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November 2020 Vol. 58 No. 3

MIT Press

The following review appeared in the November 2020 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Science & Technology
Information & Computer Science

​D'Ignazio , ​Catherine. Data feminism, by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein. MIT, 2020. 328p indexes ISBN 9780262044004, $29.95; ISBN 9780262358521 ebook, contact publisher for price.

D'Ignazio (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Klein (Emory Univ.) examine how power and privilege operate in data science and in the real world. The authors address how racism, patriarchy, cissexism, heteronormativity, ableism, colonialism, and classism influence data collection, analysis, and consumption. Presenting seven principles of data feminism—to examine power, challenge power, elevate emotion and embodiment, rethink binaries and hierarchies, embrace pluralism, consider context, and make labor visible—they draw on the feminist theories of intersectionality, the matrix of domination, situated knowledge, and emotional labor as developed by Patricia Hill Collins, Donna Haraway, and Arlie Hochschild. Pertinent, real-life examples are drawn into the text, such as showing readers how Google searches may be powered by and re-create sexism and racism, exploring how "Black Lives Data" can create change, and examining the history of voting rights. The authors prioritize marginalized perspectives as they advocate for data equity and through their arguments provide tools to help achieve this goal. They charge that "those of us in positions of relative power must learn to listen deeper and listen differently—with the ultimate goal of taking action against the status quo." This call to action is especially important as issues of power and privilege continue to re-create inequalities in contemporary society.

--C. A. Wernet, University of South Carolina Aiken

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals; general readers.