Last updated on Oct 31, 2016.
Digital objects have become central sites of analysis with the growing importance of data collection, dataveillance mechanisms and data centered models of governance. The meanings of data, shaped by their environment and sites of implementation therefore require situated analysis and specific attention to their particularities. The attempt therefore could be also to reconcile the local sites and global trends which are linked through infrastructures, norms, uses, skills, objects and data which help understand the interlinked flow of humans, trends and technology. We mobilize conceptual and analytical tools of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and ethnographic approach to the various case studies to do this.
The focus of the session, through these case studies, would be on thinking about digital objects as socio-technical artifacts with politics; to deconstruct the materiality of objects; the methodologies which help structure them; and the techno-political imaginations/human-objects relationships which shape them.
Our argument is based on different case studies related to digital governance in South Asia: mobile health project, track & trace devices, identification politics, and digital media strategies in India and Nepal.
In presenting the various case studies, the session hopes to address the first concern, specifically as to: How does the becoming-digital of the research objects challenge our current research practices, concerns, and assumptions?
Each co-lead will discuss case studies. The session will then discuss linkages to relevant STS approaches and contemporary methodologies of analyzing digital objects, followed by open discussions.
A post-conference brief essay/summary of methods/field notes of each presentation and session notes focusing on methods of studying the various digital objects of enquiry.
Marine Al Dahdah is a PhD Candidate at Paris Descartes University at CEPED (UPD-IRD) working on the use of mobile phones for health in the global south (India and Ghana).
Rajiv K. Mishra is a PhD Candidate at CSSP, JNU working on large technological systems and development with the case of unique identity (UID) and health informatics in India.
Khetrimayum Monish Singh currently works at The Centre for Internet & Society New Delhi. He has submitted his PhD thesis to the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP, JNU) and is working on digital infrastructures and database politics in India.
Sohan Prasad Sha is a PhD Candidate at CSSP, JNU working on comparative innovation policies in the global south.