Constantin [Abstract]

Regaining control – the “quantified self” movement and the creation of the postmodern human
[Full text]

Oana-Ruxandra Constantin [1]

Abstract: In this paper I understand “quantified self” movement as a product of the postmodern society. The present paper is an extensive literature review on the topic, drawing upon previous empirical research on QS movement. The aim is to describe the current knowledge on the subject, and to offer further and deeper insights that could explain the phenomenon. I argue that the self-tracker can be described as a postmodern human that voluntarily engages in an act of self-surveillance to search for deeper meanings and make sense of the unpredictability of the postmodern society. Self-tracking may be described as an individualized and self-reflexive phenomenon where people are concerned with finding and cultivating their own happiness. I observe that self-tracking may start as an individualistic practice that also has a social and collaborative dimension, with self-trackers being part of a larger but diffuse informal network (Lupton, 2014; Crawford et al., 2015; Rooksby et al., 2014). I further describe self-tracking as a practice orientated to self-improvement, that questions the traditional authorities and societal norms by finding new ways of regaining control over the body. I argue that the QS movement can be understood as a new lifestyle movement that has the chance to evolve in a more structured social movement.

Keywords: Quantified self; postmodernity; reflexive modernization; self-tracking; postmodern human;

[1] F Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania, ruxandra.oana3k@gmail.com.