This special section of the International Journal of Communication brings together critical accounts of big data as theory, practice, archive, myth, and rhetorical move. The essays collected here interrogate rather than accept the realities conjured through our political, economic, and cultural imaginings of big data. From neoliberal economic logics shaping the deployment of big data to the cultural precursors that underlie data mining techniques, the issue covers both the macro and micro contexts. We have drawn together researchers from communication, anthropology, geography, information science, sociology, and critical media studies to, among other things, examine the political and epistemological ramifications of big data for a range of audiences. Articles in this collection also interrogate the ethics of big data use and critically consider who gets access to big data and how access (or lack of it) matters to the issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, and geography.
The issue can be found here (Articles are Open access)