David Beer, The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception – Sage 2018 (Society and Space series)

92857_9781526436924David Beer, The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception is now published. This is the latest book in the Sage Society and Space book series, which I edit.

A significant new way of understanding contemporary capitalism is to understand the intensification and spread of data analytics. This text is about the powerful promises and visions that have led to the expansion of data analytics and data-led forms of social ordering.

It is centrally concerned with examining the types of knowledge associated with data analytics and shows that how these analytics are envisioned is central to the emergence and prominence of data at various scales of social life.  This text aims to understand the powerful role of the data analytics industry and how this industry facilitates the spread and intensification of data-led processes. As such, The Data Gaze is concerned with understanding how data-led, data-driven and data-reliant forms of capitalism pervade organisational and everyday life.

Using a clear theoretical approach derived from Foucault and critical data studies the text develops the concept of the data gaze and shows how powerful and persuasive it is. It’s an essential and subversive guide to data analytics and data capitalism.

With characteristic eye for detail, Beer examines what we often overlook when talking about data: the values and ideals embedded in it by the industries that collect and process it, and how this affects our lives.

Mark D White
College of Staten Island/CUNY

David Beer’s The Data Gaze is a remarkable achievement. The demand for data is today’s ultimate appeal to truth, objectivity, and efficacy. Beer takes a step back, and questions how the appeal to data has gained such social currency. In meticulous and searching work, combining close attention to corporate data practices and theoretical rigor, he exposes the stakes of the data gaze’s demand for a total description of our actions, aspirations, potential, and politics. Before succumbing to the demand for ever more quantification and monitoring, policymakers and scholars would do well to read this insightful and important book.

Frank Pasquale
University of Maryland

The Data Gaze is a welcome diagnostic for the data and data analytics central to the functioning of contemporary capitalism and capitalist society. Finding inspiration in Foucault’s ‘clinical gaze’ Beer critically evaluates the visions, infrastructures and practices that facilitate what is said with data. It will be a vital resource for anyone who seeks to question the power to speak with our data.”

Mark Coté
King’s College London

More details on the series can be found here. Previously published titles are

Dan Bulley, Migration, Ethics and Power: Spaces Of Hospitality In International Politics

Marcus Doel, Geographies of Violence: Killing Space, Killing Time

Francisco Klauser, Surveillance and Space

Forthcoming volumes include (titles provisional)

Ross Exo Adams, Circulation and Urbanization

Shiloh Krupar and Greig Crysler, The Waste Complex: Capital \ Ecology \ Citizenship

Martina Tazzioli, Migrant Multiplicities and Singularities

Kirsten Simonsen and Lasse Koefoed, Geographies of Embodiment

If you’d like to discuss an idea for the series, please get in contact. While the books are not textbooks, they do need to be suitable for teaching, with a good possibility of adoption. Here’s the series description:

The Society and Space series explores the fascinating relationship between the spatial and the social. Each title draws on a range of modern and historical theories to offer important insights into the key cultural and political topics of our times, including migration, globalisation, race, gender, sexuality and technology. These stimulating and provocative books combine high intellectual standards with contemporary appeal for students of politics, international relations, sociology, philosophy, and human geography.

This entry was posted in Society and Space, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to David Beer, The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception – Sage 2018 (Society and Space series)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s