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Everyday Curation: Attending to Data, Records and Recording Keeping in the Practices of Self-monitoring
Main contributor
Kate Weiner (University of Sheffield)
This paper is concerned with everyday data practices, considering what records people make and keep in the context of self-monitoring. Animated by critiques of critical digital/data studies, in particular its tendency to focus on data aggregations, data flows and ‚data power‘ (Ruckenstein and Dow Schull, 2017; Kennedy, 2018), the analysis unpacks the relationship between taking a measure, making a record, and reviewing records. The paper is based on an interview study involving 67 people who monitor their blood pressure or BMI/weight. Building on, and extending, a growing scholarship on everyday self-monitoring, we adopt and develop the idea of curation to consider the role of both humans and materials in the production of records. We introduce the idea of discerning work to characterise the skilful judgements people make about which readings they record, how readings are presented, and about the records they retain and those they discard. We suggest people might produce partial data, both in the sense that it embodies these judgements, and also because monitoring might be conducted intermittently. We also explore the broad set of materials involved in record keeping in our cases, including paper, spreadsheets, devices, mobile phones, apps and social media, to consider the different ways these contributed to regulating attention to self-monitoring. Our analysis also acknowledges the difficulties people have keeping track of their records, introducing the idea of dormant records to allow for disengagements and lack of intentionality. This analysis helps to return a degree of agency to those who self-monitor and expands the view of self-monitoring records beyond the networked and digital. Ultimately, we argue, it helps to add more nuance to our understanding of the relationship between self-monitoring and the accrual and flow of data. (
Cornelius Schubert
Panel IV | Digital Care
SFB 1187 Jahrestagung 2019
SFB 1187
Other Identifier
MEDIAS: 47243_12