Digital markets – Revolution or transformation of trading activities?

March 31, 2019

Please send an abstract of max. 400 words / 3,000 characters until March 31, 2019 by emailing the contact person of the session (see below). You will be informed of the acceptance by the end of April 2019.

Markets are not only highly complex social structures, but always subject to social change. While the concept of the market plays a large and seemingly well-defined role in everyday discourse as well as in the social sciences, it is less obvious that market processes do result in various trajectories, dynamics and consequences. This might only change in "revolutionary" times, as it is currently often regarded in reference to the implementation of digital technologies.

This session will focus on the effects of digitalization on marketing strategies and trading processes. Indisputably, with the digital organization of product acquisition and product selection a change takes place when it comes to strategies of (private) economic activities, the spatiality and temporality of the market situation, technical and technological resources of the participants in market activities and probably the contemporary interpretation of what "market action" actually means. However, the modern market system, which is, for example, less or no longer based on haggling, long-term trade relations or economic fraternities ethics, had already been fundamentally changed compared to the markets of the European Middle Ages (Max Weber).

The question is if digital technology is the moving force in regard to a new structural change and if so, what might be the logic of this change process? Which role do algorithms play and what are social impacts for all actors involved? What does the change process means for those market developments that are not (yet) obviously network- or platform-based – as the brick-and-mortar store around the corner – which is, however, also influenced by digital communication and digitalized market options?

The session invites empirical contributions as well as theoretical contributions that deal with these or more specific questions on digital markets. The contributions can be submitted, presented and discussed in German or English.

Contact person: Kornelia Hahn – Universität Salzburg, Department of Sociology – kornelia.hahn[at]