The Social Dilemma

A Small Symposium on “The Social Dilemma:
The Challenges of Doing Research on and with Social Media”
as part of the 15th Annual International Conference on Sociology
3-6 May 2021, Athens, Greece
Sponsored by the Athens Journal of Social Sciences

The Sociology Unit of  ATINER is organizing a Small Symposium on “The Social Dilemma: The Challenges of Doing Research on and with Social Media”, 3-6 May 2021, Athens, Greece as part of the 15th Annual International Conference on Sociology sponsored by the Athens Journal of Social Sciences.

All the main activities through which we share emotions, preferences, orientations, interests, tastes could be performed online and the social platforms are the nodal points that make this possible. All our online activities could generate some sort of data and all the social platforms that help us to perform these activities are also those who create and own these data. And they use this data to know more about us than we know ourselves. The Netflix docufilm “The Social Dilemma” quotes the famous sentence “If you don’t pay for a product, then you are the product”,  a lesson the Grimm brothers taught us in the 1700s, with the Rumpelstiltskin’s fairy tale. Then a question arises: if it is so clear that the data collected by these social platforms, by which they profile browsing experiences tailored to our preferences, are also the basis through which they try to orient users’ preferences by implementing mechanisms of manipulation and psychological induction, then how valid/useful is it to use data from social platforms to study individual behavior and social change for the purposes of social research? How can we adequately problematize this aspect and work away from the influences that the processes of manipulation of the user as a product put in place? This symposium welcomes contributions that develop theoretical reasoning or empirical evidence on these issues to be used as a collective basis to start a new and deeper reasoning on these topics. Academics and researchers from all areas of social sciences (politics, sociology, economics, cultural studies, media studies, etc.) are more than welcome to contribute to this symposium. You may participate as presenter of one paper, chair or observer.

Fee structure information is available on

Special arrangements will be made with a local hotel for a limited number of rooms at a special conference rate. In addition, a number of special events will be organized: A pragmatic symposium (as organized in Ancient Athens but fine tuned to synchronous ethics), a special one-day educational island tour, a Mycanae and island of Poros visit, an Athens educational walking tour, an one-day visit to Delphi and an ancient Corinth and Cape Sounion visit. Details of the social program are available here.

Please submit a 300-word abstract before 22 March 2021, by email, to, Dr. Gabriella Punziano, Assistant Professor, University of Naples Federico II, Italy. Please include: Title of Paper, Full Name (s), Current Position, Institutional Affiliation, an email address and at least 3 keywords that best describe the subject of your submission. Please use the abstract submitting formDecisions will be reached within four weeks of your submission.

If your submission is accepted, you will receive information on registration deadlines and paper submission requirements. Should you wish to participate in the Conference without presenting a paper, for example, to chair a session, to evaluate papers which are to be included in the conference proceedings or books, to contribute to the editing of a book, or any other contribution, please send an email to Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, President, ATINER (

The association was established in 1995 as an independent world association of Academics and Researchers. Its mission is to act as a forum where Academics and Researchers from all over the world can meet in Athens, in order to exchange ideas on their research, and to discuss future developments in their disciplines.

The organizing and hosting of International Conferences and Symposiums, the carrying out of Research, and the production of Publications are the basic activities of ATINER.  Since 1995, ATINER has organized more than 400 International Conferences and other events, and has published close to 200 books. In 2012, the Association launched a series of conference paper publications (click here), and at the beginning of 2014, it introduced its own series of Journals (click here).

Academically, the Association is organized into 6 Divisions, 37 Units and 6 Centers.  Each Unit organizes at least an Annual International Conference, and may also undertake various small and large research projects.

Academics and Researchers are more than welcome to become members and to contribute to ATINER’s objectives. If you would like to become a member, please download the relevant form (membership form). For more information on how to become a member, please send an email to: