Critical Data Literacies
Rethinking Data and Everyday Life
216 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: November 21, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A guide to everything you need to understand to navigate a world increasingly governed by data.
Data has become a defining issue of current times. Our everyday lives are shaped by the data that is produced about us (and by us) through digital technologies. In this book, Critical Data Literacies, Luci Pangrazio and Neil Selwyn introduce readers to the central concepts, ideas, and arguments required to make sense of life in the data age. The authors challenge the idea that datafication is an inevitable and inescapable condition. Drawing on emerging areas of scholarship such as data justice, data feminism, and other critical data studies approaches, they explore how individuals and communities can empower themselves to engage with data critically and creatively.
Over the course of eight wide-ranging chapters, the book introduces readers to the main components of critical data literacies—from the fundamentals of identifying and understanding data to the complexities of engaging with more combative data tactics. Critical Data Literacies explores how the tradition of critical literacies can offer a powerful foundation to address the big concerns of the data age, such as issues of data justice and privacy, algorithmic bias, dataveillance, and disinformation. Bringing together cutting-edge thinking and discussion from across education, sociology, psychology, and media and communication studies, Critical Data Literacies develops a powerful argument for collectively rethinking the role that data plays in our everyday lives and re-establishing agency, free will, and the democratic public sphere.
“Many worrying things go on with data –but can things be otherwise? Pangrazio and Selwyn provide an excellent introduction to data practices and a really original answer to that question through the concept of critical data literacies.”
Nick Couldry, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science; coauthor of The Costs of Connection
“Theoretically rich and eminently readable, Critical Data Literacies is vital reading for educators and scholars. It offers clear, grounded strategies for developing a critical orientation to digital data, making a complex topic accessible and actionable.”
Amy Stornaiuolo, Associate Professor of Literacy Studies, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
“In accessible and engaging language, Pangrazio and Selwyn offer thoughtful tools for thriving in today's data-rich landscape. With its critical yet level-headed approach, Critical Data Literacies is the book we need in this present moment.”
Antero Garcia, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; co-author of Civics for the World to Come