Thomas Beauvisage (Orange / SENSE)

The Center for the Sociology of Innovation (i3, UMR CNRS 9217, Mines Paris-PSL) has the pleasure of inviting you to attend the HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) in STS (Sciences, Technologies, Societies) defense of

Thomas Beauvisage

Sociologist of digital technology, Senior Researcher at Orange’s department Sociology and Economics of Networks and Services (SENSE)

Monday, December 18, 2023, 2pm to 5:30pm

at Mines Paris-PSL, 60 bd. Saint-Michel, Paris, amphitheater L108 B

Original dissertation title

Sociologie du cookie publicitaire

[Sociology of advertising cookie]

Abstract: For a quarter of a century, the cookie has been the keystone of online advertising. This simple mechanism enabling websites to store information about web users, has been quickly captured by the advertising industry, which has built its market infrastructure around it. This dissertation describes this capture by drawing on the cross-disciplinary contributions of the sociology of markets and the sociology of innovation, as well as Science and Technology Studies. It offers a description of the online advertising market through its key infrastructure, the cookie. To do so, it describes the trajectory of the cookie as a web innovation and as a market infrastructure for advertising, and analyses the role it plays in the ordinary work of targeting consumers and valorizing advertising space. Finally, it shows how the market dimension of the cookie has been coupled with a moral burden since the implementation of the RGPD in 2018.

This work contributes to three fields of the social sciences: science and technology studies, by showing how actors seize the agency of technical devices to compose market arrangements; the sociology of markets, through the description of a turn towards the individualization of the market relationship in the digital regime; and the field of big data studies, by providing a series of empirical and situated observations, accounting for the endogenous logics in the use of personal data.

The jury consists of: 

Franck COCHOY, Professor of sociology at the Interdisciplinary Solidarity, Societies, Territories Laboratory (LISST), University of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès. Rapporteur

Gérald GAGLIO, Professor of sociology at GREDEG (Research Group in Law, Economics and Management), University Côte d’Azur. Rapporteur       

Donald MACKENZIE, Professor of sociology, School of Social & Political Science, University of Edinburgh, UK. Examiner

Alexandre MALLARD, Senior researcher at CSI (Center for the Sociology of Innovation – i3, UMR CNRS 9217, Mines Paris-PSL) (Guarantor). Examiner

Valérie SCHAFER, Professor of Contemporary European History at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Rapporteur

Please let Thomas Beauvisage know of your attendance, this will help organize the HDR defense and the following reception.

For more information on preparing an HDR at CSI (Center for the Sociology of Innovation – i3, UMR CNRS 9217, Mines Paris-PSL) please contact Fabian Muniesa, head of the STS specialization (PhD/HDR).