Data Citizenship and fetish thinking: Between smart cities and folk politics

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The City Deal represents an economic and policy commitment to making Edinburgh the ‘data capital of Europe’, with the University of Edinburgh positioning itself in a vanguard role. My presentation is concerned with the dominant problem representations shaping this narrative of ‘data citizenship’, and its potential consequences for communities. I approach this task by speculating on the ways in which fetish thinking shapes the dominant narrative, as well as ‘folk political’ resistance to it. I conclude by suggesting that dialectical reasoning is one tool that educators, working across a range of contexts, might employ in order to think critically about what is at stake. The recording of my presentation can be watched by copying and pasting the following link into your browser:
Period11 May 2018
Held atCentre for Research in Digital Education


  • digital citizenship
  • social justice
  • fetish thinking
  • data citizenship