A new book by Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief Evelyn Ruppert, co-edited with Stephan Scheel, has been published by Goldsmiths Press. The book, Data Practices: Making up a European People, is open access and a pdf can be downloaded here: Data Practices: Making Up a European People | Goldsmiths Press.
The book includes contributions from an interdisciplinary team of social science researchers who were part of a five-year ERC funded project led by Evelyn Ruppert, Peopling Europe: How Data Make a People (ARITHMUS – Peopling Europe): Baki Cakici, Francisca Grommé, Stephan Scheel, Ville Takala, and Funda Ustek-Spilda. The book develops a conception of data practices to analyze and interpret findings from their collaborative ethnographic multisite fieldwork of national and international statistical organisations across Europe. Drawing on theories that are part of what is more generally referred to as the ‘practice turn’ in contemporary social sciences, the book develops a conception of data practices that speaks to theoretical, political and practical issues taken up in many articles published in Big Data & Society. Specifically, it approaches data practices not simply as reflecting populations but as performative in two senses: they simultaneously enact—that is, “make up”—a European population and, by so doing—intentionally or otherwise—also contribute to making up a European people.