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Abstract

This article explores how readers recognize their personal identities represented through data visualizations. The recognition is investigated starting from three definitions captured by the philosopher Paul Ricoeur: the identification with the visualization, the recognition of someone in the visualization, and the mutual recognition that happens between readers. Whereas these notions were initially applied to study the role of the book reader, two further concepts complete the shift to data visualization: the digital identity stays for the present-day passport of human actions and the promise is the intimate reflection that projects readers towards their own future. This article reflects on the delicate meaning of digital identity and the way of representing it according to this structure: From Personal Identity to Media is a historical introduction to self-recognition, Data Visualization for Representing Identities moves the focus to visual representation, and The Course of Recognition breaks the self-recognition in through the five concepts above just before the Conclusion.

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