Imagining Citizens as More than Data Subjects

A Methodography of a Collaborative Design Workshop on Co-producing Official Statistics



The article presents a methodography of a collaborative design workshop conducted with national and international statisticians. The workshop was part of an ethnographic research project on innovation in European official statistics. It aimed to bring academic researchers and statisticians together to collaborate on the design of app prototypes that imagine citizens as co-producers of official statistics rather than only data subjects. However, the objective was not to settle on an end product but to see if relations to citizens could be re-imagined. Through a methodography composed of two ethnographic narratives, we analyse whether and how a collaborative design workshop brought about imaginings of citizens as co-producers. To retrospectively analyse the workshop, we draw on feminist and material-semiotic takes on ‘friction’ as characteristic of collaboration. ‘Friction’, we suggest, can enlarge the repertoire of collaborative speculative practice beyond notions of rupture or consensus. Finally, we suggest that this analysis demonstrates the potential of methodography for opening up and reflecting on method in STS through eliciting the possibilities of collaboration.


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Special Issue: Methodography of Ethnographic Collaboration


2021-08-03 — Updated on 2021-09-15


How to Cite

Grommé, F. and Ruppert, E. . (2021) “Imagining Citizens as More than Data Subjects: A Methodography of a Collaborative Design Workshop on Co-producing Official Statistics”, Science & Technology Studies, 34(3), pp. 103–124. doi: 10.23987/sts.89444.