Datafication from Below: Epistemology, Ambivalences, Challenges

Giuseppina Pellegrino, Johan Söderberg, Stefania Milan


Abstract: The “imperative of data” seems to be at the core of current debates concerning relationships between technology and society, as well as the status of knowledge, freedom and identity. Departing from the plenary roundtable Datafication and Technoscience from Below: Sharing, Moving, Opening at the 7th STS Italia Conference held in Padua (June 2018), the authors go through different aspects of the sociotechnical process of datafication, emphasizing from complementary STS perspectives some of the most urgent and emergent challenges posed by the constant exploitation of data at an economic and financial level. Topics covered are ambivalences of datafication and their consequences for everyday life (Pellegrino); the epistemological consequences of the “race to the bottom-up” and fake news as ultimate drift of such a race (Söderberg); data-logies and grassroots epistemologies as conditions for possibility for a datafication from below (Milan).

Keywords: datafication; post truth; fake news; grassroots data epistemology; infrastructuring.

Full Text: