The Trouble With Big Data: How Datafication Displaces Cultural Practices

Jennifer Edmond, Nicola Horsley, Jörg Lehmann, Mike Priddy

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

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This book is available as open access through the Bloomsbury Open programme and is available on It is funded by Trinity College Dublin, DARIAH-EU and the European Commission.

This book explores the challenges society faces with big data, through the lens of culture rather than social, political or economic trends, as demonstrated in the words we use, the values that underpin our interactions, and the biases and assumptions that drive us. Focusing on areas such as data and language, data and sensemaking, data and power, data and invisibility, and big data aggregation, it demonstrates that humanities research, focussing on cultural rather than social, political or economic frames of reference for viewing technology, resists mass datafication for a reason, and that those very reasons can be instructive for the critical observation of big data research and innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Number of pages182
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3502-3963-0, 978-1-3502-3965-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-3502-3962-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameBloomsbury Studies in Digital Cultures
PublisherBloomsbury Academic


  • Big Data
  • humanities
  • cultural heritage
  • cultural heritage institutions
  • data and invisibility
  • data and language
  • data and power
  • big data aggregation
  • sensemaking


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  • Knowledge Complexity

    Priddy, M. & Horsley, N.


    Project: Research

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