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Abstract

The paper explores the role of algorithms in the constitution of the social world. Concepts drawn from the perspectives of social phenomenology and information systems are used to argue that algorithms are sociomaterial constructions that, as part of algorithmic assemblages, have become embedded in the lifeworld of people who routinely use digital devices in their online lives. The paper argues that as these assemblages become more deeply embedded in the social fabric, there is pressing need for critical analysis because of the power and information asymmetries that are uncovered when considering the roles of the complex organizations that control the algorithmic assemblages that increasingly shape people’s digital lives.

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Aug 10th, 12:00 AM

Algorithmic neutrality, algorithmic assemblages, and the lifeworld

The paper explores the role of algorithms in the constitution of the social world. Concepts drawn from the perspectives of social phenomenology and information systems are used to argue that algorithms are sociomaterial constructions that, as part of algorithmic assemblages, have become embedded in the lifeworld of people who routinely use digital devices in their online lives. The paper argues that as these assemblages become more deeply embedded in the social fabric, there is pressing need for critical analysis because of the power and information asymmetries that are uncovered when considering the roles of the complex organizations that control the algorithmic assemblages that increasingly shape people’s digital lives.

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