Moving Data, Moving People is a research project funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund, and runs between 2020 and 2024.
Over the course of several years, we will follow the narratives about, an implementation of, the Social Credit System in China. As social anthropologists and STS scholars, we are interested in the lived experiences accompanying the SCS, particularly for China’s mobile population. Our methods will be based on ethnographic research and document analysis.
Our focal analytic is trust (chengxin) as it understood by those making and living with the SCS. According to the Chinese State Council, the purpose of the SCS is to create a more “trustworthy” society. The project asks how digital technologies are envisaged as a means by which trusting relationships will be negotiated. We will examine questions of infrastructural integration, and how data, score and identities move with people who are on the move.
The project will contribute to leading anthropological studies of state digitalisation projects worldwide, develop a culturally specific understanding of the notion of digitalised trust, and constitute a much needed renewal of the literature on internal migration in China.