Farzana Dudhwala started her DPhil September 2012. She is a member of Green Templeton College and her research is supervised by Professor Steve Woolgar and Dr Javier Lezaun. Her research looks at the relationship between self-quantifying technologies and the 'construction' of self-improvement.
Farzana has been awarded an ESRC scholarship and a Green Templeton College/Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship for the duration of her DPhil.
In 2011 she did her MPhil in Innovation, Strategy and Organisations at the Cambridge Judge Business School where she received a letter of commendation from the examiners. Her undergraduate studies were also at the University of Cambridge, where she graduated in 2011 with a double first in the Social and Political Sciences Triposas well as completing her Part II in the Management Studies Tripos.
There has been a recent trend towards people using personal, digital technologies to track and quantify certain aspects of themselves. With such a growing number of people engaging in ‘self-quantification’ using more and more readily available technologies, important questions need to be asked about the impact that these ‘self-quantifying technologies’ have on the people that use them. What “counts” as ‘self-improvement’ and as ‘self-quantifying technologies’? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the use of the term ‘construction’ vis-à-vis its several cognates: ‘enactment’, ‘performance’, ‘embodiment’, ‘construction’, ‘doing’, etc.? In light of these self-quantifying technologies, does it make sense to make a distinction between them and the self?
The working title of Farzana’s thesis is: ‘The Relationship Between Self-Quantifying Technologies and the Self: The "Construction" of Self-Improvement". Using Science and Technology Studies to explore the phenomenon, Farzana is doing a multi-sited ethnographic study of the relationship between 'self-quantifying' technologies and the self, and the 'construction' of self-improvement. Her research involves participant observations and interviews with both the users and makers of self-quantifying technologies in London and the Bay area in California where she recently spent two months as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.