Doctoral thesis of ZeMKI member Irina Zakharova honored with "summa cum laude

On Wednesday Irina Zakharova successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled: "UNDERSTANDING DATA STUDIES: A methodological and conceptual inquiry into research on datafication". The doctoral thesis was awarded "summa cum laude" by all reviewers.

In her work, Irina Zakharova examines the still young, interdisciplinary field of data studies and asks what those who research datafication actually understand by datafication and what methods they use. To this end, she conducted a literature review in which she analyzed 51 social science publications on datafication research. She then conducted interviews with 32 researchers. In essence, Zakharova elaborates three epistemological interests of datafication research: (1) studies interested in the implications of datafication processes, (2) studies dealing with representations of data, and (3) studies interested in the lived experiences of different actors. These epistemological interests place different emphases with regard to individual or collective actors as data producers and data users. Finally, Irina reconstructs three methodological assemblages for datafication research: (1) studies that explore dynamics of infrastructures, (2) studies that reconstruct regimes of datafication, and (3) studies that promote encounters with data representations. The dissertation makes a significant contribution to datafication research and allows scholars* to situate and critically engage with it.

The examination committee consisted of Prof.Dr. Andreas Breiter (ifib & ZeMKI, Uni Bremen), Prof.Dr. Anne Kaun (Södertörn University), Prof.Dr.Stefanie Büchner (Leibniz Universität Hannover), Prof.Dr. Christian Katzenbach (ZeMKI, Uni Bremen), Prof.Dr. Kerstin Radde-Antweiler (ZeMKI, Uni Bremen), Dr. Juliane Jarke (ifib & ZeMKI, Uni Bremen) and Yan Brick (Uni Bremen). The ZeMKI congratulates on the outstanding achievement and welcomes Zakharova's decision to continue research at ifib and to strengthen our research on datafication.


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