Self-tracking has recently become a new area of fascination for critical social researchers. A body of literature has now been established of research that has sought to investigate the social, cultural and political dimensions of self-tracking, nearly all of which has come out in the last few years. This literature complements an established literature in human-computer interaction research (HCI), first into lifelogging and then into self-tracking (or personal informatics/analytics, as HCI researchers often call it).
I am currently working on an article that is a comprehensive review of both literatures, in the attempt to outline what each can contribute to understanding self-tracking as an ethos and a practice, and its wider sociocultural implications. Here is a reading list of the work from critical social researchers that I am aware of. I will publish a similar list of interesting HCI research in a forthcoming post.
Albrechtslund, A, and P Lauritsen, (2013) Spaces of everyday surveillance: Unfolding an analytical concept of participation, Geoforum, 49: 310-16.
Allen, AL, (2008) Dredging up the past: Lifelogging, memory, and surveillance, The University of Chicago Law Review, 75 (1): 47-74.
Barta, K, and G Neff, (2015) Technologies for sharing: lessons from Quantified Self about the political economy of platforms, Information, Communication & Society, online first.
Bode, M, and DB Kristensen, (2016) The digital doppelgänger within. In Assembling Consumption: Researching actors, networks and markets, edited by R. Canniford and D. Badje. London: Routledge, pp.
Bossewitch, J, and A Sinnreich, (2013) The end of forgetting: Strategic agency beyond the panopticon, New Media & Society, 15 (2): 224-42.
Copelton, D, (2010) Output that counts: pedometers, sociability and the contested terrain of older adult fitness walking, Sociology of Health & Illness, 32 (2): 304-18.
Crawford, K, J Lingel, and T Karppi, (2015) Our metrics, ourselves: A hundred years of self-tracking from the weight scale to the wrist wearable device, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 18 (4-5): 479-96.
Daly, A, (2015) The law and ethics of ‘self quantified’ health information: an Australian perspective, International Data Privacy Law, online first.
Dodge, M, and R Kitchin, (2007) ‘Outlines of a world coming into existence’: pervasive computing and the ethics of forgetting, Environment and Planning B: Planning & Design, 34 (3): 431-45.
Drew, DL, and JM Gore, (2014) Measuring up? The discursive construction of student subjectivities in the Global Children’s Challenge™, Sport, Education and Society, online first.
Fiore-Gartland, B, and G Neff, (2015) Communication, mediation, and the expectations of data: data valences across health and wellness communities, International Journal of Communication, 9: 1466-84.
Fox, NJ, (2015) Personal health technologies, micropolitics and resistance: a new materialist analysis, Health:, online first.
Gardner, P, and B Jenkins, (2015) Bodily intra-actions with biometric devices, Body & Society, online first.
Gerlitz, C, and C Lury, (2014) Social media and self-evaluating assemblages: on numbers, orderings and values, Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 15 (2): 174-88.
Gilmore, JN, (2015) Everywear: The quantified self and wearable fitness technologies, New Media & Society, online first.
Jethani, S, (2015) Mediating the body: Technology, politics and epistemologies of self, Communication, Politics & Culture, 47 (3): 34-43.
Klauser, FR, and A Albrechtslund, (2014) From self-tracking to smart urban infrastructures: towards an interdisciplinary research agenda on Big Data, Surveillance & Society, 12 (2): 273-86.
Lomborg, S, and K Frandsen, (2015) Self-tracking as communication, Information, Communication & Society: 1-13.
Lupton, D, (2012) M-health and health promotion: the digital cyborg and surveillance society, Social Theory & Health, 10 (3): 229-44.
Lupton, D, (2013a) The digitally engaged patient: self-monitoring and self-care in the digital health era, Social Theory & Health, 11 (3): 256-70.
Lupton, D, (2013b) Quantifying the body: monitoring and measuring health in the age of mHealth technologies, Critical Public Health, 23 (4): 393-403.
Lupton, D, (2013c) Understanding the human machine, IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, 32 (4): 25-30.
Lupton, D, (2014a) The commodification of patient opinion: the digital patient experience economy in the age of big data, Sociology of Health & Illness, 36 (6): 856-69.
Lupton, D, (2014b) Self-tracking cultures: towards a sociology of personal informatics. In Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI ’14). Sydney: ACM Press.
Lupton, D. (2014c) Self-tracking modes: reflexive self-monitoring and data practices. Social Science Research Network, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2483549 (accessed 27 August 2014).
Lupton, D. (2014d) You are your data: self-tracking practices and concepts of data. Social Science Research Network, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2534211 (accessed 12 December 2015).
Lupton, D, (2015a) Data assemblages, sentient schools and digitised health and physical education (response to Gard), Sport, Education and Society, 20 (1): 122-32.
Lupton, D. (2015b) Lively data, social fitness and biovalue: the intersections of health self-tracking and social media. Social Science Research Network, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2666324 (accessed 13 November 2015).
Lupton, D. (2015c) Personal data practices in the age of lively data. Social Science Research Network, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2636709 (accessed 15 August 2015).
Lupton, D, (2015d) Quantified sex: a critical analysis of sexual and reproductive self-tracking using apps, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17 (4): 440-53.
Lupton, D, (2016a) The diverse domains of quantified selves: self-tracking modes and dataveillance, Economy and Society, in press.
Lupton, D, (2016b) The Quantified Self: A Sociology of Self-Tracking Cultures. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Lynch, R, and S Cohn, (2015) In the loop: Practices of self-monitoring from accounts by trial participants, Health:, online first.
Millington, B, (2015) ‘Quantify the Invisible’: notes toward a future of posture, Critical Public Health, online first.
Moore, P, and A Robinson, (2015) The quantified self: What counts in the neoliberal workplace, New Media & Society, online first.
Nafus, D, (2013) The data economy of biosensors. In Sensor Technologies: Healthcare, Wellness and Environmental Applications, edited by M. McGrath and C. N. Scanaill: Springer.
Nafus, D, (2014) Stuck data, dead data, and disloyal data: the stops and starts in making numbers into social practices, Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 15 (2): 208-22.
Nafus, D, and J Sherman, (2014) This one does not go up to 11: the Quantified Self movement as an alternative big data practice, International Journal of Communication, 8: 1785-94.
Neff, G, and D Nafus, (2016) Self-Tracking. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Niva, M, (2015) Online weight-loss services and a calculative practice of slimming, Health:, online first.
Pantzar, M, and M Ruckenstein, (2015) The heart of everyday analytics: emotional, material and practical extensions in self-tracking market, Consumption Markets & Culture, 18 (1): 92-109.
Reigeluth, TB, (2014) Why data is not enough: digital traces as control of self and self-control, Surveillance & Society, 12 (2): 243-54.
Rettberg, JW, (2014) Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ruckenstein, M, (2014) Visualized and interacted life: personal analytics and engagements with data doubles, Societies, 4 (1): 68-84.
Ruckenstein, M, (2015) Uncovering everyday rhythms and patterns: food tracking and new forms of visibility and temporality in health care. In Techno-Anthropology in Health Informatics, edited by L. Botin, C. Nohr and P. Bertelsen. Amsterdam: IOS Press, pp. 28-40.
Ruckenstein, M, and M Pantzar, (2015a) Beyond the Quantified Self: thematic exploration of a dataistic paradigm, New Media & Society, online first.
Ruckenstein, M, and M Pantzar, (2015b) Datafied life: techno-anthropology as a site for exploration and experimentation, Techne, 19 (2): 191-210.
Sellen, AJ, and S Whittaker, (2010) Beyond total capture: a constructive critique of lifelogging, Communications of the ACM, 53 (5): 70-77.
Smith, WR, (2015) Communication, sportsmanship, and negotiating ethical conduct on the digital playing field, Communication & Sport, earlyview online.
Stragier, J, T Evens, and P Mechant, (2015) Broadcast yourself: an exploratory study of sharing physical activity on social networking sites, Media International Australia, 155 (1): 120-29.
Thomas, GM, and D Lupton, (2015) Threats and thrills: pregnancy apps, risk and consumption, Health, Risk & Society, online first.
Till, C, (2014) Exercise as labour: Quantified Self and the transformation of exercise into labour, Societies, 4 (3): 446-62.
Van Den Eede, Y, (2015) Tracing the tracker: a postphenomenological inquiry into self-tracking technologies. In Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human–Technology Relations, edited by R. Rosenberger and P.-P. Verbeek. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, pp. 143-58.
Whitson, J, (2013) Gaming the quantified self, Surveillance & Society, 11 (1/2): 163-76.
Wilkinson, J, C Roberts, and M Mort, (2015) Ovulation monitoring and reproductive heterosex: living the conceptive imperative?, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 17 (4): 454-69.
Williamson, B, (2015) Algorithmic skin: health-tracking technologies, personal analytics and the biopedagogies of digitized health and physical education, Sport, Education and Society, 20 (1): 133-51.
Yang, Y, (2014) Saving the Quantified Self: How we come to know ourselves now, Boom: A Journal of California, 4 (4): 80-87.