Faire place aux chiffres dans l’attention à soi: Une sociologie des pratiques de quantification et d’enregistrement aux différents âges de la vie

Rather than critically examining the uses of self-trackers – digital personal quantification tools – within the Californian Quantified Self movement, this article studies their coherence as an extension of ordinary self-care techniques. Its analyses concrete practices of personal quantification in relation to life cycles by combining a questionnaire survey (n=1829) with a vast qualitative survey (n=105). The former survey reflects the significant place of numbers in self-care. It analyses the practices of respondents, of whom 28% to 43%, depending on their age group, keep digital traces of themselves, and 14% to 27% are equipped with a connected measuring device. The second research component examines the intertwining issues at the heart of these practices and shows that despite the diversity of individual contexts, the goals of self-quantization evolve with age and life cycle. While regulating an unstable lifestyle through self-measurement is a widespread objective among the youth, the need to rationalize professional, domestic and personal lives often becomes central in the use of quantification after the birth of children. After the age of 50, it gives way to a concern to prevent threats related to ageing.

This content has been updated on 5 November 2019 at 9 h 43 min.