What is at stake in data visualization? A feminist critique of the rhetorical power of data visualizations in the media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Data visualizations are often claimed to have the power to change the world. This chapter argues that to understand this power we need to consider the uses to which visualizations have been put. Using visualizations relating to abortion as a case study alongside Klein and D’Ignazio’s notion of a ‘missing bodies problem’ in data visualization, I argue that visualizations tell a narrow story, removing contextual detail and omitting to ask questions important to women’s health. To grasp the significance of this I propose a new missing body problem: the neglect of the viewer and those affected by decisions taken based on visualized data. Far from being a simple device to graphically display numerical data, therefore, there is a good deal at stake in data visualization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationData Visualization in Society
EditorsMartin Engebretsen, Helen Kennedy
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Chapter23
Pages391-405
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789048543137
ISBN (Print)9789463722902
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020

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    Hill, R. L. (2020). What is at stake in data visualization? A feminist critique of the rhetorical power of data visualizations in the media. In M. Engebretsen, & H. Kennedy (Eds.), Data Visualization in Society (pp. 391-405). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.