Crisis of Analysis and the Power of Data

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 26 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Alphia POSSAMAI-INESEDY, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Alan NIXON, Western Sydney University, Australia
The unprecedented level and scale of information production that the 21st century has unleashed, presents sociologists with an opportunity to reimagine the way we approach our fields.  The multilayered uses of information technologies means that people are not simply living with them but also through them. As a result, social analysis no longer sits solely in the domain of the academic researcher.  Tools are now available that allow explorations by the public and those in other disciplines. This potential analytical crisis contains an opportunity to add new techniques and approaches to our toolbox, that go beyond those available to the public. As researchers there is a need to assess our approaches when engaging with the increased digitized nature of the social world.  This idea can be seen as especially important in a world increasingly affected by the agency of algorithms. In this presentation, we will frame the debate with an acknowledgement of digital data as a system of knowledge that is intrinsically tied to power relations due to social embedding.