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Focus Session

Structured Context & Social Justice: Focus & Scope

These are details for a focus session on the CIVIC Data Library. For more information on the library, visit the CIVIC Library Hub

Structured Context & Social Justice: Focus & Scope

  • context collection
  • inquiry
  • community integration
  • focus areas
Synchronous virtual meeting: Fri, Oct 30, 4:00 PM UTC

This focus session is complete! View recording & outcomes

"(Data are) the products of unequal social relations, and this context is essential for conducting accurate, ethical analysis." – Data Feminism, Catherine D'Ignazio & Lauren Klein

There's a myriad of ways that unequal social relations are expressed in datasets. Beyond provenance & lineage, what justice-oriented inquiries are most valuable in the context of structured context?

To incorporate justice-oriented information into a structured context schema requires prioritizing what inquiries to pursue, finding a common approach for a shared set of inquiries, and structuring the artifacts and results of those inquiries in a consistent way.

This session aims to define the focus & scope for the what, how, who, and why of justice-oriented inquiries that will be a part of the first version of CIVIC Data Library's structured context process & schema. This will build off of the work done by the initial Structured Context Cohort, and inform immediate future sessions focused on social justice

Three types of context for social justice

  • Systemic injustice: context on how systems outside the dataset shape the information the dataset attempts to capture

  • Data-specific distortions: context on how the data systems of counting, classification, representation, skew, and omission shape what's represented in the dataset

  • Data constituent insight: context drawn from the lived experience of the marginalized groups within the dataset

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