Transformative processes of agency: information technologies and the production of digitally mediated selves

Article


Tucker, I., Ellis, D. and Harper, D. 2012. Transformative processes of agency: information technologies and the production of digitally mediated selves. Kultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas [Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research]. 3 (1), pp. 9-24.
AuthorsTucker, I., Ellis, D. and Harper, D.
Abstract

New media technologies are becoming an increasingly prominent constituent of everyday living, with their proliferation presenting new challenges to key aspects of the self, namely agency and identity. )e potential recalibration of these notions comes about through new forms of agency being produced when information technologies play an increasingly powerful role in our lives. In this context agency is not something that can be reified and easily measured, or understood as solely intentional human action. Instead, agency is understood as something that comes to be as practices of life making.
We take up these ideas in relation to people’s experiences with information technologies. Through semi-structured interviews with members of the public from London and the South East of the UK, we analyse how information technologies potentially recalibrate people’s subjectivity through informational agency. Participants’ engagements with information technologies are more nuanced and complex than a ‘either good or bad’ distinction. This is one of the analytic foci of the paper, as information technologies,
even when viewed with suspicion or as creating concern, are often willfully utilised due to the perceived
benefits they can bring. We focus on the potential technologisation of identity and subjectivity through
arguing that new forms of digitally mediated selves are produced when daily lives come to be defined
more by information than by the flesh and blood of our bodies. We conclude by drawing attention to
challenges facing our experiences, and understandings of, subjectivity brought about by the relentless
informationalisation of life.

Keywordsinformation societies; agency; surveillance
JournalKultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas [Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research]
Journal citation3 (1), pp. 9-24
ISSN2029–4573
Year2012
PublisherVytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://culturesociety.vdu.lt/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2.-Ian-Tucker_Darren-Ellis_David-Harper_Transformative.pdf
Publication dates
Print2012
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Nov 2012
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8600v

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