FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTUREANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
RUS | ENG
Antropologicheskij forum, 2018, no. 38
Abstract: The article addresses the understudied phenomenon of digital quantification of the body and everyday life, which has arisen due to the proliferation of wearable and mobile fitness technologies. The author reviews a number of recent studies which have contributed significantly to the conceptualization of digital self-tracking. Examining various approaches and directions in the study of self-tracking the author focuses on three aspects: a) on the manifestations and discourses of self-tracking; b) on its styles and practices; and c) on its social contexts and effects. The works under review show how trackers of physical and social activities can transform people’s everyday practices and how users interact with fitness technologies, interpret quantified data and construct their own embodied identity. Importantly, the efficiency of self-tracking tools is associated with their “sociability” and “intelligence” — the qualities achieved through the anthropomorphizing of digital devices and creating a culture of sharing. It is also underscored that the practice of self-tracking goes beyond individual experience, actively invading other social worlds, and may eventually become an inherent feature of a “sensor society”. Summarizing the outcomes of current research, the author comes to the conclusion that further conceptualization of digital self-tracking must take into account its complex and multi-vector nature. On the one hand, self-tracking is productive, as it contributes to the broadening of possibilities for self-knowledge and self-management, but on the other hand, it can have disciplining, discriminating, coercive and alienating effects.
Keywords: embodiment, health, self-tracking, life-logging, wearable and mobile fitness technologies.
Acknowledgements: The article was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2017–2018 (grant no. 17-01-0077) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100”.
To cite: Nim E., ‘Self-treking kak praktika kvantifikatsii telesnosti: kontseptualnye kontury’ [Self-tracking as a Practice of Quantifying the Body: Conceptual Outlines], Antropologicheskij forum, 2018, no. 38, pp. 172–192.
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