Dr David Seibt

UK Host Institution: University of Edinburgh
Project status

Platform Biographies: Tracing the Emergence of Digital Platforms in Social Fields

The project develops a process perspective on the mutual shaping of digital platforms and social fields marked by strong professional norms and strict regulation. It contributes to a paradigm shift in the sociological research on platforms by moving the focus from a few successful cases, such as Airbnb and Uber, towards the contested processes of platform emergence in hitherto neglected arenas such as healthcare and finance. Conceptually, the project combines the architectural theory of digital platforms, developed at the Technical University of Berlin, and the biographies of artifacts and practices methodology pioneered at the University of Edinburgh. Empirically, it extends existing work at both institutions by preparing a comparative study of platform biographies in deeply institutionalized fields in the UK and Germany. Institutionally, the visiting fellowship strengthens the collaboration between the School of Social and Political Science and the Institute of Sociology by offering ample opportunities for future collaboration.

Outputs and media

'Debunking Disruption: Scenarios of Platformization in Emerging, Stable, and Transforming Fields'

Paper presented at the AsSIST-UK conference in Manchester - 5 September 2023

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