Unruly digital subjects: Social entanglements, identity, and the politics of technological expertise

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Abstract

Recent scholarship in digital geographies has highlighted the possibilities for alternative visions of digital futures contesting the logics and everyday practices of contemporary technocapitalism. Barcelona has emerged as a key site for counter-hegemonic visions, driven by the progressive municipal government's rejection of the corporate smart city model and the emergence of a network of grassroots initiatives promoting “technological sovereignty” (TS). Yet, if and how these visions are able to produce new forms of subjectivity in relation to digital systems has remained an important open question. Critical scholars have highlighted how technocapitalist logics produce subjects as knowable and programmable through data profiles, as responsiblized digital citizens contributing data as a form of civic participation, and as stratified in gendered and racialized hierarchies of technological knowledge and agency. In contrast, this paper explores the production of unruly digital subjects in Barcelona through TS initiatives that work to re-embed the digital in the social, contest hierarchies of technological expertise, and promote forms of collective reflection and experimentation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100001
JournalDigital Geography and Society
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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