From self-surveillance to other-surveillance: data tracking and body practice of running APP users

TU Jiong1

(1.School of Sociology & Anthropology, and Institute of State Governance, Sun Yat-sen University)

【Abstract】Using the research methods of observing running communities online and interviewing running App users offline, this paper tries to explore how the use of running App and relevant devices are embedded into people’s body practice, and how the produced data influence people’s life. Inspired by Foucault’s thought on power, this paper regards tracking device like running App as a disciplinary technology. Through bringing the runners into digitalized self-surveillance, this technology could induce the runners to shape their body and behavior according to external power structure. This power technology could advocate the spirit of self-responsibility. It is in accordance with the requirement of consumption society, but it can also induce the users to fall into the digitalized panoramic surveillance, hence leading the disciplinary technology to expand from the inside out.

【Keywords】 running App; data; disciplinary technology; body;


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    [3]. (3) These three areas are respectively: riverside exercise area (mainly for students and residents), central business district square (mainly for white-collar workers and practitioners in the financial industry), and surroundings of a large stadium (mainly for residents and practitioners from all walks of life in the area). [^Back]

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    [5]. (5) The so-called “layered circle” refers to the stratification and separation of various circles, thus forming a stable and closely linked community with a core. [^Back]

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    [7]. (7) Ping An Insurance, for example, has set up an activity recording function in its APP, encouraging users to upload information to adjust the premium accordingly. [^Back]

    [8]. (8) [^Back]

    [9]. (9) Many fledgling APP developers and device makers have yet to make a profit, but their business prospects, especially data, have been noticed by many venture capitalists. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 02, Pages 73-81+96

March 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Literature review
  • 2 Research content and methods
  • 3 The body practice of self-tracking and surveillance
  • 4 Conclusion and discussion
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