Understanding data power from a feminist perspective: embodiment and the politics of care

Fotopoulou, A. (Presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

Description

Abstract This theoretical paper introduces how the notion of “care”, as developed in feminist science and technology studies (de la Bellacasa 2011), can be a productive analytical and critical approach when scrutinizing the manifestation of power relations in data practices. The matters of power and the politics of data have far reaching implications for the politics of the everyday. The paper argues that approaching such political issues in data practices as “matters of care” allows us to account for their affective, embodied and material elements, including the habitually devalued human labour of data users, activists, producers, consumers and citizens. Outlining the differences bewteen justice (Dencik et al. 2016, Taylor 2017) and ethics approaches to data power, it is further shown that, guided by the question “Why do we care?”, the notion of care inserts particularity and empathy in social justice frameworks. In this way the paper maps a theoretical roadmap of feminist data studies and practice theory, which is focused on materiality and embodiment and is committed to unsettling the power relation of race, class, gender and ability in datafied worlds. References de la Bellacasa, M.P., 2011. Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things. Social studies of science, 41(1), pp.85-106. Dencik, L., Hintz, A. and Cable, J., 2016. Towards data justice? The ambiguity of anti-surveillance resistance in political activism. Big Data & Society, 3(2), p.2053951716679678. Taylor, L., 2017. What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally. Big Data & Society, 4(2), p.2053951717736335.
Period12 Sep 2019
Event titleDATA POWER International conference: global in/securities
Event typeConference
LocationBremen, Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • feminist care ethics
  • feminist data studies
  • data studies
  • science and technology
  • data science
  • practice theory
  • sociology of science and technology