Deborah Lupton, "The Quantified Self" (Polity, 2016)

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With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. The Quantified Self movement has emerged to promote 'self-knowledge through numbers'.

In The Quantified Self (Polity, 2016), Deborah Lupton critically analyses the social, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary self-tracking and identifies the concepts of selfhood and human embodiment and the value of the data that underpin them.

The book incorporates discussion of the consolations and frustrations of self-tracking, as well as about the proliferating ways in which people's personal data are now used beyond their private rationales. Lupton outlines how the information that is generated through self-tracking is taken up and repurposed for commercial, governmental, managerial and research purposes. In the relationship between personal data practices and big data politics, the implications of self-tracking are becoming ever more crucial.

John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts.

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