Postdoc 2 will have multidisciplinary background in sociology, economics, political science and/or computer science, with special focus on sociology of organizations, sociology or economics of innovation, or science and technology studies. S/he will have strong qualitative, discourse analysis/ethnography skills with expertise in computational text collection and analysis methods. Postdoc 2 will be recruited for 4 years, 0.8 FTE.
Postdoc 2 will be documenting blockchain adoption and assessing its societal impact. (See WP4 for details) Postdoc 2 will document and analyse the process of the social construction of blockchain technology (Bijker et al., 2012), the process, through which various stakeholders in a social domain: incumbents, outsider-disruptors, regulators, commentators, laymen, academics, etc. understand, discuss, give meaning to, adopt, domesticate a new, potentially disruptive technology. This social construction process is well underway, (but hardly studied) in the context of finance and cryptocurrencies. The task of Postdoc 2 is to analyse, from the very beginning, this adoption process in social domains beyond finance. S/he will (1) observe the discourse and emerging social consensus around blockchain technology via the collection of the documents of this process: the public discourse in the popular press, trade publications, and specialized online fora; the analyses in white papers, reports, academic and business studies; the public statements of stakeholders expressed in talks, workshops, fairs and conferences; the ideas, attitudes, fears, expectations, strategies formulated in semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, policymakers, and other involved/affected parties. Through the qualitative, thematic analysis of these documents s/he will then (2) assess the opportunities and limits of tokenization, (3) map the social conditions of decentralization and disintermediation; (4) analyse the limits of transformation of our traditional (public, private) intermediaries.