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Abstract

In this paper, we offer a performative, praxeological account of ongoing attempts to cultivate practices of datafication in the Indian public health service. In particular, we distinguish between two broad forms that such practices took—systematic practices of datafication and edifying practices of datafication—that involve data being enacted or performed in different ways. We explore the power of these different kinds of datafication practices by examining what their doing does and demonstrate how each—by enacting particular kinds of subject and object positions—is deeply implicated in the (re)production of different forms of human sociality. Describing these socialities as “authoritarian-bureaucratic” and “dialogic”, we explore the distinctive kinds of moods and affectivities that they generate. We conclude by drawing out some of the implications for research and practice.

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