Three layers of fabric, seven layers of politics

Morgan Meyer and Franck Cochoy

The health crisis has radically transformed the existence of the mask. Before the crisis, it was hardly visible in public debates and little worn by the public. Uncertainties and debates have proliferated as the crisis unfolds and the mask is an object that crystallises health, economic and social issues. What is most surprising is the following paradox: an object that is a priori very simple, cheap, and easy to produce… has been transformed into a coveted object, a controversial object. To understand this tension between mass object and singular object, we need to […]

Quentin Dufour winner of the Alain Desrosières Prize

Quentin Dufour is, alongside Aude Danieli and Pauline Hervois, one of the three winners of the 3rd edition 2020 of the Alain Desrosières Prize awarded by the French Statistical Society. The Alain Desrosières Prize “aims to distinguish an original work […] which places statistics, or […]


Kean Birch & Fabian Muniesa (Eds.)

How the asset—anything that can be controlled, traded, and capitalized as a revenue stream—has become the primary basis of technoscientific capitalism.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund […]

From pragmatism to radical meliorism

The Dossier “From pragmatism to radical meliorism” prepared by Antoine Hennion and Alexandre Monnin was published in SociologieS in May 2020.

The articles in this Dossier deal with a variety of objects: the work of maintenance agents (Jérôme Denis and David Pontille), a meeting organized with so-called precarious people (Anthony Pecqueux), support at the end of life (Anne-Sophie Haeringer), life near Fukushima “after” the disaster (Sophie Houdart) and finally, through a triple interview conducted with them by a researcher (Yaël Kreplak), the conception of inquiry defended by artists who, in various forms, make this way of working the basis of their work (Thierry Boutonnier, Gwenola Wagon and Alexis Guillier). On the other hand, the problems posed by all these authors seemed to us to be formulated in similar terms, around something like a pragmatics of attention: a shift from the object […]

How covid-19 reshuffles the world of apps

Cornelius Heimstädt and Morgan Meyer

While the fight against Covid-19 mobilizes medicine, science and politics, it also involves a wide array of technological entities, such as apps. Apps can make life in domestic quarantine more bearable by providing opportunities for yoga, fitness, streaming, online dating, video calling, games or education. They can also provide access to practical tips, medical advice, or psychological support, difficult to access otherwise. They can also play a role in the ending and easing of lockdowns.

Do-it-yourself strategies against the coronavirus

Morgan Meyer

Hydroalcoholic gels, protective masks, screening tests, ventilators: the manufacturing of these four objects is usually the prerogative of established institutions and companies. These objects can be found in pharmacies, in hospitals, in a world that is standardized and and organized. Covid-19 has changed this order of things and, for the moment, science, medicine and the market are struggling to contain the virus.

The shortage of gels, tests and protective masks has led to countless workarounds, détournements and innovations. Let us begin our overview with the story of […]

“The very thought of what crisis preparedness is is totally absent”

Interview of Didier Torny by François Bonnet, published in Mediapart on April 3, 2020

What do you see when you look at the French response to the Covid-19 pandemic?

What struck me first is that all the work accomplished, basically from 2004 to 2012, seemed to have completely disappeared! This work led under the authority of a service of the Prime Minister involved almost all the ministries, the local authorities, interprofessional branches, and involved large budgets […]

Open science, closed borders: epidemics as “a test of global solidarity”

Didier Torny and Frédéric Vagneron

Never has the genetic identification of a new virus been deciphered so quickly: on the 29th of December 2019, the first cases of an epidemic caused by a new virus are reported in China; 7 days later, a team from Fudan University in Shanghai publishes the complete sequence of the RNA virus of the coronavirus family. Since then, the sequences of its variants […]

Labelling the Economy. Qualities and Values in Contemporary Markets

Labelling the Economy

Qualities and Values in Contemporary Markets

Brice Laurent & Alexandre Mallard (Eds.)

This collected volume analyses labelling as a political and economic operation. It gathers contributions that focus on various domains, including the agri-food sector, the construction sector, eco-labelling, retail, health public policies and the energy sector, considering the use of labels […]