Raising the ideal child? Algorithms, quantification and prediction
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The world in which the contemporary child is conceived and raised is one that is increasingly monitored, analysed and manipulated through technological processes. Simultaneously, expectations for the child are changing as new tools and practices for quantifying, managing and predicting achievements and future possibilities become available. Algorithms as ways of anticipating, doing or fixing are central to these technological processes. These intersect with and are informed by social, cultural and political discourses that imagine the ‘ideal’ child. Therefore, this article explores the power of algorithms within the everyday of the child. Drawing upon examples of quantification and prediction practices in the commercial and state sectors, the article raises questions about the issues, challenges and politics of these types of algorithmic approaches in raising and imagining the ‘ideal child’.
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