Critical Approaches to Data Analytics and the Digital Economy

Module code: MS7087

This module gives you a critical understanding of the implications that new technologies and platforms have on social, economic and political life. Exploring concepts such as data ownership, digital identity, platform economics, surveillance capitalism and data colonialism, you will investigate the commercial exploitation of user data, and their use in profiling for political aims. Then we begin a critical approach to data analytics: this includes sessions to further your understanding of the role of big data in the process of theorisation, pointing to a change in the fundamental epistemology of media and communication analysis and social science research. The exploration of newly founded paradigms (e.g. digital sociology, cultural analytics) point to the function critical theory and its continued relevance. Finally, we will explore case studies to ground this critique in the empirical realm. The case studies presented will explore three distinct domains: commercial, political and body/health.