My empirical research on self-tracking practices

There has been a lot of interest in self-tracking and the quantified self over the past half decade or so. My book The Quantified Self set out to present a sociological perspective on self-tracking using a predominantly Foucauldian analysis. In the book, I examined the potential implications for understanding selfhood, identity and embodiment using metricised and digitised self-monitoring practices.

I have noticed that I am often referred by other scholars writing about the sociocultural dimensions of self-tracking as someone who predominantly theorises about these practices rather than actually investigating how people are engaging in self-tracking. I find this perplexing, because since The Quantified Self came out, I have published the findings of several empirical studies on self-trackers’ practices, including research with women who use pregnancy or infant monitoring apps, cyclists and people who track aspects of their lives such as their food intake, fitness levels, finances and social relationships.

In this research, I have sought to combine social theory (and especially that from vital materialism scholarship) with my findings. Some of this research is discussed in my new book Data Selves, designed to complement The Quantified Self. There are also numerous book chapters and journal articles that have now been published from these studies. They are as follows:

  • Lupton, D. (2016) The use and value of digital media information for pregnancy and early motherhood: a focus group study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16(171), online, available at http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0971-3
  • Lupton, D. and Pedersen, S. (2016) An Australian survey of women’s use of pregnancy and parenting apps. Women and Birth, 29(4), 368—375.
  • Sumartojo, S., Pink, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2016) The affective intensities of datafied space. Emotion, Space and Society, 21, 33—40.
  • Pink, S., Sumartojo, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2017) Mundane data: the routines, contingencies and accomplishments of digital living. Big Data & Society, 4(1), online, available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2053951717700924
  • Lupton, D. (2017) Personal data practices in the age of lively data. In Daniels, J., Gregory, K. and McMillan Cottom, T. (eds), Digital Sociologies. London: Policy Press, pp. 335—350.
  • Lupton, D. (2017) ‘It just gives me a bit of peace of mind’: Australian women’s use of digital media for pregnancy and early motherhood. Societies, 7(3), online, available at http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/7/3/25/htm
  • Pink, S., Sumartojo, S., Lupton, D. and Heyes Labond, C. (2017) Empathetic technologies: digital materiality and video ethnography. Visual Studies, 32(4), 371-381.
  • Lupton, D., Pink, S., Heyes Labond and Sumartojo, S. (2018) Personal data contexts, data sense and self-tracking cycling. International Journal of Communication, 11, online, available at http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5925/2258
  • Lupton, D. (2018) ‘I just want it to be done, done, done!’ Food tracking apps, affects and agential capacities. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, 2(2), online, available at http://www.mdpi.com/2414-4088/2/2/29/htm
  • Lupton, D. and Smith, GJD. (2018) ‘A much better person’: the agential capacities of self-tracking practices. In Ajana, B. (ed), Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices. London: Emerald Publishing, pp. 57-75.
  • Lupton, D. (2018) Better understanding about what’s going on’: young Australians’ use of digital technologies for health and fitness. Sport, Education and Society, online first. doi:1080/13573322.2018.155566
  • Lupton, D. and Maslen, S. (2019) How women use digital technologies for health: qualitative interview and focus group study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(1), online, available at https://www.jmir.org/2019/1/e11481/
  • Salmela, T., Valtonen, A. and Lupton, D. (2019) The affective circle of harassment and enchantment: reflections on the ŌURA ring as an intimate research device. Qualitative Inquiry, 25(3), 260-270.
  • Lupton, D. (2019) ‘It’s made me a lot more aware’: a new materialist analysis of health self-tracking. Media International Australia, 17(1), 66-79.
  • Lupton, D. (2019) The thing-power of the human-app health assemblage: thinking with vital materialism. Social Theory & Health, 17(2), 125-139.
  • Lupton, D. (2019) Australian women’s use of health and fitness apps and wearable devices: a feminist new materialism analysis. Feminist Media Studies, online first. doi:10.1080/14680777.2019.1637916
  • Lupton, D. (2019) Data mattering and self-tracking: what can personal data do? Continuum, online first. doi:10.1080/10304312.2019.1691149

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