Datafication of health and self-care

University Researcher and Principal Investigator, Minna Ruckenstein, Helsinki University

Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies, University of Copenhagen announces the following seminar:

The aim of this lecture is to offer an overview of how researchers in sociology, science and technology studies, anthropology and media studies have responded to the big data paradigm shift and begun to explore “datafication”, understood as the conversion of qualitative aspects of lifeworld into quantified data. The current literature, focusing on health and self-care can roughly be grouped into three thematic areas, associated with certain methodological and theoretical commitments (Ruckenstein & Schull, forthcoming). Research on “data power” focuses on questions related to economic exploitation, surveillance and biopolitics. The second area of research “living with data” covers themes such as data practices and data sociality, or self-fashioning through data. The third area concentrates on “data-human mediation”, exploring the agencies of the nonhuman, including device features, algorithms, and data infrastructures, mediating power dynamics and individual and social experiences. The empirical examples from our ongoing digital health project propose that the different thematic areas, currently engaged in parallel conversations, offer divergent, sometimes conflicting views to the field of health and self-care. In order to bring them into a more productive conversation, some ways forward are suggested.

Minna Ruckenstein is the principal investigator of the Data, Self and Society group at the University of Helsinki’s Consumer Society Research Centre. Her ongoing research projects focus on confrontations with personal data use, data practices, and datafication.

Marts 9, 2017, at 15:30-17:00, in room 10.0.11 at CSS, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, building 10

Everybody is welcome!