Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely


  • Pilar Carrera
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_8-1

What matter who’s speaking (Beckett)

“Anonymity” refers to the quality or state of being anonymous, from Greek anonymos and Latin anonymus, “what doesn’t have a name or it is ignored, because it remains occult or unknown,” according to the Diccionario de Autoridades of the Real Academia Española.

It designates not so much an absence as the presence of an absence, as Roland Barthes put it. The concept points out to the absence of a name for the receiver of a message (reader, viewer, critic, etc., reception instance which is constituent of “anonymity”), the absence of “signature,” following Derrida. Anonymity is therefore closely linked to the forms of mediation, including writing. It implies the power to remain secret (without name) as author for a given audience. Seen from a discursive point of view, anonymity concerns associated with big data analysis are related to the generation of consistent narratives from massive and diverse amounts of data.

If we examine the concept from a...

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Further Readings

  1. Barthes, R. (1977). The death of the author (1967). In Image, music, text. London: Fontana Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benjamin, W. (1998). The author as producer (1934). In Understanding Brecht. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, J. (1988). Signature event context (1971). In Limited Inc. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. (2013). Biodegradables (1988). In Signature Derrida. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, M. (1980). What is an author (1969). In Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected essays and interviews. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Sartre, J.-P. (1947). Baudelaire. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  7. Simmel, G. (1908). Das Geheimnis und die geheime Gesellschaft. In Soziologie. Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Carlos III de MadridMadridSpain