Trace analysis is a particular form of non-participant observation. It studies the physical and digital “footprints” left by individuals in the environments where they live. In this paper I use the classic and more restrictive definition of trace analysis and focus on intentionality as a feature that marks a boundary between trace analysis and other research methods. By doing this, I stress out the situationality and contextuality of (digital) data’s meaning. I use an example involving digital data collected by individuals through mobile and wearable devices. The focus is on running routes mapped out using activity tracking apps. What happens when “traces” are intentionally created by users and shared with other people through social networks? What is the methodological challenge proposed by self-tracking measures when people attribute them a communicative intent? What is the boundary between trace analysis and documentary analysis?

Arosio, L. (2021). Between digital traces and documentary analysis: the methodological challenge of self-tracking data. JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE RESEARCH IN ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY, 12(1), 1-10.

Between digital traces and documentary analysis: the methodological challenge of self-tracking data

Arosio, L
Primo
2021

Abstract

Trace analysis is a particular form of non-participant observation. It studies the physical and digital “footprints” left by individuals in the environments where they live. In this paper I use the classic and more restrictive definition of trace analysis and focus on intentionality as a feature that marks a boundary between trace analysis and other research methods. By doing this, I stress out the situationality and contextuality of (digital) data’s meaning. I use an example involving digital data collected by individuals through mobile and wearable devices. The focus is on running routes mapped out using activity tracking apps. What happens when “traces” are intentionally created by users and shared with other people through social networks? What is the methodological challenge proposed by self-tracking measures when people attribute them a communicative intent? What is the boundary between trace analysis and documentary analysis?
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Trace analysis; Documentary analysis; Intentionality; Digital data; Self-tracking data; GPS art; Big data;
English
1
10
10
Arosio, L. (2021). Between digital traces and documentary analysis: the methodological challenge of self-tracking data. JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE RESEARCH IN ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY, 12(1), 1-10.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/342426
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