The Value of Postdigital Humans as Objects, or Subjects, in McDonaldised Society

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Postdigital human encounters could be said to take shape differently depending on how they are either subjectively valued or objectively evaluated. Digital technologies and humans are now intimately intertwined with shared and sometimes equal capabilities to perform human tasks. Yet still it may be argued that different disciplinary identities prevent computing and the humanities from being thought of as equivalent. Over many decades, humans and computers have been objectively evaluated in McDonaldised society, via rational language and measures where computing techniques are simply applied to improve productivity. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, people have described more personal and subjective digital encounters from their homes, with their virtual identities growing as their physical presence has diminished. This chapter speculates on whether new postdigital positionalities are emerging that might finally challenge more dominant, rational interpretations of what computing means in individual lives. If so, perhaps a more subjective analysis of these new forms of postdigital participation will bring the humanities into computing, instead of vice versa. This could help to reveal the unique positionality in each individual postdigital human encounter, where subjective self-description may now be seen to be more appropriate than objective rationality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPostdigital Humans
Subtitle of host publicationTransitions, Transformations and Transcendence
EditorsMaggi Savin-Baden
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-65592-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-65594-5, 978-3-030-65591-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePostdigital Science and Education


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