Tag Archives: feminist

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A video recording of the talk “Understanding data power from a feminist perspective”, which I gave at the 3rd International DATA POWER Conference global in/securities, an be accessed here. (hosted by the ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research, University of Bremen in cooperation with the Universities of Carleton, Canada, and Sheffield, UK, 12-13 September 2019)

You can read the relevant chapter in Fotopoulou, A. (2019). Understanding citizen data practices from a feminist perspective: embodiment and the ethics of care. In Stephansen, H. and Trere, E. (eds) Citizen Media and Practice.Taylor & Francis/Routledge: Oxford. See Google Books here 

An updated written version will appear in my forthcoming book Fotopoulou, A. Forthcoming. Feminist Data Studies: big data, critique and social justice. SAGE Publications.

Paper abstract

This theoretical paper introduces how the notion of “care”, as developed in feminist science and technology studies (de la Bellacasa 2011), can be a productive analytical and critical approach when scrutinizing the manifestation of power relations in data practices. The matters of power and the politics of data have far reaching implications for the politics of the everyday. The paper argues that approaching such political issues in data practices as “matters of care” allows us to account for their affective, embodied and material elements, including the habitually devalued human labour of data users, activists, producers, consumers and citizens. Outlining the differences between justice (Dencik et al. 2016, Taylor 2017) and ethics approaches to data power, it is further shown that, guided by the question “Why do we care?”, the notion of care inserts particularity and empathy in social justice frameworks. The paper provides examples of areas of application of an approach to data power guided by feminist politics of care, alongside issues of data governance, regulating the data-driven economy and data privacy laws. In this way the paper maps a theoretical roadmap of feminist data studies and practice theory, which is focused on materiality and embodiment and is committed to unsettling the power relation of race, class, gender and ability in datafied worlds.


de la Bellacasa, M.P., 2011. Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things. Social studies of science, 41(1), pp.85-106.

Dencik, L., Hintz, A. and Cable, J., 2016. Towards data justice? The ambiguity of anti-surveillance resistance in political activism. Big Data & Society, 3(2), p.2053951716679678.

Taylor, L., 2017. What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally. Big Data & Society, 4(2), p.2053951717736335.


Searching ‘digital’+’networks’+’feminist’ OR ‘queer’

I’ve been looking around a bit for other projects around feminist & queer politics and digital networks. Meanwhile I’m preparing a digital storytelling workshop for women (cis or trans) – a hands on digital media technologies in everyday feminist (and perhaps queer) politics – I’ll say more about this when practicalities are sorted out.

So I came across the US-based Digital Sisterhood project which seems interesting – and features various feminist voices on a web site, online radio show, Twitter page, and Tweetchats – and even organised events like an online yoga session. I also came across the article Class, the Digital and (Immaterial) Feminism by Jennifer Cotter in THE RED CRITIQUE 13 (Fall/Winter 2008) – which basically builds its entire critique around a reading of Judy Wajcman’s TechnoFeminism, and argues that within digital capitalist conditions

“women are not freed from deepening exploitation and the deterioration of their economic conditions of life in transnational capitalism, even when some become techno-managers”.

and brutally that

“Immaterial feminism is liberal feminism, and liberal feminism is an ally of transnational capitalism, not of exploited women”.

A bit abrasive, but never mind. Then I also found this Queer & Feminist New Media Spaces post in the HASTAC site (which I admittedly visit too often lately for postdoc announcements on the other side of the Atlantic), which gives a review and lists some interesting questions in the end. I run across this older Montreal based Feminist interventions – Locative media project by Andrea Zeffiro (a doctoral candidate in Communication at Concordia University in 2008 when the post was written) which, in a reflection, concludes that

“A critical pedagogical approach – in which social, political and economic factors are made apparent prior to production – will sharpen the necessary tools, enabling feminist curiosities to excavate locative media”.

Luckily, I also found something which is forthcoming (17th of November) – the DIGITAL SITES/QUEER CIRCULATIONS: TRACING ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS AND GLBTQ COMMUNITIES organised by Mary L Gray (Indiana University) – and I’ll check back for the abstracts.