What are the consequences of growing up in a datafied world in which social interaction is increasingly dependent on digital media and everyday life is shaped by algorithmic predictions? How is datafication being normalized in children’s everyday life? What are the technologies, contexts and relations that enhance children’s datafication? What are the meanings of data practices for parents, teachers, and children themselves? These are some of the questions that Giovanna Mascheroni and Andra Siibak address in Datafied Childhoods: Data Practices and Imaginaries in children’s lives.
When the data-driven business model emerged twenty years ago, we could not have imagined how pervasive data extraction would have become in the context of everyday life, including the “institutional triangle” of children’s lives (the home, the school, and the playground). Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the datafication of everyday life and our reliance on data-relations. Yet, we still know little about the nature, meanings, and consequences of the data practices in which children, and the adults around them, engage. This book tries to fill in this gap in two ways. First, drawing on the authors’ knowledge of children and media studies and their own research on children’s, families’, and teachers’ interactions with multiple technologies (IoT and IoToys, artificial intelligence, algorithms, robots) in different contexts (home, school, and play), it promotes a non-media-centric and child-centered approach. Second, in so doing it encourages further scholarly inquiry into the everyday as the analytical entry point to understand how datafication is transforming parenting, education, childhood, and thereby the children.