The Quantified Self – A sociology of self-tracking
by Deborah Lupton
With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. The Quantified Self movement has emerged to promote ‘self knowledge through numbers’.
In this ground-breaking book, Deborah Lupton critically analyses the social, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary self-tracking and identifies the concepts of selfhood, human embodiment and the value of data that underpin them.
The book incorporates discussion of the consolations and frustrations of self-tracking as well as the proliferating ways in which people’s personal data are now used beyond their private rationales. Lupton outlines the ways in which the information that is generated by self-tracking now taken up and repurposed for commercial, governmental, managerial and research purposes. Self-tracking has broader implications, therefore, for the ways in which personal data practices are intertwined with big data politics.
Sociologist Deborah Lupton says the growing use of health tracking technology is conditioning society to reveal more personal information about themselves, often giving it to corporations interested only in turning a profit.
Self-tracking is rapidly changing how people think about their bodies. Using gadgets and sensors to chart everything from heart rates to moods is altering attitudes about how much information people are willing to reveal about themselves, sociologist Deborah Lupton said, and even what they’re willing to let corporations collect and analyze.
But all too often, says Ms. Lupton, consumers aren’t aware of how their information is used after it’s collected. In some cases, she said, tracking can look like it’s a benefit when it’s actually “about furthering corporate interests.”
Lupton explores the privacy implications and the broader cultural changes associated with our obsessive tracking in her forthcoming book, “The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking Cultures.” Evan Selinger recently spoke with her about the privacy consequences of personal data tracking.
“Self-tracking is expanding beyond people’s personal, private reasons for doing it, like wanting to improve their health, to situations where people have less choice about whether they want to confront their numbers. Health insurance and life insurance companies are very interested in inviting people to upload self-tracking data. Car insurance companies are customizing their insurance premiums and risk assessments based on self-tracking information.”
We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.
Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]
Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]
Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]
Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]
(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]