Doris Allhutter

Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Technology Assessment

Email doris.allhutter[at]
Project Name Performativity in Computing
Publication Page
Field of research STS | Computing | Welfare Infrastructures
Keywords digitization | normativity of computing | infrastructural power | automation of public sector
Twitter @allhutter

Ideological Practices, Affect and Performativity in Computing


What is my research about?

My research focuses on how social inequality and ideologies of human difference co-emerge with information infrastructures and sociotechnical systems. I study the implicit normativity of computing practices under the lens of how these practices are entrenched in power relations and take a stake in co-producing gender, sex, race, ethnicity, class, and dis/ability. From this perspective, I have investigated various digital spheres, such as digital pornography, software development, machine learning, requirements engineering, and, currently, the automation of welfare.

What empowers me?
I appreciate cooperation with people I can think and act with outside the competition struggles of academia. Many academic environments have become unproductively competitive and, in many ways, hostile to life and health. Reclaiming spaces in which we can talk in half sentences to develop ideas instead of presenting well-worded statements feels empowering to me. It raises my enthusiasm for others’ work and insights and reminds me of my own value.


What is my vision for society?
I envision a society that learns to put sociotechnical progress in the service of all people instead of economic interests and a capitalist techno-elite of the Global North. Technology shall only be put in place where it can serve the wellbeing of a plural and equal society and never where it is simply used to take advantage of and obscure societal inequalities, privilege and colonial relations of dominance.