What is it about?

How would datafication look like seen… ‘upside down’? What questions would we ask? What concepts, theories, methods would we embrace or have to devise? What do we miss if we stick to the mainstream, Western perspective(s)? E.g., how does datafication unfold in countries with fragile democracies, flimsy economies, impending poverty? Is our conceptual and methodological toolbox able to capture and to understand the dark developments and the amazing creativity emerging at the periphery of the empire? In this article we sketch the central of a theory of datafication ‘upside down’.

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Why is it important?

Something is missing in the conversation about big data and their consequences for people and communities. In our interpretation of the features and consequences of datafication for society at large, we tend to rely on concepts, theories and methods that are the product of epistemologies of the West. We ought to critically interrogate this blind spot.

Perspectives

There is so much to be learnt if we adopt a "Southern" perspective..

Stefania Milan
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Big Data from the South(s): Beyond Data Universalism, Television & New Media, April 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1527476419837739.
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