Measure for Measure: Politics of Quantifying Individuals to Govern Them

Version
1
Resource Type
Text : Journal article
Creator
  • Thévenot, Laurent
Collective Title
  • Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung
    Vol. 44, No. 2 (2019)
Publication Date
2019-03
Embargo End Date
2019-09-13
Publication Place
Cologne
Contributor
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (Editor)
Publisher
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Language
English
Free Keywords
Quantification; key indicators; Convention theory; quantification studies; politics of statistics; pragmatic sociology; governing by numbers; quantified self
Description
  • Abstract

    This article compares a variety of modes of quantifying individuals to govern them. The analytical grid issues from a former research program on the Politics of Statistics that focused on one of these modes of governing by numbers, the statistical nation state, which is here included in an array of more recently developed governing numbers based on benchmarking, digital tracking, or self-quantifying. Three main operations differentiate modes of governing by numbers: measuring individuals for quantification, taking political measures accordingly to guide their behaviors, and an intermediate operation that is often less visible although situated between the two previous ones and needed to link them: evaluating the situation through a measured judgment that justifies the monitoring based on numbers. This analysis breaks down data into the sequential steps of the transformations chain of information formats needed to pass from an individual person to a governing figure. The plurality of modes of evaluation, and its reduction by quantification, is given high significance, as well as the way each mode of governing affects individuals, their identity and their possibility to critically reflect and question.
  • Series Information

    Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung Vol. 44, No. 2 (2019): Special Issue: Governing by Numbers - Key Indicators and the Politics of Expectations.

    Starting Point and Frequency: Year: 1979, Issues per volume: 4, Volumes per year: 1

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Rights
CC BY 4.0
Relations
  • Is part of
    URL: https://www.gesis.org/en/hsr/full-text-archive/2019/442-governing-by-numbers
  • Is part of
    ISSN: 0172-6404
  • Is identical to
    URL: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=7010ea0d-cdd7-427f-bf94-fffeb8e807ba%40sessionmgr101&bdata=Jmxhbmc9ZGUmc2l0ZT1lZHMtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=edsgso.61910&db=edsgso

Update Metadata: 2020-02-12 | Issue Number: 5 | Registration Date: 2019-03-14