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Digital research methods and sensor technologies: Rethinking the temporality of digital life

de Freitas, Elizabeth (2019) Digital research methods and sensor technologies: Rethinking the temporality of digital life. In: Practice Methodologies in Education Research. Routledge. ISBN 9780367193829

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Abstract

This chapter examines the role of digital sensor technologies in social science research practices. I discuss the ways in which these sensors subvert the slow deliberative time of the ‘human’ subject and track rhythms beneath the timescale of human consciousness. This kind of research data all too easily joins the accelerated flows of capitalist capture, and we need to find ways to resist that capture. I suggest we rethink the nature of sensor technologies, not as affordances or prosthetic extensions but more in terms of atmospheric media. This opens onto new philosophical frames for technology and helps to theorise biodata as belonging to the environment first and foremost. This chapter explores new forms of presencing that are less individualistic and more ecological, as we study the micro-scale aspects of interaction and practice.

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