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Thesis offer in sociology of work and digital technology (M/F)

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 7 juillet 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR5193-CARDAT-001
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Thursday, June 23, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Caroline Datchary
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 3 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

For the start of the 2022 academic year, as part of a multidisciplinary research project VERTUOSE involving three research laboratories (LAAS, LISST and LIST3N), we are offering a 3-year thesis grant. The beneficiary will carry out his or her research work in Toulouse and will be mainly assigned to LISST under the double supervision of Caroline Datchary and Samir Medjiah.
The VERTUOSE project brings together sociologists, computer scientists and a psychologist with the aim of designing and developing digital ecologies at work that lighten the cognitive load of employees by automatically adapting to their activity.

The people involved in the VERTUOSE project are
- Caroline DATCHARY (MCF HDR Sociology, LISST)
- Samir MEDJIAH (MCF HDR Computer Science and Networks, LAAS)
- Christophe CHASSOT (PR Computer Science and Networks, LAAS)
- Johann CHAULET (CR Sociology, LISST)
- Myriam LEWKOWICZ (PR Computer Science, LIST3N)
- Nadia GAUDUCHEAU (MCF Psychology, LIST3N)
- Zacharie HELLOUIN (PhD student in computer science from Oct. 22, LAAS-LISST)

Presentation of the subject
Digitalization" disrupts the attentional frameworks of all employees by multiplying cognitive attractors and communicative activity at work is constantly developing, often to the detriment of other aspects of professional activity. To such an extent that setting up one's availability is becoming a real ordeal, the resolution of which depends on numerous individual, collective and organisational parameters. In a professional context, the solutions proposed are mainly based on awareness and regulation. It is clear that the recommendations are rarely or never implemented.

In response to these limitations, the approach explored in the VERTUOSE project is to take advantage of the programming opportunities of communication infrastructures to automate part of the communication load and the fine-tuning of availability. This is now made possible by the opportunities for control of networks and their environment both at the level of user machines and the opportunities offered by cloud providers. Nevertheless, an automated technical device, designed by mobilising the results of SHS surveys to be as close as possible to the real activity and problems encountered by users, would not be sufficient on its own. Spaces for the collective elaboration of communicational conventions, a necessary condition for the construction of desirable norms for the regulation of exchanges, must also be considered. This collective negotiation is in fact necessary on the one hand for a prior realistic modelling of the desirable rules of communication, but also for their continuous adaptation to ensure the appropriation of the system and its alignment with the constantly changing work situations.

In this context, the general objective of the thesis is to contribute to the work of ethnographic investigation in the partner company of the project in collaboration with the SHS researchers of the project. The aim will be to provide data to feed the work of the researchers in computer science, but also to co-design, in a participatory design approach, a socio-technical device that will allow the collective elaboration of communication conventions. To do this, various scientific literatures will be mobilised, notably in sociology of work, sociology of organisations, sociology of the digital and computer Supported Cooperative Work.

Desired profile

- Hold a Master's degree in social sciences and have knowledge of the sociology of work and the digital.
- Willingness to develop research in the field of the relationship between technology and society with an appetite for interdisciplinarity and teamwork.
- Ability to carry out empirical surveys. An interest or experience in participatory research will be a plus.
- Good writing skills.

Work Context

The thesis is funded by the CNRS under the 80 PRIME scheme.
The thesis will be a sociology thesis, but it will involve the association of interdisciplinary knowledge in computer science. The PhD student will be supervised by Caroline Datchary (HDR lecturer in sociology at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès) and Samir Medjiah (HDR lecturer in computer science at the University of Toulouse Paul Sabatier). He or she will be accompanied in his or her work by the entire VERTUOSE team. In parallel to this offer, thanks to the support of the Occitanie Region and the Federal University of Toulouse Midi Pyrénées within the framework of the Allocation Doctorale Interdisciplinaire (ADI) programme, a second computer science oriented PhD student will also be recruited, under the supervision of the same team.

The doctoral student will be hosted mainly in the Interdisciplinary Laboratory Solidarities, Societies, Territories. The LISST is a joint research unit in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a broad thematic coverage that comes under sections 36, 38 and 39 of the CNRS. It is located at the Maison de la Recherche on the Mirail campus of the Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès. The LISST is supervised by the University Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, the CNRS, the EHESS and the ENSFEA. He or she will be integrated into the CERS team (Collectif : Expériences Réseaux et Sociétés). He or she will also benefit from occasional stays at LAAS to learn about the design of technical devices.

Constraints and risks

No specific risks other than those of fieldwork in OECD areas.

Additional Information

Applicants should send :
- a complete curriculum vitae,
- a letter of motivation explaining their motivation for a doctoral thesis in general, and this thesis in particular,
- a copy of their final thesis
Only applications submitted via the CNRS job portal will be considered.
Application deadline: Friday 1 July 2022

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