governing everyday life, urban spaces, and practices. She is also a lecturer in data journalistic practice and data visualization at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Her research interests include critical data and software studies, digital methods, and tool criticism.

Carolin Gerlitz is a professor of digital media and methods at the University of Siegen and member of the Digital Methods Initiative Amsterdam. She is co-speaker of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre 1187 »Media of Cooperation« and the DFG Graduate School »Locating Media«. Her research interests are social media and platform studies, app studies, inventive digital methods, sensor media, quantification, automation, and issue mapping.

Sam Hind is a research associate in SFB1187 »Media of Cooperation« at the University of Siegen.

Timo Kaerlein (Dr. phil.) ist Akademischer Rat im Institut für Medienwissenschaft der Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Von 2011 bis 2014 war er Kollegiat im Graduiertenkolleg »Automatismen« an der Universität Paderborn. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind digitale Nahkörpertechnologien, Theorie, Ästhetik und Kritik von Interfaces, Medienkulturen der Obsoleszenz und Social Robotics.

Danny Lämmerhirt is a PhD-Candidate at the Graduate School (University of Siegen) with an interest in the politics of participatory data infrastructures, data governance, quantification, and valuation. His dissertation compares different citizen-centered data sharing models for digital health data, exploring how these models enable cooperation, governance, and the valuation of health data along multiple (possibly conflicting) interests.

Axel Volmar (Dr. phil.) ist Medienwissenschaftler und arbeitet zurzeit als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Sonderforschungsbereich »Medien der Kooperation« an der Universität Siegen. Er erforscht die Geschichte kooperativer Praktiken, der auditiven Kultur, des Designs und medialer Zeitlichkeit.

What constitutes a data practice and how do contemporary digital media technologies reconfigure our understanding of practices in general? Autonomously acting media, distributed digital infrastructures, and sensor-based media environments challenge the conditions of accounting for data practices both theoretically and empirically. Which forms of cooperation are constituted in and by data practices? And how are human and nonhuman agencies distributed and interrelated in data-saturated environments? The volume collects theoretical, empirical, and historiographical contributions from a range of international scholars to shed light on the current shift from media to data practices.


Ethnomethodologie reloaded – Neue Werkinterpretationen und Theoriebeiträge zu Harold Garfinkels Programm

Jörg R. Bergmann (Prof. i.R. Dr. rer. soc.), geb. 1946, war Professor für Mikrosoziologie (Universität Gießen) und für Qualitative Methoden in der Sozialforschung (Universität Bielefeld) sowie Direktor des Bielefelder Zentrums für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF). 1977/1978 war er Forschungsstipendiat an der University of California Los Angeles bei Harold Garfinkel. In den 1980er Jahren hat er zusammen mit Thomas Luckmann an der Universität Konstanz die soziologische Gattungsanalyse begründet. Seine weiteren Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Soziologie der Moral, Katastrophenforschung sowie therapeutische Interaktion.

Christian Meyer (Prof. Dr.) ist Professor für Allgemeine Soziologie und Kultursoziologie an der Universität Konstanz. Zuvor hatte er Professuren in Duisburg-Essen (Kommunikationswissenschaft) und Würzburg (Spezielle Soziologie und Qualitative Methoden) inne. Sein Interesse an der Ethnomethodologie resultierte in konversationsanalytischen und ethnomethodologischen Forschungen über sprechende Geister im städtischen Brasilien, Mahn-, Prahl- und Drohreden von Native Americans und Dorfgespräche der senegalesischen Wolof. Darüber hinaus arbeitet er zu der Genese und den noch unausgeschöpften theoretischen Potenzialen der Ethnomethodologie, aber auch zu der Erforschung sensorischer Modalitäten in der Interaktion sowie der zunehmenden Bedeutung technisch generierter Interaktionspartner.


Harold Garfinkels 1967 erschienene »Studies in Ethnomethodology« gelten als Gründungsdokument der Ethnomethodologie und haben längst den Status eines soziologischen Klassikers. Doch so bekannt dieses Buch ist, so wenig wurde es tatsächlich gelesen. Angesichts radikaler Veränderungen der Lebenswelt unterziehen die Beiträger*innen des Bandes die »Studies« gut 50 Jahre nach ihrer Ersterscheinung einer Relektüre. Sie decken bisher verborgene Bezüge auf, rekapitulieren methodologische und empirische Anschlüsse an Garfinkel, diskutieren Parallelen und Differenzen zu anderen soziologischen und kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschungsprogrammen und demonstrieren das kritische Potenzial der Ethnomethodologie.