Prof. Dr. Friedrich Krotz
ZeMKI, University of Bremen

Deutsch | English


Download flyer here.

Scopic Media: Synthetic Actors, Institutions and Differentiation of Synthetic Situations

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Karin Knorr Cetina

Project assistants: Stefan Beljean, Dr. Werner Reichmann, Dr. Niklas Woermann

In this project, scopic media are display and monitoring technologies, which visually project distant events and activities into social situations. They enhance the situation informationally, epistemically (they allow further scientific processing of the information) and interactionally (they allow interaction at a distance). Scopic media transform a basic concept of sociology, the face-to-face situation, into a "synthetic situation" enriched by information and communication technology components. Our central questions are (i) how this form of mediatization of a basic sociological concept becomes articulated across domains, (ii) how the notion of the social situation can be adapted to its massive mediatization; (iii) and which theoretical and empirical characteristics of synthetic situations emerge in the process.

In the third research phase, the project shifts the level of investigation from the micro-level of the face-to-face situation to the meso- and institutional level. It investigates how the synthetic situation becomes upgraded compared to the "naked" face-to-face situation for institutional and actorial functions when scopic media make it possible for these functions to be picked and placed into synthetic situations. It asks (1) if the social situation can become a locus of institutional realization; (2) how synthetic actors emerge and how their presence changes our concept of the interaction order; (3) if the notion of attentional integration can be seen as a basic mechanism of integration in a mediatized world; and finally (4) what we can learn systematically and theoretically from the empirical evidence collected in a variety of domains in order to "update" the sociological notion of the social situation for the increasingly global and increasingly mediatized societies in which we live.


Research field: Action and interaction forms


Dirksen, Vanessa/Huizing, Ard/Smit, Bas (2010): Piling on Layers of Understanding: the Use of Connective Ethnography for the Study of (Online) Work Practices. In: New Media & Society, 12 (7), pp. 1045-1063.

Einspänner-Pflock, Jessica/Reichmann, Werner (2014): "Digitale Sozialität" und die "synthetische Situation" - Konzeptionen mediatisierter Interaktion. In: Krotz, Friedrich/Despotović, Cathrin/Kruse, Merle-Marie (Eds.) (2014): Die Mediatisierung sozialer Welten: Synergien empirischer Forschung. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 53-72.

Knorr Cetina, Karin/Reichmann, Werner (2016): Living Data in Financial Markets: Concepts and Consequences. In: Süssenguth, Florian (Eds.): Die Gesellschaft der Daten - Über die digitale Transformation der sozialen Ordnung. Bielefeld: transcript, forthcoming.

Knorr Cetina, Karin (2015): Wissenskulturen: Was ist das und was wissen wir über sie? In: Brabec de Mori, Bernd/ Winter, Martin (Eds.): Auditive Wissenskulturen. Das Wissen klanglicher Praxis. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, forthcoming.

Knorr Cetina, Karin (2015): What is a Financial Market? Global Markets as Media-Institutional Forms. In: Aspers, Patrick/ Dodd, Nigel (Eds.): Re-Imaging Economic Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Knorr Cetina, Karin/Reichmann, Werner (2015): Professional Epistemic Cultures. In: Langemeyer, Ines/Fischer, Martin/Pfadenhauer, Michaela (Eds.): Epistemic and Learning Cultures - ­ Woher und wohin sich Universitäten entwickeln. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa, forthcoming.

Knorr Cetina, Karin/Reichmann, Werner (2015): Epistemic Cultures. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition, forthcoming.

Knorr Cetina, Karin (2014): Scopic media and global coordination: the mediatization of face-to-face encounters. In: Lundby, Knut (Ed.): Mediatization of Communication. Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 39-62.

Knorr-Cetina, Karin (2012): Skopische Medien: Am Beispiel der Architektur von Finanzmärkten. In: Krotz, Friedrich/Hepp, Andreas (Eds.): Mediatisierte Welten: Beschreibungsansätze und Forschungsfelder. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 167-195.

Knorr-Cetina, Karin (2012): What is a Financial Market? Global Markets as Microinstitutional Social Forms. In: Knorr Cetina, Karin/Preda, Alex (Eds.): Handbook of the Sociology of Finance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 115-133.

Reichmann, Werner/Knorr Cetina, Karin (2016): Wissenskulturen - Wissenschaftliche Praxis und gesellschaftliche Ordnung. In: Baur, Nina/Besio, Cristina/Norkus, Maria/ Petschick , Grit (Eds.): Wissen - Organisation - Forschungspraxis. Der Makro-Meso-Mikro-Link in der Wissenschaft. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa, forthcoming.

Reichmann, Werner (2015): Das ,dominante Schaubild' und die visuelle Herstellung des Verständnisses der wirtschaftlichen Zukunft. In: Maeße, Jens/Pahl, Hanno/Sparsam, Jan (Eds.): Die Innenwelt der Ökonomie. Wissen, Macht und Performativität in der Wirtschaftswissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, forthcoming.

Reichmann, Werner (2015): Visualizing Economic Action. In: Fiorentini, Erna (Eds.): Visualization ­ A Critical Survey of the Concept. Berlin: LIT, forthcoming.

Reichmann, Werner (2014): Die Visualisierung der wirtschaftlichen Zukunft. Skopische Medien, Wissenskulturen und Sehgemeinschaften. In: Lobinger, Katharina/Geise, Stephanie (Eds.): Visualisierung und Mediatisierung. Köln: Halem, pp. 279­-296.

Reichmann, Werner (2014) Wie wissen wir Wirtschaft? Die Quantifizierung der Wirtschaft als Mediatisierung & Wissenskultur. In: Cevolini, Alberto (Ed.): Die Ordnung des Kontingenten. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 281-300.

Reichmann, Werner (2013): Epistemic participation: how to produce an economic forecast. In: Social Studies of Science, online first on 5 September 2013, doi: 10.1177/0306312713498641.

Reichmann, Werner (2012): Wirtschaftsbilder – Visualisierung wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Wissens über Gegenwart und Zukunft. In: Lucht, Petra/Schmidt, Lisa‐Marian/Tuma, René (Eds.): Visuelles Wissen und Bilder des Sozialen. Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der visuellen Soziologie. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 341-355.

Woermann, Niklas/Kirschner, Heiko (2014): Skopische Medien als Reflektionsmedien. Zur fortschreitenden Mediatisierung von Poker und eSport. In: Krotz, Friedrich/Despotović, Cathrin/Kruse, Merle-Marie (Eds.): Die Mediatisierung sozialer Welten. Synergien empirischer Forschung. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 93-11.

Woermann, Niklas (2012): On the Slope is on the Screen. Prosumtion, Social Media Practices and Scopic Systems in the Freeskiing Subculture. In: American Behavioral Scientist, 56 (4), pp. 618-640.

Woermann, Niklas (2012): Die unmögliche De-Visualisierung von Wissen – Über einige Sehpraktiken einer extremen Gemeinschaft. In: Lucht, Petra/Schmidt, Lisa-Marian/Tuma, René (Eds.): Visuelles Wissen und Bilder des Sozialen. Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der visuellen Soziologie. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 87-103.

Woermann, Niklas (2011): Innovation – Coordination and Evolution through Media Systems. In: Woermann, Niklas: Seeing Style. Intelligibility, Visual Order, and Social Practices. Dissertation at the Univerity St. Gallen, pp. 479-517.


Beljean, Stefan: Using Screen Technologies in the Wild. Two Cases of Mediatization Under Extreme Conditions. Presentation at the World Social Science Forum 2013, 13.10.2013 - 15.10.2013 in Montreal, held 2013-10-14.

Beljean, Stefan: The Soldier of the Future: An Essay about Powerful New Technologies and the Power of Myth. Presentation at Graduate Students Conference der Harvard University, "Soldiering: The Afterlife of a Modern Experience" 2011-04.22 until 2011-04-23 in Cambridge, held 2011-04-23.

Dirksen, Vanessa: Scopic Media - Brain Imaging Technologies. Presentation at the Priority Program workshop „Handlungs- und Interaktionsformen“, 2011-12-21 until 2011-12-22 in Konstanz, held 2011-12-21.

Dirksen, Vanessa: Scopic Media and Telepresence: An Empirical Investigation of the Synthetic Situation. Presentation at the international conference "Mediatized Worlds: Culture and Society in a Media Age", 2011-04-13 until 2011-04-15 in Bremen, held 2011-04-15.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: The Interaction Order of Algorithms: the Case of the Flash Crash. Presentation at International High Frequency Trading Workshop "Cultures of High-Frequency Trading and their Regulations", University Constance, 2015-06-22 until 2015-06-23 in Constance, held 2015-06-22.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: Skopische Medien. Presentation at the „eikones“-Jahrestagung „Welterzeugung durch Bilder“, 2011-11-17 until 2011-11-19 in Basel, held 2011-11-18.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: KoEvolution der Aufmerksamkeit.  Presentation at the conference Ko-Evolution, 2011-09-14 until 2011-09-16 in Frankfurt am Main, held 2011-09-15.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: Theorizing the Market as an Organization Outside Organizations. Presentation at the ASA Theory Panel on Organizations, 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, 2011-08-20 until 2011-08-23 in Las Vegas, held 2011-08-22.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: Maverick Markets. Presentation at the 23rd Annual Meeting der Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, 23.06.2011-06-23 until 2011-06-25 in Madrid, held 2011-06-25.

Knorr Cetina, Karin: Synthetische Weltgesellschaft? Aspekte der medialen Grundlage von Vergleich und Welt. Presentation at the plenum ‘"Mikrostrukturen transnationaler Vergesellschaftung" of the Annual Conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie, 2010-10-11 until 2010-10-15 in Frankfurt am Main, held 2010-10-13.

Reichmann, Werner: From Scopic to Sonic Media?. Presentation at conference "Sonification of Swimming", CITEC, University Bielefeld, 2015-09-24 until 2015-09-25.

Reichmann, Werner: Die synthetische Situation im Labor. Schritte zu einem soziologioschen Experiment. Presentation at the annual meeting of employees SPP 1505 "Mediatisierte Welten" in Bremen, 2014-07-21 until 2014-07-22.

Reichmann, Werner: Das dominante Schaubild und die visuelle Herstellung des Verständnisses der wirtschaftlichen Zukunft. Presentation at Workshop "Die Soziologie ökonomischen Wissens" at University Jena, 2014-07-17 until 2014-07-18.

Reichmann, Werner: Visualizing Economic Acting. Presentation at conference VISUALIZATION der Humboldt-Universität Berlin, 2014-04-07 until 2014-04-09, held 2014-04-08.

Reichmann, Werner: Skopisch vermittelte Diskurse und diskursiv formierte skopische Systeme: Das Beispiel der deutschen Staatsschuldenaufnahme. Presentation at Workshop "Diskurs - Medien - Praxis", 2014-04-02 until 2014-04-03, Frankfurt am Main, held 2014-04-02.

Reichmann, Werner: Die seltsame, mächtige Visualisierung der wirtschaftlichen Zukunft. Skopische Medien - Wissenskulturen und Sehgemeinschaften. Presentation at the conference "Visualisierung - Mediatisierung" organized by the "visual communication" division within the DGPuK (German Communication Association) in cooperation with the priority program "Mediatized Worlds" at the University of Bremen, 2013-11-21 until 2013-11-23, held 2013-11-23.

Reichmann, Werner: Scientific Failure - The Meanings of Economic Forecast. Presentation at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver (USA), 2012-08-17 until ­2012-08-20, held 2012-08-18.

Woermann, Niklas: Screen realities, synthetic situations, and scopic media. Session chair and organizer at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) conference 2012, 2012-10-17 until 2012-10-20 in Copenhagen.

Woermann, Niklas: Arenas of Style. Dissemination and Deliberation of Style in face-to-face versus screen-mediated social encounters. Presentation and Workshop at the Consumption Studies Research Group of the University of Southern Denmark, 26-06-2012 in Odense.

Woermann, Niklas: Reading Faces, Seeing Lines. On the Epistemic and Aesthetic Work of Extreme Sport Athletes. Presentation at the 10th Conference of the International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, 2011-07-11 until 2011-07-14 in Fribourg, held 2011-07-13.

Woermann, Niklas: Timeflow in Consumption Practices: Conceptualizing Temporality in two Lifestyle Sports (with Joonas Rokka). Presentation at the CCT6 Consumer Culture Theory Conference, 2011-07-07 until 2011-07-10 at the Northwestern University in Chicago, held 2011-07-09.

Woermann, Niklas: Towards a Mediatization of Seeing? On the Impact of Online Media Practices on Offline Practices of Seeing. Presentation at the Conference “Mediatized Worlds: Culture and Society in a Media Age”, 2011-04-15 in Bremen.

Woermann, Niklas: Die unmögliche De-Visualisierung von Wissen. Über einige Sehpraktiken einer extremen Gemeinschaft. Presentation at the conference “Visualisierung von Wissen und Bilder des Sozialen“ at the Technische Universität Berlin, 2011-04-09 in Berlin.

Woermann, Niklas: How to See ‚Showing off’ – Material Aspects of the Visual Production and Perception of Identities. Presentation at the 3rd ESA European Sociological Association RN Sociology of Culture mid-term Conference at the Università Bocconi, 2010-10-08 in Milan.