Dawn Nafus
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Working ethnographically with sensor data
in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
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This chapter contributes to debates about the social life of methods by describing the co-evolution of a research practice and infrastructure. It offers straightforward description of an ethnographic practice where I collect sensor data with participants, such as heart rate or ambient temperature, rework it into interpretable form, and sit down together with them to co-produce its meaning. The chapter reflects on how that method evolved with the available technical infrastructure, and argues that taking the social life of methods seriously might also mean intervening directly in the tools that sustain cultures of big data.

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