Datafied childhoods: Contextualising datafication in everyday life

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The article focuses on early childhood as a critical site of datafication and dataveillance. First, it provides an overview of approaches that situate the datafication of childhood within the new business logic and modes of governance called ‘surveillance capitalism’. Second, it presents approaches that theorise how surveillance culture has been normalised in a range of everyday family practices, including those supported by pregnancy and parenting apps, baby wearables and the Internet of Toys (IoToys). Finally, it develops the argument that we need to understand data traces as socially situated and account for the everyday embedding of algorithms in early childhood and family life, if we want to avoid the essentialism that characterises much of the debate around surveillance culture in the lives of young children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Sociology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Internet of Toys
  • children
  • datafication
  • dataveillance
  • intimate surveillance
  • surveillance capitalism


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