This talk argues that we need to understand Big Data as a complex and contradictory cultural transformation enabling the emergence of contested discourses and practices.
Drawing on an ethnographic research project amongst families in the UK and US, the talk discusses how Big Data is deeply transforming the intimate experience of family life introducing new questions about total surveillance and the datafication of citizens from birth.
At the same time, the talk will show that we also need to look into the ways in which families make sense and negotiate with the datafication of everyday life. Understanding these processes of negotiation and intimate resistance, will be argued, can shed light on the cultural and social complexities of Big Data.
About the speaker
Dr Veronica Barassi is a Lecturer and the Convenor of the BA Anthropology and Media Degree in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths University of London.
Her research expertise covers the anthropology of digital cultures, digital ethnography, civic engagement and digital media, big data and everyday life. She is one of the founders of the Goldsmiths Media Ethnography Group and principal investigator on the ‘Social Movements and Media Technologies: Present Challenges and Future Developments’ ESRC Seminar series.
She is also the chair of the E-Seminars of the Media Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropology. Her work has appeared on top ranked international journals and she is the author of Activism on the Web: Everyday Struggles against Digital Capitalism (Routledge, 2015).