Digital Traces in Context| Tracing Capitalism’s Turn to Data: Or, Contextualizing Daily Life’s New Data “Context” — Commentary

Nick Couldry


This short response to the articles in this Special Section foregrounds the wider context of data traces in the development of capitalism. After analyzing the issue’s articles into three categories (dealing with epistemology, agency, and social consequences), the response argues that the biggest context of all to datafication is the current transformation of capitalism under which the production of value is focused on the extraction of value from data. What drives this? What implications does this have for the social domain and the micro-contexts of our practices with data? These are the larger issues toward which the articles in this Special Section all point.


capitalism, datafication, context, epistemology, agency, ontology

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