Teaching: supervised theses

PhD theses

2015- ::::

Terezie Lokšová: Public participation as a tool for urban and civic transformation

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2015- ::::

Michal Synek: How to eat well in institutional care: dis/ability in repertoires of dining

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2015- ::::

Radek Carboch: On the duality of ab/normal: daily care in the process of deinstitutionalization

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2011-2018 ::::

Karel Svačina: Uncertain eternity, or eternal uncertainty? Deep repository of radioactive waste in the Czech Republic

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

Successfully defended
2014-2016 ::::

Matouš Jelínek: Strategies of educating Roma children pursued by NGOs, financing institutions and parents in the Czech Republic (change of supervisor)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2010-2015 ::::

Petra Závorková: How religious faith is vanishing/reproducing itself (uncompleted)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2008-2015 ::::

Jana Dvořáčková: Academic Jobs in Shifting Coordinates: An Ethnographic Study

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

During the last decades universities have been going through a period of dramatic changes. There have been an increase in requirements for functions to be to fulfilled as a result of knowledge economy and society ideals. At the same time, demands for effectivity rises. The development of higher education in Czech Republic is characterized by late yet notably fast transformation. Increasing numbers of students, as well as the rising expectations towards higher education, enhance the social significance of academic profession and its impact. Based on ethnographic research of five university departments, the thesis seeks to describe ways researchers “live” and negotiate selected imperatives and trends in the contemporary Czech education system (massification, accountability policies, imperative for international mobility and knowledge transfer between academic and applied sphere, flexibilisation of work) and their mutual tensions. Drawing on Martin Trow’s massification theory and on perspectives accentuating the extension of audit practices in research and education I analyze the ways university key activities – education, research and knowledge transfer – are being transformed by changes in academics’ activities.
2008-2012 ::::

Jan Paleček: Reforming social services, transforming the reform (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2009-2011 ::::

Martina Hynková: Gendered (re)construction of the Czech political dissent during so called normalisation in 1970s and 80s (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2008-2010 ::::

Alice Červinková: Biographical constructions and biographical planning of scientific careers of junior scientists (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2002-2009 ::::

Lenka Zamykalová: Sweet diabetes - the life with chronic disease (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2001-2008 ::::

Tereza Stöckelová: Biotechnologization: Legitimacy, materiality and instantiations of resistance

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

The dissertation "Biotechnologization: Legitimacy, materiality and instantiations of resistance" follows the controversy over the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture. I am firstly concerned with the production and use of scientific expert knowledges and other knowledges, and with processes of globalization and localization, or political geography, as they are enacted in the GMO case. Further, I follow and analyze processes of building and subverting of legitimacy of agricultural GMO and strategies of their de/materializations. I show that representations in the regimes of science, law and political deliberation do not play such a crucial role as claimed by modern political thought, and I argue that this makes highly problematic the concept of "deliberative" or "consultation" procedures, introduced into the current European governance, as a tool for increasing political participation of citizens. The Czech Republic is the starting point of my research but as I am interested in the political geography of GMO, my inquiries led me quickly to European contexts and specifically some European countries (mainly France and the UK). Conceptually, the dissertation draws primarily on science and technology studies and makes use of qualitative methodological approaches and data. It deals predominantly with texts (legislative and governmental documents, expert papers, media texts, press releases) and interviews, which are both used as a source of information and as an object of study.
2008 ::::

Kristýna Ciprová: Activism of gays and lesbians in the Czech context (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

1999-2007 ::::

Majda Rajčanová: The social life of dead corpses (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1998-2006 ::::

Marie Černá (Šedová): So distant, so close: Power practices of real socialism

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2001-2005 ::::

Olga Starostová: Supporting continuity of seniors' lives and its evaluation (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2001-2005 ::::

Tomáš Bitrich: Archiving and secondary analysis of qualitative sociological data - methodology and practice (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2002-2004 ::::

Tereza Vajdová: Accountability under pressure: The discourse of democratic accountability during accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2002-2004 ::::

David Kocman: The power of helping: An ethnographical study of mental health care (unfinished)

PhD programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

MA theses

2013- ::::

Zuzana Lenhartová: (On the controversy over expertise on birthgiving)

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2013-2014 ::::

Eva Kotašková: What happened to the horse meat: A case study of unmarketable food

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

Diploma thesis is a case study of a horsemeat food fraud. This case took place at the beginning of 2013 and was spread into many European countries, including Czech Republic. The analysis is focused on a way in which were the products containing not proclaimed horsemeat processed. How can we understand the way of processing? And what can this case say about attitudes towards food and waste? The study is inspired by Science and Technology Studies, mainly the so-called turn to ontology and study of classification and standards. Objects of analysis thus include individuals and groups as well as entities, technologies or science methods. The aim of this thesis is to depict wider context and strategies which made a safe food product become waste. Except declared and obvious reasons I am trying to find broader context in which (and with which) lead to the final processing of products. Step by step by telling a story of products containing not proclaimed horsemeat is developed network of context and strategies which are relevant in this story. Horsemeat case shows that waste and food are a consequence politics, inspection authorities, limiting and limited technologies in order to of maintain prevailing standards. A strategy of elimination the products allow an elimination of responsibility and sustaining existing standards of food safety leads to sustaining current standards and marginalization of resistence.
2013-2014 ::::

Anežka Příběnská: Opencard in the making: A case study of the Czech smart card project as a socio-technical system

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

This thesis is a case study of a specific technological innovation, Prague multi-purpose smart card called Opencard, and its aim is to demonstrate how and why a nice and logical technological innovation gets so complicated in socio-technical practice and why it is a point of sociological interest. The thesis is based on two approaches which belong to Science and Technology Studies (STS), the approach of Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and thus understands Opencard as a case constructed in the interaction of both, the social and the technical. The analysis shows that although in a public view Opencard is a symbol of corruption and the failure of the Prague City Council, this agenda focused on criminality and corruption conceals essential causes of the ambiguous success of Opencard that would probably complicated the realization of the project regardless of corruption. The case study show that Opencard has not been multi-purpose and advantageous for everybody since the beginning, it had to acquire these characteristics (similarly as its un/success) only during the realization - through the cooperation of many institutions, parties and interests, complicated by various and unforeseen problems. It is only through this complicated cooperation that Opencard as a technological innovation was realized and gradually incorporated into everyday socio-technical practice as its automatic and stabilized part, although in different (and often only unconvincing) ways than the original unambiguous project implied.
2009-2010 ::::

Karel Svačina: „What a strange Windows...“: A case study of socio-technical change on a Czech school

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

This thesis is concerned with the transition from proprietary to free open source software at a selected primary school in the Czech Republic. It is a case study, whose goal is to scrutinize the transition while paying attention to various circumstances which shaped it, made it possible, and limited it. The work draws on the Science and Technology Studies (STS) tradition, especially its Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) and Actor-Network Theory approaches. More specifically, the concept of 'obduracy' is drawn upon within these traditions. The analysis shows the transition to free and open source software at the school as a gradual and negotiated process. Furthermore, the process is identified as a part of a greater whole of IT modernization at the school. A number of different forms of obduracy of proprietary software appear throughout the work. As this obduracy is being weakened, free and open source software mobilizes new allies and gains strength itself. Interpretative flexibility of free and open source software proves to be an important contributor to the software's obduracy. At the same time, it is shown that obduracy is the result of constant work, and as such, it is not a terminal state.
2010-2012 ::::

Hana Macháčková: The institutionalization of "Training of integrative psychotherapy" in the Czech Republic (unfinished)

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

2008-2009 ::::

Pavla Špondrová: Seggregation of Roma children in Czech elementary schools

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

This thesis deals with the issue of the separation of (ethnic) minorities and the dominant majority in the Czech Republic in a particular area – in education. Some theories describing relations between majority and minorities, above all to the situation in the Czech territory applicable ones, are summarized in the first part of the work. The author chose to use a qualitative research –empirical enquiry to focus in the main part of the thesis on searching for reasons of persisting segregation of Roma children within elementary education, whether in special schools, which were renamed by the new Education Act to practical primary schools, in special classes for mentally disabled within standard primary schools or in Roma-only ordinary primary schools. The aim of the thesis was to look for an answer on the question: Why are not the key players (majority parents, Roma parents, Roma and majority children, teachers and school principals, school psychologists and a civil servants – politicians) interested in a change in the status quo? The author, after the qualitative analysis of deep, semi-structured interviews with the key players and study of the relevant documents and literature, assumes: None of the main players in the field understand the potential change as suitable. Although one would expect at least some of them to be interested in the change. Motivation of key players are blended and complementary to each other, with a great “support” of the system components is relatively simple to recognize in their behavior rationality and legitimacy.

1999-2004 ::::

Jenda Paleček: Not quite ill, not quite normal: deconstructing mental illness

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

2000-2004 ::::

Mahulena Nenadálová (Hromádková): Experiencing the tatooed body

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1999-2002 ::::

Lenka Zamykalová: Assisted reproduction - constituting the borders

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

In my thesis I study the practices of assisted reproduction technology in the Czech republic. My work is based on a one-year field work: interviewing doctors, embryologists, members of ethical committees, patients, representatives of ministry, lawyers, members of Pro-life movement and representatives of churches and doing media analysis. I concentrate on the ways different actors negotiate the boundaries of assisted reproduction. How they define and answer following three questions: Who can participate? (Borders of Infertility), What is artificial? (Borders of the Natural) and How to treat embryos? (Borders of Humaness). I focus mainly on the discursive strategies that are mobilized. I also analyze the ways the categories of nature, science and society and their mutual relationship are used as well as the use of categories of expert versus lay. I observe how the delicate balance and temporary consensus is managed and which actors are (in the end) more influential than others. At the end I put forward a slightly different mode of discussion – a way how to redefine the problem of assisted reproduction.
1998-2002 ::::

Martina Rokosová: Altzheimer disease in family

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1999-2002 ::::

Petr Kohútek: The potential of participatory procedures in civil societies: The case of EIA

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

This work poses the question of the real possibilities of the citizens to participate in the decision-making. On the example of several ecological cases, the functioning of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure is presented and discussed the possibilities of accessing it. EIA procedure is not only a tool for evaluating of finished proposals, but in the ideal case a specific planning tool, for identifying potential risks and problematic spots of the planned projects. The procedure should be therefore applied in the very early stage of the project formulation. EIA procedure is discussed as a potential pilot technology of civil society, which could become an exemplar for analogous procedures, facilitating the participative decision making in many other spheres of public life.
1999-2002 ::::

David Kocman: The Holobyty stories: An ethnography of a socio-technical innovation

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

This thesis is about a public-housing project called holobyty (i.e. "low-standard-flats"). As such, it is a case study of one single project realised in a district of Prague. Two main discourses subjecting holobyty housing have been identified. That of "segregation", and that of "necessity". Both framed by general questions: who invented and built holobyty and what the holobyty are, offer rather different answers. First one proposes holobyty be a grim housing block, where the municipality is letting rent-deliquent families, mostly Roma, live for free; second one implies that the external factors of debt and local government responsibility are the very causes for the holobyty existence. My aim in this work is to contribute to the holobyty debate by offering a detailed ethnography (or topography) of a single project. This work develops an analytical framework informed by sociology of socio-technical innovations. My argument is that the holobyty have always been a collective effect. Following the project revealed how many different actors – economic, social, moral, technical, and juridical – actively participated in the holobyty co-production. Second argument puts it that a messiness and ambiguity of the project is not (as often claimed by others) a matter of a lack of constitution, and makes it difficult to realise the project, but rather it is the very means of its realisation (or de-realisation), of its development. And, as seen in practice, it opens up spaces for alternative modes of functioning.
2001-2002 ::::

Luděk Brož: Relatives For a Season: Incorporating Au Pairs Into Host Families

MA programme in ethnology, Philosophical Faculty at the Charles University in Prague

The author argues that the middle class English family does not offer symbolic space for a reproductive labourer. The role of an au pair as a “family employee” is highly problematic since it, on the one hand, conflicts with official discourse on cultural exchange (within which au pair visas are issued) and disrupts understandings of the private, domestic sphere (defined as a place of unselfish reciprocity) through associations with the public sphere and commerce. On the other hand, the au pair is not a “real” family member as understood through English idioms of blood and marriage bonds. As a consequence, au pairs are ascribed through everyday practices the often contradictory roles of “employee,” “parent,” “partner,” and “child”. To examine those mechanisms of ascription, the author employs feminist theories of reproductive labour, its stratification and commodification as well as kinship studies influenced in particular by the work of David Schneider. The thesis is based on six months of participant observation in an au pair position in Britain (2000-2001).
1999-2001 ::::

Tereza Stöckelová: Nature as collective experiment: The management of beetle Ips typographus in the National Park Šumava

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

The thesis develops three main layers. The first one is a case study of a controversy about the management of beetle Ips typographus in the National Park Šumava. The study is based on qualitative analysis of public as well as private texts, interviews and correspondence. The second layer offers an interpretation of some previously described phenomena employing Latourian sociology of science. The notion of nature as an independent, with respect to society exterior kind of reality is challenged together with some environmentalists’ arguments based on this premise. Some important aspects of scientific engagement are also examined. The final layer explores alternatives to current style of the controversy; mainly, it tries to redefine the role of expert knowledge.
1999-2001 ::::

Barbora Justianová: "Please, sit down, Mr. Micka": An analysis of institutional interactions at the labour office

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

The first part of the thesis brings an overview of theoretical sociological and economic approaches to the bureaucracy phenomenon (Weber, Etzioni, Crozier, and Niskanen). Since Weber's ideal concept we can classify them as functionalistic. But less attention is paid to the area of everyday interactions of the lowest clerks and clients. My aim is to understand imbalance in the relation of a client and a clerk during communication at an office. I studied the institutional interactions at the employment exchange office of one Prague's district. I employed the conversation analysis, developed by H. Sacks and others for studding hidden meanings of human utterance and participatory observation method to reveal asymmetries in the roles of actors. First I introduce the office, its actors and original goals, which are broadly defined and describe the context of interactions e.g. actors (job procuresses and unemployed clients) and room conditions influencing context of interaction. I also reflect my position as insider in the organisation. The analysis shows existence of different types of asymmetries between a client and a job procuress. First is leading in shaping of dialogue, giving stimulus to new topics. The next asymmetry comes from the difference between amount and quality of knowledge and information. I conclude that the original goal of employment exchange to help people to succeed on a labour market is overridden by very routine keeping of evidence.
1999-2001 ::::

Tomáš Bitrich: The aesthetic values and borders in the world of music: Three cases from alternative rock

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

This text is based on analyses of a set of biographical interviews related to alternative rock. Theoretical background of this work resides in the sociology of music influenced by so called Actor-Network Theory (ANT). If the musical object is construed by mediators changing from situation to situation, how than can we talk about stable, spaceless and timeless value? The question is answered by analysis of three cases. In these three cases the moves over the object boundary are reached through the strategy of ontological gerrymandering. The part of the music that should stay a part of musical object should be unconditioned. It should be connected with the essence of the Music. To the contrary, the part of the music that should be pushed across the musical object boundary should be shown as socially or technically conditioned. It should become a social or technical context of the music.
1997-1999 ::::

Olga Starostová: In their thirties: normalization from the childhood perspective

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1998-1999 ::::

Pavel Říčan: Returning to the countryside

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1997-1999 ::::

Majda Rajčanová: Zazvoní zvonek: cesta a proměny lidského těla po smrti

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1996-1998 ::::

Tereza Vajdová: ZOO: mirroring the Michel Foucault's concept of episteme

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1995-1997 ::::

Petr Kamberský: Maniny: aneb cesta tam a zase zpátky

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

This work is a case study of a religious society "Christian community Maniny", often called a sect. It differs from other similar communities not so much in its creed as in the lived praxis. The society may be classified as one of new religious movements, more precisely as a movement for charismatic renewal. The key institution which constitutes the identity and social compactness of the Maniny society is a kind of "small group" - a small social group in which its members live their daily life. Through the "small group", Maniny become the primary group for its members. This study is based on concepts of grounded theory and objective hermeneutics. Its main part is built on analysis of biographic tales of former members of the society. The text analysis then shows that joining the society, staying with it and the degrees of identification with it are primarily determined not by "ideologic" resonance but rather by the biographic situation and personal relations to other members of the community. Departure from the society is then determined not by theological disputes but by biographic changes - the member who changes his social role does not "need" any more the background of a near but controlling community.
1996-1997 ::::

Martin Hádek: The concept of hypermedia technology: Knowledge construction metaphor

MA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

BA theses

2006-2007 ::::

Karel Svačina: Science and expertise in advertising: A qualitative analysis

BA programme in sociology, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

Advertising is an important part of everyday life. It does various things – it informs, persuades, entertains, bores, allures and gives promises, among others. Sometimes it also refers to expertise. It uses the language of experts and shields itself using the authority of science. In this sense, advertising may be understood as an important part of a broader political culture of science. However, it is often left out of the studies of science. Advertising may work as an „access point“ to science – it may be a place where science meets the public, exercises its authority, but also asks for the public's trust and is challenged by its scepticism. In this sense, an access point is a place where science configures the public and at the same time is configured by the public. Personal consumption, which is tightly connected with adverising, is also inseparable from the public engagement. Thus, the understanding of what science „does“ in advertising, may also help in understanding of what it does with respect to the civil rights and responsibilities, which stand behind the concept of „scientific citizenship“. The aim of this work is to show some of the practices, which can be used by advertising in its refering to expert knowledge. The means towards this goal is a thorough analysis of two commercials, in which these kinds of references may be found. The analysis is carried out within a framework of concepts, which emerge from literature, which deals with advetising and the public understanding of science. The major finding of this work is that advertising may refer to science in ways which are quite distinct and dissimilar. However, these dissimilar practices appear to do the same thing – they cultivate the public understanding of science, and thus they also participate in cultivating the „scientific citizenship“.

1998-1999 ::::

Petr Kohútek: Power as structuration of space

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1997-1999 ::::

Tomáš Bitrich: Authority and opinion leaders in Litomerice - the trajectory of a view

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1996-1998 ::::

Martina Rokosová: The story of Eva, the convertite

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1996-1998 ::::

Jenda Paleček: Everybody is just a part of bad scenery

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1996-1998 ::::

Lukáš Havlín: Diary as a space for survival: Reflections on Egon Redlich's diary from Terezin

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

1995-1996 ::::

Robert Basch: Constructing provisional arrangements - strategies of social survival in the Terzin ghetto

BA programme in sociology and social policy, Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University in Prague

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KONOPÁSEK, Z. (????): Antropocén: Více než jeden, méně než dva [Anthropocene: More than one, less than many]. In: P. Pokorný & D. Storch, eds: Antropocén. (edited book in preparation)

book chapter

KONOPÁSEK, Z. / SONERYD, L. / SVAČINA, K. (2018): Lost in translation: Czech dialogues by Swedish design. Science & Technology Studies, 31 (3): 5-23

Scientific paper

BARTLOVÁ, M. / BÍLEK, P. / KONOPÁSEK, Z. / REIFOVÁ, I. (2017): Diskuze o interdiciplinárních přístupech k normalizaci [Discussion on interdisciplinary approaches toward normalization]. In: K. Činátl, J. Mervart & J. Najbert, eds: Podoby česko-slovenské normalizace: Dějiny v diskusi [Forms of Czech-Slovak normalization: History debated]. Praha: ÚSTR/NLN. Pp. 81-101

book chapter
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