Conference panel The datafication of everyday life

Mathieu, D. (Organizer)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Datafication is a major force that has shaped media and society throughout the last decade and continues to reach deeper. It is conceived of as a large-scale process extending the mediatization of society (Couldry & Hepp, 2017), an ideology (van Dijck, 2014) that attempts to rethink the way we “live, work and think” (Mayer-Schönberger & Cukier, 2013) and a process of colonization of the lifeworld (Couldry & Mejias, 2018). Major companies such as Facebook and Amazon are creating a big data divide where citizens in particular are left without sufficient knowledge or power to opt out of the massive collection and analysis of data (Andrejvic, 2013; Van Dijck, 2013). Many of these accounts provide what could be called a top-down approach to datafication, highlighting the ways datafication logics enter and shape the realm of research (Emery et Al. 2014; boyd & Crawford, 2012), business (Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier, 2013) or media production (Arsenault, 2017), notably advertising and public relations (Turow, 2012; Couldry & Turrow, 2014). These studies are useful to understand the ways data affect business models, content production and institutional control, highlighting issues of (algorithmic) exclusion, discrimination and stigmatization (Sloot and Schendel 2016; Umoja Noble, 2018). Yet, such a top-down approach neglects practices of consumption, appropriation, interpretation and domestication by everyday citizens. A bottom-up approach is however important for appreciating how citizen practices integrate, extend, escape or contest the datafication of everyday life. We need to understand, not only how datafication is affecting, but also how it is affected by the everyday; not only how data are shaping the experiences and consciousness of citizens, but also what motivations and preoccupations they have for embracing or resisting data; not only the demands that data impose on citizens, but also the complex considerations and practices that form the background upon which datafication is integrated in everyday life. This Nordmedia panel will pay due attention to the “ordinary, non-expert folks´ thoughts and feelings about how their data are used, shared, and acted upon” (Kennedy, 2018). It will collect recent research on everyday datafication and discuss the significance of practices and experiences of ordinary citizens in relation to the datafication of their everyday life.
Period23 Aug 2019
Event typeConference
LocationMalmö, Sweden
Degree of RecognitionInternational