Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Data Lives

How Data Are Made and Shape Our World

By Rob Kitchin


3 Feb 2021

Page count

208 pages




216 x 148 mm


Bristol University Press


3 Feb 2021

Page count

208 pages





Bristol University Press
£18.99 £15.19You save £3.80 (20%)
  • Coming soon

  • Click to order from North America, Canada and South America
    Data Lives

    The word ‘data’ has entered everyday conversation, but do we really understand what it means? How can we begin to grasp the scope and scale of our new data-rich world, and can we truly comprehend what is at stake?

    In Data Lives, renowned social scientist Rob Kitchin explores the intricacies of data creation and charts how data-driven technologies have become essential to how society, government and the economy work.

    Creatively blending scholarly analysis, biography and fiction, he demonstrates how data are shaped by social and political forces, and the extent to which they influence our daily lives.

    He reveals our data world to be one of potential danger, but also of hope.

    Rob Kitchin is a Professor in the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Ireland. He is author/editor of a number of books about technology and society and is a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

    Part 1 ~ Introduction

    Data Stories

    Part 2 ~ the Life of Data

    Blind Data

    The Nature of Data


    In Data We Trust

    How to Lose (and Regain) 3.6 Billion Euros

    Harmonizing Data Is Hard

    Open and Shut Case

    The Politics of Building Civic Tech

    So More Trumps Better?

    Hustling for Funding

    The Secret Science of Formulas

    The End of the Data Lifecycle

    Part 3 ~ Living With Data

    Traces and Shadows

    Recommended Life

    The Quantified Self

    Fighting Fires

    Management by Metrics

    Guinea Pigs

    Big Brother Is Watching and Controlling You

    Security Theatre

    When a Country Ignores Its Own Data

    Data Theft

    Data for the People, by the People

    Black Data Matters

    Part 4 ~ Conclusion

    A Matter of Life and Death

    Data Futures