Big data and us : exploring the socio-cultural relationship between self-tracking, big data, and the self
Neo, Lucas Shao Rong
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In today’s technological landscape, organizations and individuals alike are creating immense amounts of digital data daily and are seeking to derive insights from it. This project posits that self-tracking, as a social phenomenon, is surfacing concurrent to the Big Data movement and will shift the epistemology and ontology of the Self. Utilizing semi-structured interviews, 14 respondents were asked for their perceived changes in self-knowledge and their stance toward organizational Big Data. Based on the findings, the culture of objectivity is ascertained to be the social basis underlying the emphasis on data-driven decisions. As the social aspect of self-tracking was significant for the respondents, inter-subjectivity is also deemed to remain relevant in the epistemology of the Self. Lastly, instead of being active rejecters of organizational analytics, self-trackers are in dialogue with it and are adept navigators of the Big Data sphere. Observing that demographic differences in access to self-tracking do exist, the potential consequences of inequality are discussed.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Social change
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University