Aarhus Universitets segl


Irresistible Interactions - Cultural change and psychic development in the age of digitization and optimization.

Vera King (Goethe-Univ. & SFI Frankfurt)

The lecture discusses changes in communication caused by digital media and their psychic significance and consequences. The author’s remarks are based partly on findings concerning the social media practices of children and their parents. The frame of reference for the analysis is cultural change and the social and psychic meanings of attention. The author sees shared attention both as a core element in communication in general and as the unconditional attention bestowed on others and otherness, which is an essential factor in affection, empathy, and relatedness and as such indispensable for psychic development. She compares and contrasts them with self-referential attention and instrumental attention manipulation - both results of the pressure to optimize.

Optimization in Tertiary Education:  Possibilities and Limitations of Next Generation Measurement Systems

Richard Arum (University of California, Irvine)

Optimization in Tertiary Education:  Possibilities and Limitations of Next Generation Measurement Systems

Danish society is undergoing a number of changes during this time. We witness fundamental changes across all industries and professions. These changes often go under the fashion word "disruption" or more serious concepts such as the fourth industrial revolution.

What is characteristic is that the rate of change is no longer linear but to a greater extent exponential. At the same time, the scale of change is more extensive than before: the digital revolution and its combination with multiple technologies that seem to entail a paradigm shift in the economy, business, society and the individual sphere. Finally, the changes appear to be systematic, ie. mean the change of entire systems across national borders, types of professions and the national and international community as a whole.


This overall understanding outlines a development that contains issues that would blow the framework of Congress. In order to establish a focused professional discussion, the heading "optimization logic" is put into play. The desire to optimize and perfect has roots from the Enlightenment era and has constituted a continuing trend in the self-understanding of modern societies. In recent years, some research been able to link this thinking to the "competition state". We encourage anyone interested to attend the Society of Sociology congress with papers and sessions addressing such themes from various sociological angles, including empirical studies, but also more theoretical perspectives. Sessions and papers on others