The chapters in this expertly edited volume make a crucial contribution to critical studies in the area of data visualization. Focused on a broad range of topics including activism, literacy, accessibility, social disparity, gender politics, and professional practices, the papers demonstrate in case after case the rhetorical power of visualizations and the need to engage critically with that power.
Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor and Distinguished Professor of Information Studies, UCLA
This book offers unique and much needed perspectives on data visualization culture. While most books still approach the subject in a practical "how to" way, Data Visualization In Society offers a range of critical reflections on key social and culture dimensions of visualization culture. This is the book we have been waiting for.
Lev Manovich, Professor of Computer Science, The Graduate Center, City University of New York & Director, Cultural Analytics Lab
Today we are witnessing an increased use of data visualization in society. Across domains such as work, education and the news, various forms of graphs, charts and maps are used to explain, convince and tell stories. In an era in which more and more data are produced and circulated digitally, and digital tools make visualization production increasingly accessible, it is important to study the conditions under which such visual texts are generated, disseminated and thought to be of societal benefit. This book is a contribution to the multi-disciplined and multi-faceted conversation concerning the forms, uses and roles of data visualization in society. Do data visualizations do 'good' or 'bad'? Do they promote understanding and engagement, or do they do ideological work, privileging certain views of the world over others? The contributions in the book engage with these core questions from a range of disciplinary perspectives.
Martin Engebretsen is Professor of Language and Communication in the Department of Nordic and Media Studies at University of Agder and director of the INDVIL project (indvil.org), which also provides the inspiration for this book. His research areas include text and discourse studies, multimodality, hypertext and multimedia, computer mediated communication, journalism, and photography and visual communication.
Helen Kennedy is Professor of Digital Society at the University of Sheffield. Her research traverses digital lanscapes, and is currently focused on the datafication of everyday life. Her Seeing Data (seeingdata.org) research into how non-experts relate to data visualizations provides the inspiration for many contributions to the Data Visualization in Society volume she edited with Martin Engebretsen.