Data, algorithms, text, critical data literacies, identity

Eef Masson, Karin van Es, Maranke Wieringa
2020 Digital Culture & Education  
In recent years, a debate has emerged around the question which data competencies students in higher education need in order to be able to adequately study contemporary social and cultural phenomena. Answers to this question depend on contributors' perspectives, and range from basic and more instrumental (e.g. the ability to operationalize data for research or argumentation) to more complex and reflexive (e.g. to assess how data and its assemblages areepistemically, politically, or ethically
more » ... ly, or ethically 'entangled'). In this paper, we zoom in on the latter type of competencies, approaching them from a pedagogical angle. More specifically, we look at practices of 'data walking', exploring their affordances as a means for creating awareness of, and inciting reflection on, how data are (unnoticeably) embedded in the spaces we inhabit, and what this implies for how we live our lives and understand our world. To this end, we survey four walking varieties, paying particular attention to how they align with the objectives of the scholarly field of Critical Data Studies (CDS). In doing so, we highlight the particular educational merits of each method, but also try to round out what sort of competencies a CDS requires.
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