À la Une

Soutenance de thèse Ozan Sahin


M. Ozan Sahin soutiendra en anglais, en vue de l'obtention du grade de docteur ès sciences de la société, mention systèmes d'information, sa thèse intitulée:

Interactional Expertise, Forms and The Imitation Game: The Integration of Chinese Migrants in Beijing Municipality

Date: Mercredi 29 septembre 2021 à 8h00

Lieu: en ligne, sur Zoom. Code d'accès, contactez Ozan.Sahin(at)unige.ch


Jury :

  • Prof. Giovanna DI MARZO SERUGENDO, co-directrice de thèse, Université de Genève 
  • Prof. Basile ZIMMERMANN, co-directeur de thèse, Université de Genève 
  • Prof. Jean-Henry MORIN, president du jury, Université de Genève 
  • Prof. Robert EVANS, Cardiff University, Wales, UK 
  • Prof. Zeqi QIU, Beijing University, China 


This thesis focuses on The Imitation Game, a relatively new research method used in social sciences, which records qualitative and quantitative data. Derived from the “Turing test”, the technique consists of conducting experiments between the members of specific social groups with different characteristics and life experiences, such as blind and sighted, parents and non-parents, or sociologists and computer scientists. A sample from each group is invited to interact using software specifically designed for the method. This research addresses limitations of the current software, mainly its overall design which fails to motivate and engage the players, difficulties and costs related to the organization of experiment sessions, and limited access to the game.
These issues can be remedied by taking into consideration some of the basic principles of serious games and gamification theory, which distinguish seven main motivations for game playing, namely, social interaction, escape from routine, competition, coping, skill development, fantasy, and recreation. The initial design of The Imitation Game did not fully exploit such features. Hence, the principal aim of this PhD thesis was to create a new version of the software with three objectives in mind: making the game more entertaining, improving the data reliability, and facilitating the organisation of experiments. A mobile version of the software, The Imitation Game 2.0, was created using Node.js and WebSocket technologies to attain these objectives.
In this research, the method was applied to study the socio-cultural integration of Chinese migrants in Beijing Municipality. Here, the notion of integration is understood as the ability of individuals to understand the essence of everyday life activities within a community. The core idea is to explore the shared understandings of migrant and non-migrant groups vis-à-vis their respective lifestyles and everyday experiences. For this purpose, the current study employs two theoretical frameworks from Science and Technology Studies (STS). First, the concept of interactional expertise emphasising the importance of social interactions for developing a deep understanding of activity without physically performing it. Second, the framework of waves and forms focusing on how forms (i.e. components of cultures, such as words, images, sounds, or gestures) circulate from one medium to another. Based on the insights provided by these theories about how individuals recognise and interpret the typical characteristics of a social group, this thesis proposes a new framework for studying migrants’ socio-cultural integration, here called interactional integration.