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What we are reading #1

As we begin our project, we are engaging with interesting new scholarship on theory and methods related to lively data, data sense-making and more-than-human inquiry. Here on this blog, we will regularly post lists of new work we are discovering and finding ‘good to think with’. This is our first list.

  • Bergroth H. (2019) ‘You can’t really control life’: dis/assembling self-knowledge with self-tracking technologies. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory 20: 190-206.
  • Calvillo N and Garnett E. (2019) Data intimacies: building infrastructures for intensified embodied encounters with air pollution. The Sociological Review 67: 340-356.
  • Gangneux J. (2019) Rethinking social media for qualitative research: The use of Facebook Activity Logs and Search History in interview settings. The Sociological Review online first.
  • Hine C. (2019) Strategies for reflexive ethnography in the smart home: autoethnography of silence and emotion. Sociology online first.
  • Karlsson A. (2019) A room of one’s own? Using period trackers to escape menstrual stigma. Nordicom Review 40: 111-123.
  • Kingod N and Cleal B. (2019) Noise as dysappearance: attuning to a life with Type 1 diabetes. Body & Society online first.
  • Li Q. (2019) Towards a Taoist aesthetics of data visualization. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities online first.
  • Lomborg S and Kapsch PH. (2019) Decoding algorithms. Media, Culture & Society online first.
  • Meneley A. (2019) Walk this way: Fitbit and other kinds of walking in Palestine. Cultural Anthropology 34: 130-154.
  • Pridmore J, Zimmer M, Vitak J, et al. (2019) Intelligent personal assistants and the intercultural negotiations of dataveillance in platformed households. Surveillance & Society 17: 125-131.
  • Saariketo M. (2019) Encounters with self-monitoring data on ICT use. Nordicom Review 40: 125-140.
  • Stoilova M, Livingstone S and Nandagiri R. (2019) Children’s data and privacy online: growing up in a digital age. Research findings. Available at
  • Walter M and Suina M. (2019) Indigenous data, indigenous methodologies and indigenous data sovereignty. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 22: 233-243.
  • Windeyer RC. (2019) Faces between numbers: re-imagining theatre and performance as instruments of critical data studies within a liberal arts education. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 24: 316-332.
  • Wong KLX and Dobson AS. (2019) We’re just data: exploring China’s social credit system in relation to digital platform ratings cultures in Westernised democracies. Global Media and China 4: 220-232.

Interview with me about my new book Data Selves

This Sociological Life


I did an interview recently with Rafael Grohmann about my new book Data Selves: More-than-Human Perspectives (out from Polity in October). He has now translated it into Portuguese and published it on his blog DigiLabour: available here.

Below are the original English questions and my written responses.

RG: What does data selves mean in a more-than-human perspective?

DL: A more-than-human perspective acknowledges that humans are always already part of nonhuman relations. Humans and nonhumans come together in assemblages that are constantly changing as humans move through their worlds. From this perspective, digital devices and software assemble with humans, and personal data are generated in and with these enactments. These data assemblages are more-than-human things. People live with and co-evolve with their personal data – they learn from data and data learn from them in a continually changing relationship.

RG: How can feminist materialism theory and the anthropology of material culture…

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Working with image cards in social research

This Sociological Life

As part of my experiments with innovative methods for social research and developing design sociology, I have been using a set of image cards developed by Dan Lockton and his team at the Imaginaries Lab for their New Metaphors workshops. Dan has kindly made these resources open access (see here). The cards consists of two types: 1) a range of diverse images of things, activities and experiences that exist in people’s everyday lives (natural phenomena like clouds, rain, trees or animals and things from built environments such as cracks in pavements, graffiti and the hum of a fridge); and 2) a range of topics, concepts or ideas (for example, safety, love, fame, half-remembered dreams and personal security). I printed out a set of the New Metaphors cards, and over the past two weeks have run two pop-up methods workshops at my Vitalities Lab to experiment with them.


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Kicking off the project

The Living with Personal Data project has just kicked off. We have appointed a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Ashleigh Watson, to begin working on the project. While we are waiting for our ethics approval, Ashleigh is updating our literature review. In conjunction with the Vitalities Lab led by Deborah Lupton, we are running several pop-up methods workshops in the next few months to experiment with the innovative methods we will be using in our fieldwork, which will include home visits with people living in Sydney, and hands-on workshops with diverse groups of Australians.