This chapter examines how a Dutch city attempted to use data mining to profile 'problem youth'. It challenges zooming as the metaphor that guides the use of this statistical technique. To see something from close by, it is argued, is a situated practice. Instead of presenting the object in more detail, a new object is brought into being. Two modes of situated improvisation are identified. These involve the interplay of artefacts, bodies of knowledge, and normativities. Attending to metaphors in practice may thus be a useful starting point to change the terms by which digital identities are produced. Key words: algorithms, big data, statistics, digital identity, materiality, vision, surveillance

Grommé, F. (2014). Data Mining 'Problem Youth'. In Digitizing Identities: Doing Identity in a Networked World, Routledge (pp. 163–183). Retrieved from