Johannes Achatz, Stefan Selke & Nele Wulf: Adjusting Reality. The Contingency Dilemma in the Context of Popularised Practices of Digital Self-Tracking of Health Data. [Abstract]

The practice of digital self-tracking of health data addresses inter-related contingencies on the micro and macro level: on the micro level, digital self-tracking can be perceived as facilitation of lifeworld contingencies and the expression of the way contingency is dealt with in (socially) exhausted societies. Together, these can be understood as a strategy of the “privatization of contingency.” The attempt to reduce the individual’s contingency of action is accompanied by the increase of lifeworld contingency, resulting in a contingency dilemma in contemporary self-tracking which produces (new) dependencies and vulnerabilities with respect to the technology used. Through a multilevel analysis of digital self-tracking and an empirical study on vulnerable self-trackers, a number of those pathological effects of the contingency dilemma are examined using methods from pragmatism and theory of conventions, while highlighting a possible solution to this dilemma.

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