ACE Seminar: Understanding data in relation to social justice

Speaker: Lina Dencik

Date/Time: 02-Aug-2018, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Robert 4.21

Details

Abstract

Whilst much debate on the datafication of society has focused on the need for efficient and supposedly more objective responses to social problems on the one hand and a concern with individual privacy and the protection of personal data on the other, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need a broader framework for understanding these developments. This is one that can account for the disparities in how different people might be implicated and that recognizes that the shift to data-driven economies is not merely technical. In this presentation I will advance a research framework for studying datafication that is rooted in a broader concern for social justice. Such a framework, referred to here as ‘data justice’, pays particular attention to the ways in which data processes are uneven, can and do discriminate, create new social stratifications of ‘have’ and ‘have nots’, and advance a particular politics based on a logic of prediction and preemption that caters to certain interests over others. I outline a number of different ways in which such a framework can be operationalized, looking across questions of political theory, policy interventions, civil society activity, and developments in design and infrastructure. In doing so, I will advance an alternative approach to understanding and examining the societal implications of datafication than what has been the dominant approach so far.

Bio

Lina Dencik is Senior Lecturer at Cardiff's School of Journalism, Media and Culture and serves as Director for the MA Journalism, Media and Communications and the newly established Data Justice Lab. Her research concerns the interplay between media developments and social and political change, with a particular focus on resistance and globalisation. Recently, she has moved into the areas of digital surveillance and the politics of data and worked on the ESRC-funded project Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society and the project Managing Threats: Social Media Uses for Policing Domestic Extremism and Disorder funded by the Media Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations. Lina has recently been awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council and is currently working as Principal Investigator on the project DATAJUSTICE. With the Data Justice Lab, she is also working on two further projects, Data Scores as Governance funded by the Open Society Fondations and Data Policies funded by IDRC India (in collaboration with IT for Change).   She is the author of three books including Media and Global Civil Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century (co-authored with Peter Wilkin, Peter Lang, 2015), and Critical Perspectives on Social Media and Protest: Between Emancipation and Control (co-edited with Oliver Leistert, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015). Her fourth book (co-authored with Arne Hintz and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen) on Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society is forthcoming with Polity Press. She holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London and has previously worked at the Central European University in Budapest where she is still a Fellow with the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS). Prior to that she worked as a television producer/director at Brook Lapping Productions in London.

 

 

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