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Browsing by Author "Granroth, Julia"

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  • Granroth, Julia (2020)
    In my MA thesis I explore the Finnish people’s relationship to technology and especially to information communication technology by discussing technological imaginaries. Imaginaries guide attention toward collective sense making while they convey shared social values, norms and identities that are performed in different speech acts. Everyday algorithms are the starting point of my thesis. I framed the topic of algorithms and the technological imaginaries they produce with the theoretical discussion of datafication and dataveillance. As the influence of technology is only growing in our Western society, I am interested in observing its potential sociopolitical impact. My research question is how technological imaginaries affect the society. I am interested in questions how a technology-related future narrative exists and how these narratives are constructed—and what they tell about the Finnish society. My goal is to create holistic understanding of living with quantified data and to analyze what values technological imaginaries might reveal. The research approach is anthropology of technology. The ethnographic focus is in Helsinki, Finland and the ethnographic material consists of 39 semi-structured interviews, which are divided between two reference groups, which I named as ‘everyday algorithms’ and ‘digital marketers.’ The interviews were conducted in 2017 and 2018 and the ethnographic material was systematically analyzed with content analysis. The interviewees’ affective and analytical responses depended on the topic at hand and from the different perspectives the interviewees saw them through. Technological determinism and dataism, which represent faith in technology as the source of progress and faith in data as objective, rational and good, were themes that emerged in the interviews. What became apparent is that technology is viewed to mediate social utopias, such as social equality, even when actual technology mediated practices might not support those desires.