The CODE^SHIFT model: a data justice framework for collective impact and social transformation

Srividya Ramasubramanian, Mohan J. Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this article, we present an alternative framework that resists hegemonic social sciences within data-driven communication theorizing through a culture-centered approach (CCA). Building on the CCA in co-creating voice infrastructures at the margins, we argue that data justice requires transforming interpretive data framings, disrupting the hegemonic registers of knowledge production constituted around data, and working with/through data to challenge the structures of capitalism and colonialism that circulate the practices of exploitation and extraction. We build upon community-engaged projects emergent from the CCA in/with/from the Global South to propose the CODE^SHIFT Model, grounded in principles of equity-mindedness, collective impact, purposiveness, and systemic change. It highlights what data justice looks like in various stages of community-led transformation: identifying pressing social problems; bridging cross-sector coalitions and partnerships; organizing for collective impact activities; and sustaining capacity building. We reframe data as pluriversal, embodied, sacred, sovereign, disruptive, solidarity, and impossibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024


  • communication theory
  • data justice
  • decolonizing
  • quantitative criticalism
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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