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Everyday doing and identity making: how do digital platforms co-configure identity(s)? 
Yuhan Wang (University of Bristol)
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Yuhan Wang (University of Bristol)
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel seeks to explore the extent to which digital platforms co-configure identities by mediating our everyday practices, the social transformations they may instigate, how we can conceptualise these dynamics, and methodological challenges we have encountered.

Long Abstract:

The process of platformisation (Van Dijck et al., 2018) represents a set of social transformations that have seamlessly woven digital platforms into the fabric of our everyday routines. What kinds of social changes might arise from these micro-level actions and creations? Our practices are not entirely under individual control, nor are they completely subservient to social structures; instead, they are part of a continuous and dynamic interplay. As users, we engage in a continuous exchange and negotiation with digital platforms. While we may consciously exert control and resistance to some extent, we occasionally and unwittingly align with the business strategies of platform companies (e.g., datafication), whether by becoming entangled in Google's lock-in system or participating in online debates. Whether consciously or unconsciously, our everyday actions contribute to the making of our identities, shaping how we perceive and present ourselves in both online and offline environments. Science and Technology Studies (STS) have enriched our understanding of critical engagement with the mundane. For example, by tracing the everyday infrastructures, we can unearth the deployment of power (Star, 1999). Although digital platforms offer researchers exciting opportunities to investigate platform societies, they also present methodological challenges, including knowledge gaps, the nature of obfuscation and ephemeral, as well as possible challenges in reaching and engaging with wider audiences.

This panel invites submissions that explore global or regional digital platforms deeply embedded in daily life, shaping identities of nation, gender, ethnicity, class, among others, including hybrid forms. Contributions may advance theoretical concepts, methodologies, or present any compelling findings.

Star, Susan Leigh. (1999) 'The Ethnography of Infrastructure', American Behavioural Scientist, 43(3): 377-391.

Van Dijck, Jose, Poell, Thomas, and de Waal, Martijn (2018) The Platform Society: Public Values in A Connected World, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Accepted papers: