Dijital Toplumda Kendilik Teknolojileri Olarak Tavsiye Algoritmaları: Çevrimiçi İçerik Platformu Üzerinden Kendiliğin İnşası
Erdem, Merve Tuğba
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This study deals with Foucault's concept of technologies of the self within the framework of digital society and examines how it works through systems called recommendation algorithms, which are widely used in many digital platforms today. In short, Foucault’s technologies of the self consists of askesis practices in which the individual focuses on care of the self by performing shaping practices on the self in order to ethically form and to transform the self. Based on this theoretical framework, this research was conducted on an online content platform that works through recommendation algorithms. Main aim of this study is to interpret sociological implications on how these recommendation systems work as technologies of the self as the leading representatives of the technological systems that have become an inevitable part of the digital society. In this context, it is questioned whether recommender systems function as technologies of the self and create an opportunity for the construction and experience of the self – in terms of practices of freedom. For this reason, with an interpretative-constructive approach, in-depth interviews with the users of this online content platform were conducted via videoconferencing in terms of Turkey in which the meanings that individuals ascribe to their experiences through online content platforms were investigated. The research results show that individuals create a self-ethic that includes ethical content choices through the online content platform, which are internalized by them via different repeated exercises, where the selection of the content turns into a self-targeting practice. In addition, it is understood that individuals with knowledge of the algorithm shape their expectations from the algorithm and its recommendations, and accordingly, the practical field of the self is established through acceptance of the recommendation or resistance to it. Finally, there is an inter-subjective practice area of the actions that individuals perform on themselves, which appear in collective practices, through interactions with others in the context of the online content platform.