Central to Professor Lupton’s current work in digital health is her work on ‘post-qualitative enquiry’. Post-qualitative enquiry draws on new feminist materialist scholars, such as Karen Barad, Jane Bennett, Donna Haraway and Rosi Braidotti, and aims to surface complex assemblages of technologies, people, practices and policies, as they come together in everyday spaces. The post-qualitative approach, as envisaged by Prof Lupton, considers technologies in the contexts of their use, using innovative methods (e.g. arts-based, narrative methods) to surface these entanglements, which Professor Lupton is working on at the new Vitalities Lab at UNSW.
Smart City Imaginaries
Professor Lupton discussed how post-qualitative enquiry can help us to better understand the role of digital technologies in urban spaces. Drawing on her recent work on smart cities in Australia, she explained how this approach can illuminate and help us better understand components of smart cities – such as the invisible labour of device installation, how smart cities can challenge the role of the ‘active citizen’, and the social justice issues that emerge in regards to monitoring bodies.
Professor Lupton argued that a focus on the future of smart cities – smart city imaginaries – requires further sociological inquiry, where researchers are well placed to act as ‘provocateurs’ to address and discuss these concerns.