Datafication of the public sphere
Information technology affords that almost all aspects of our lives can be translated into data, data that are used for forecasting, assessment, real-time tracking, targeted advertising and polling. This datafication affects our public sphere as much as our consumption behaviour. A datafied public sphere changes the game of opinion polling, political debate and civic action. This fellowship investigates to what extent datafication transforms governance and civic participation. Many research efforts investigate the emergence of conflicts, the state and development of civic rights, the participatory potential of citizens or the political economy. Technology development, most notably information and communication technology and their latest emergence as data collecting and analysing systems, affect most of these areas. The phenomenon of digitization often is often neglected of treated as subordinated aspect. However, the 'digital' is a key aspect for understanding the transformation of citizenship in the 21st century. This fellowship embraces the interdisciplinary quality of cultural citizenship research. In my occupation as a fellow at the Centre for Humanities I will contribute in bringing together different research perspectives in a comprehensive mapping of the ongoing research projects at Utrecht University.
Image credit: Artistic Bokeh