What do markets “see” when they look at people? In today’s economies, information dragnets increasingly mine individual-level data on a large scale, constructing individual profiles from credit card purchases, web searches, social network connections, insurance history, and more. Algorithmic methods and risk-based analysis then enable the sorting and slotting of individuals on the basis of this data, with the goal to improve the efficacy of prediction and marketing.
Economy and Morality, a Matrix Affiliate (EMMA), a research center led by Professor of Sociology Marion Fourcade, investigates how these and other technological changes affect people’s conduct in their everyday lives, how they shape the political economy of redistribution and inequality, and how they help define the nature of moral hierarchies in society.
To learn more, see this related article on the Matrix site about how credit scores and other classification systems shape our economy.