The social utility of ‘data literacy’

This co-authored article examines the social utility of the concept,‘data literacy’. Recent developments in the processes of datafication challenge long-held assumptions about privacy and the role of both state and commerce in individual lives. Typically, these have been addressed through:regulatory legal constraints underwritten by the nation state but are difficult to enforce at a global level; tactical resistance through forms of self-regulation and technical innovations, and; educational interventions, typically as ‘literacy’, which brings understanding of the new forms of digital control. The article considers the benefit of theorising digital data as a‘text’ and reviews current educational models of data literacy, categorised here as formal, personal and folk pedagogies of data. The article concludes that while the analogy between print and data has many inconsistencies, the term has rhetorical benefits. However, to become a meaningful strategy ‘data literacy’ requires both a more complete theorisation and complex practical development

The article can be found here.

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