Ep. #44: Digitising Migrants: Annalisa Pelizza on the European immigration crisis in an age of Big Data

“Migration issues in Europe are a hot topic right now - it's not news that they have been used in the last 50 years as a way to steer public opinion into right wing positions...they are mobilised as elements in a narration of invasion, losing cultural specificities - not only individuals are mobilised in discursive terms, but there are also infrastructures that create people as migrants - not having access to proper work, or being put into certain infrastructures from which it’s virtually impossible to get out, creates people as migrants, as outsiders to society.” In Episode 7 of our STS Interview Series, Jodie is interviewing Annalisa Pelizza, Professor in Technology Studies of Communication at the University of Bologna in Italy about how migrants shape Europe and are shaped by European infrastructures.

What the Tech Sector Could Learn from Anthropology

Technology is a social tool that requires understanding of social and cultural factors for it to be a driver of equality. Failing to incorporate an anthropological perspective into tech design, development and policy risks increasing social inequalities driven by digital exclusion. It also makes it more likely that your product or service will fail.

Digital connectivity and data mediate culture, systems and life today. Failing to take into account the importance of “small data” in a world of big data risks boxing people into categories of belonging which inaccurately represent their lives, hopes, fears and desires in this world.