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DFG Project

Problems of Action and Typifications in Personal and Algorithmic Shopping Advice on the Internet

Within the research project „Curated Shopping - Problems of Action and Typifications in Personal and Algorithmic Shopping Advice on the Internet“, well-known questions about the specificity of online shopping are revisited and renegotiated.

In recent years, social science research on online commerce and shopping has consolidated a model for describing online mediated purchasing that operates with four basic assumptions: First, the change from a service triad between provider, provider personnel, and customer to an interface-mediated service dyad between provider and customer; second, the shift of competence requirements, especially regarding self-information, to the consumer; third, a product offering that is agglomerated and potentially totally comprehensive via sales platforms; and fourth, the increasing intertwining of provider- and consumer-side actions.

Empirically, alternative models of online shopping reveal that problems of action arise with the current model, which in turn are dealt with by novel services. Providers therefore make use of the possibilities offered by media technology to present their products and services in different ways, just as consumers search for and use different products and services according to their relevances. One prominent type of service that is currently increasing in importance is curated shopping, i.e., the pre-selection and personalized recommendation of products by suppliers. In the individualized, limited, and comparatively service-intensive offerings of curated shopping, familiar questions about the specifics of online shopping are revisited and renegotiated. By tackling the question of the re-traditionalization or de-mediatization of online offers or the mediatization of advisory services (i.e. the curation of consumer products) in curated shopping, a significant contribution to the multilayered of the reflexive mediatization of consumption is in prospect.

To do research in this area, the project focuses on the interconnectedness of provider-side and consumer-side actions in digital research fields. Along the topic of curated shopping, our aim ist to reconstruct the problems of action and problem-solving strategies that providers and customers face in the context of current media technology frameworks. The empirical study is based on an explorative-interpretative research design in which organizational and consumer ethnographic approaches are bundled within the framework of a hermeneutic-sociological study.

Project Team

Management Dr. Paul Eisewicht
Team Nico Steinmann, M.Ed.
Pauline Kortmann


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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).