Elisabetta Risi, Tiziano Bonini, Riccardo Pronzato

Algorithmic media in everyday life. An experience with auto-ethnographic student diaries

  • Abstract

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Keywords: everyday media uses, media domestication, media literacy, datafication, recommendation engines, keeping auto-ethnographic diaries, teaching ethnographic tools

This article offers a methodological proposal based on an ongoing study regarding the impact of algorithms and algorithmic media in everyday life. Drawing from 80 auto-ethnographic diaries kept by undergraduate students, we contend that ethnography offers a valuable approach to investigate the usages of algorithmic media, shedding light on the ways in which users incorporate algorithmic outputs into their daily lives. The article embraces Markham’s critical pedagogy approach (2019), suggesting that auto-ethnographic diaries may represent a valuable educational tool to improve media literacy and raise awareness about processes of datafication and surveillance that underpin digital platforms. Based on the preliminary results of our study, the benefits and limits of such an auto-ethnographic approach are discussed.

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