This thesis explores technological mediation on body articulation. By using two complementary analytical approaches, an interface analysis and interviews, this thesis examines self-tracking application Strava and its users to determine how body articulation might be mediated by Strava and the self-tracking data. Drawing on the concept of human-data assemblages, which describes how humans and technology form a co-constitutive relationship in which both have agency, it is examined how agency is distributed within this relationship. Data analysis revealed that fitness data positions body in a certain way, namely focussed on output and improvement. Strava as a knowledge mediator can determine what knowledge is presented to its users. Additionally, Strava’s emphasis on its social aspects increases the possibility for mediation by facilitating competition and peer surveillance. The thesis concludes that fitness data as a digital materiality mediates how Strava users articulate their body through implicit norm-setting.

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Willem Schinkel, Bonnie French
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Spruijt, R. (2021, June 15). Strava: the race towards the best self Digital mediation of self-tracking application Strava and self-tracking data on body articulation. Sociology. Retrieved from