Zone of dreams: big data, infrastructure and development in Southwest China

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • big data, Infrastructure, technology, development, environment


This anthropological research project takes big data as an entry point to investigate the political, economic and cultural processes that drive a data-centric economy as well as the economic, social and environmental consequences of these processes. Viewing big data both as a concept and phenomenon, this study engages in an ethnographic study of China’s first national pilot zone for big data industry: Guizhou Big Data Comprehensive Pilot Zone in Southwest China. The project will employ anthropological methods of local and digital ethnography, including participant observation, in-depth and informal interviews, extended case studies, and analyses of media discourses and policy documents.
Effective start/end date2018/04/032020/03/31


  • Pan, Darcy (Researcher)