CFP: The Digital Everyday: Exploration or Alienation?

This international conference aims at exploring the digital everyday, understood as the transformation of everyday life practices brought about by digital technology. From how we buy, walk around, get a cab, love, break up, go to bed, meet new people and sexual partners to the way we rate services, turn on the fridge, exercise and eat, social media, apps, and Big Data are reshaping some of the most basic activities in our lives.

The conference will explore these digitally enabled transformations by looking at a number of domains affected by these shifts, for instance: of work and leisure, of friendship and love, of habits and routines. We will also explore a number of overarching dynamics and trends in the digital world that contribute to these transformations, including: processes of digital individualisation and aggregation; the elisions of spatial and temporal barriers; trends towards quantification and datafication; and the dialectic between control and alienation.

We invite participants from various intellectual traditions and streams of research including media studies, sociology, psychology, information science, computing and anthropology. Together, we will explore a number of key questions. How, for example, is digital transformation affecting everyday life? To what extent is this process one of increasing individualisation of social experience? Or might there be something more complex happening? What are the new psychological and social pathologies that result from the digital transformation of everyday life and from processes of datafication and quantification? Is digital technology allowing for new forms of control over our everyday life or is it increasing alienation, making us overly dependent on infrastructures beyond our grasp? Is digital technology contributing to extending our freedom to choose, or is it stifling us with an overabundance of options? Is it guiding us towards who we ‘really’ are or want to be, or is it plunging us into a hall of mirrors that only reinforces our isolation and narcissism? Is it facilitating exploration, serendipity and curiosity, or is it installing us into a pre-programmed and predictable world, into a filter bubble where choices can be more easily measured and manipulated?

Proposed paper abstracts may address the following topics: transformations of work patterns; changes in everyday life routine (sleep, meals, etc.); fitness and sport activity; love and sexual interactions; friendship and acquaintanceship; consumption and entertainment; sense of place and time; transportation and tourism; play and leisure.

The conference will comprise two plenary sessions and 4 breakout panels, and will host internationally acclaimed scholars as keynote speakers.

The conference will take on Saturday, 6th May 2017.

Abstract are due by 31 January 2017.

Abstracts should be 250 words maximum, and include the author(s) name and position, and a short title. They should be submitted via EasyChair https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=digitaleveryday17

Acceptance notices will be given on 28 February 2017.

Extended abstracts of 1,500 words are due on 15 April 2017 to be sent digitalculture@kcl.ac.uk