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Data and society

Beynon-Davies, Paul ORCID: 2021. Data and society. Singapore: World Scientific Press. 10.1142/12287

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Most literature thinks of the relationship between data and society as additive, meaning that data and society are seen as two separate sets of things but which overlap to form an intersection. The literature then goes off to unpack the intersection of the two circles and partners the term data in this manner with terms descriptive of the domain of society ― ownership, control, surveillance, and privacy, to name but a few. Within this book, we want to promote an alternative viewpoint of the relationship between data and society. Rather than explaining how data fits with or contributes to some burning societal issues, we want to explain how data is constitutive of many such issues. The term constitutive is used here in the sense of data having power to institute, establish, or enact society. Our viewpoint means that if you are to properly understand the constitutive nature of data, you must first start from principles and closely examine the nature of data itself. You must also focus on the mechanics of data ― how data is represented and articulated in records or more generally in data structures. Our aim in doing this is to examine the place of data structures across cultures and societies. In doing so, we hope to better understand why we, as humans, make records. In doing this, we can also better understand some of the unintended consequences of the use of records, which particularly plague us in the modern world.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Publisher: World Scientific Press
ISBN: 9789811237249
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 16:30

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