Imagining Personal Data : Experiences of Self-Tracking book cover
1st Edition

Imagining Personal Data
Experiences of Self-Tracking

ISBN 9781032082073
Published August 2, 2021 by Routledge
172 Pages

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Book Description

Digital self-tracking devices and data have become normal elements of everyday life. Imagining Personal Data examines the implications of the rise of body monitoring and digital self-tracking for how we inhabit, experience and imagine our everyday worlds and futures. Through a focus on how it feels to live in environments where data is emergent, present and characterized by a sense of uncertainty, the authors argue for a new interdisciplinary approach to understanding the implications of self-tracking, which attends to its past, present and possible future. Building on social science approaches, the book accounts for the concerns of scholars working in design, philosophy and human-computer interaction. It problematizes the body and senses in relation to data and tracking devices, presents an accessible analytical account of the sensory and affective experiences of self-tracking, and questions the status of big data. In doing so it proposes an agenda for future research and design that puts people at its centre.

Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgements Prologue 1. Self-Tracking in the World 2. Encountering the Temporalities and Imaginaries of Personal Data 3. Ubiquitous Monitoring Technologies in Historical Perspective 4. Algorithmic Imaginations 5. Traces through the Present 6. Anticipatory Data Worlds 7. Personal Data Futures Notes Bibliography Index

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Vaike Fors is Associate Professor of Pedagogy at Halmstad University, Sweden.

Sarah Pink is Professor and Director of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, Australia.

Martin Berg is Associate Professor of Sociology and Media Technology at Malmö University, Sweden.

Tom O'Dell is Professor in the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences at Lund University, Sweden.


This is a very welcome and timely contribution. Rather than evaluating self- tracking as either empowering or not, it goes into a more nuanced, complex and engaging account of the temporalities of self-tracking technologies. How they are entangled with everyday life, how they participate in different human futures, and how they serve as a tool for learning about ourselves as human beings. Highly needed and highly recommendable! - Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark