Accepted paper:

The 'Sobjective' Self: A Paradoxical Multiplicity

Author:

Farzana Dudhwala (Oxford University)

Paper short abstract:

This is a paper about 'sobjectivity'. It is about the messy entanglement between the subjectivity and objectivity of the self in the context of self-quantification. Here, the self is at once both the subject that is doing the self-quantifying and the object of that quantification. How to make sense of this?

Paper long abstract:

When people are using self-quantifying technologies, what is going on? 'Who' is going on? 'How' are they going on?

This is a paper about 'sobjectivity'. It is about the messy entanglement between the subjectivity and objectivity of the self in the context of self-quantification. Here, the self is at once both the subject that is doing the self-quantifying and the object of that quantification. How to make sense of this?

Using studies that deal with 'enactment' and 'embodiment' (Mol & Law 2004; Mol 2002; Moser 2008; etc. for example) as foundation, this paper discusses the new form of the self that arises as a result of using self-quantification technologies. The paper draws on material from a four year multi-sited ethnography with the group known as the 'Quantified Self' and discusses how, in this context, the self is communally enacted in conjunction with the technologies that it embodies, and with the performance of the community of self-quantifiers that it engages with. Individuality and sociality are thus found to be constructive of one another, where the self becomes a paradoxical multiplicity that is more than one, yet fewer than many (Mol 2007).

panel T102
Everyday analytics: The politics and practices of self-monitoring