Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 67
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Beer, David 2016. Metric Power.


    Bifulco, Lavinia and Mozzana, Carlotta 2016. Introduzione: oltre l'employability. Approcci e prospettive per le transizioni giovanili scuola-lavoro. SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO, Issue. 141, p. 7.


    Cook, Kay and Natalier, Kristin 2016. Gender and Evidence in Family Law Reform: A Case Study of Quantification and Anecdote in Framing and Legitimising the ‘Problems’ with Child Support in Australia. Feminist Legal Studies,


    Feniger, Yariv Israeli, Mirit and Yehuda, Smadar 2016. The power of numbers: the adoption and consequences of national low-stakes standardised tests in Israel. Globalisation, Societies and Education, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 183.


    Hirschman, Daniel Berrey, Ellen and Rose-Greenland, Fiona 2016. Dequantifying diversity: affirmative action and admissions at the University of Michigan. Theory and Society, Vol. 45, Issue. 3, p. 265.


    Huikku, Jari Mouritsen, Jan and Silvola, Hanna 2016. Relative reliability and the recognisable firm: Calculating goodwill impairment value. Accounting, Organizations and Society,


    Le Theule, Marie-Astrid and Lupu, Ioana 2016. Publishing without editors or authors? Competing logics, circulation, and cultural creation in a publishing firm. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 38, p. 14.


    Manderscheid, Katharina 2016. Quantifying mobilities? Reflections on a neglected method in mobilities research. Applied Mobilities, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 43.


    Manderscheid, Katharina 2016. Mobile Ungleichheiten. Eine sozial- und infrastrukturelle Differenzierung des Mobilitätstheorems. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Vol. 41, Issue. 1, p. 71.


    Maturo, Antonio and Setiffi, Francesca 2016. The gamification of risk: how health apps foster self-confidence and why this is not enough. Health, Risk & Society, Vol. 17, Issue. 7-8, p. 477.


    McGrogan, David 2016. THE PROBLEM OF CAUSALITY IN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 65, Issue. 03, p. 615.


    Osrecki, Fran 2016. A Short History of the Sociology of Corruption: the Demise of Counter-Intuitivity and the Rise of Numerical Comparisons. The American Sociologist,


    Rocha de Siqueira, Isabel 2016. Development by Trial and Error: The Authority of Good Enough Numbers. International Political Sociology, p. olw012.


    Aistleitner,, Matthias Fölker,, Marianne and Kapeller, Jakob 2015. Die Macht der Wissenschaftsstatistik und die Entwicklung der Ökonomie. Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 135, Issue. 2, p. 111.


    Biradavolu, Monica R. Blankenship, Kim M. George, Annie and Dhungana, Nimesh 2015. Unintended Consequences of Community-Based Monitoring Systems: Lessons from an HIV Prevention Intervention for Sex Workers in South India. World Development, Vol. 67, p. 1.


    ×

A Sociology of Quantification*

  • Wendy Nelson Espeland (a1) and Mitchell L. Stevens (a2)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003975609000150
  • Published online: 01 December 2008
Abstract
Abstract

One of the most notable political developments of the last thirty years has been increasing public and governmental demand for the quantification of social phenomena, yet sociologists generally have paid little attention to the spread of quantification or the significance of new regimes of measurement. Our article addresses this oversight by analyzing quantification – the production and communication of numbers – as a general sociological phenomenon. Drawing on scholarship across the social sciences in Europe and North America as well as humanistic inquiry, we articulate five sociological dimensions of quantification and call for an ethics of numbers.

Résumé

Une des plus notables nouveautés politiques des trente dernières années a été l'augmentation de la demande de quantification des phénomènes sociaux de la part tant du public que des gouvernements. Les sociologues n'y ont guère vu un phénomène social général. En s'appuyant sur les acquis des sciences sociales tant américains qu'européens et aussi sur la recherche dans les humanités, l'article dégage cinq aspects de la quantification : le travail de base requis, la réactivité, le pouvoir normatif, l'autorité multiusages qu'elle dégage et enfin la puissance dans l'ordre esthétique.

Zusammenfassung

Eine der bedeutendsten politischen Neuerungen der letzten 30 Jahre ist die steigende Nachfrage nach der Quantifizierung sozialer Bewegungen und dies sowohl von seiten der Öffentlichkeit als auch der Regierungen. Die Soziologen haben dies nicht als allgemeines soziales Phänomen betrachtet. Aufbauend auf den Erfahrungen der amerikanischen und europäischen Sozial- und Humanwissenschaften, zeigt der Aufsatz fünf Aspekte der Quantifizierung: Arbeitsaufwand, Reaktivität, normative Macht, ”Mehrzweck“-Autorität und die Macht der Esthetik.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Margo Anderson and Stephen E. Feinberg , 1999. “To Sample or Not to Sample? The 2000 Census Controversy”, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 30, pp. 1-36.

Elizabeth A Armstrong ., 2002. Forging Gay Identities: Organizing Sexuality in San Francisco, 1950-1994 (Chicago, University of Chicago Press).

J. L. Austin , [1962] 1975. How to Do Things with Words (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press).

Isabelle Bruno , Sophie Jacquot and Lou Mandin , 2006. “Europeanization through its Instrumentation: Benchmarking, Mainstreaming and the Open Method of Coordination… Toolbox or Pandora's Box?”, Journal of European Public Policy, 13, pp. 519-536.

Mark A. Covaleski , Mark W. Dirsmith , James B. Heian and Sajay Samual , 1998. “The Calculated and the Avowed: Techniques of Discipline and Struggles Over Identity in Big Six Public Accounting Firms”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 43, pp. 293-327.

Roser Cusso and Sabrina D'Amico , 2005. “From Development Comparison to Globalization Comparativism: Towards a More Normative International Education Statistics”, Comparative Education, 41, pp. 199-216.

Lorraine Daston , 1992. “Objectivity and the Escape from Perspective”, Social Studies of Science, 22, pp. 597-618.

Emanuel Didier , 2002. “Sampling and Democracy: Representativeness in the First United States Surveys”, Science in Context, 15, pp. 427-445.

Wendy Nelson Espeland and Michael M. Sauder , 2007. “Rankings and Reactivity: How Public Measures Recreate Social Worlds”, American Journal of Sociology, 113, pp. 1-40.

Wendy Nelson Espeland and Mitchell Stevens , 1998. “Commensuration as a Social Process”, Annual Review of Sociology, 24, pp. 313-343.

Wendy Nelson Espeland and Berit Vannebo , 2008. “Accountability, Quantification, and Law”, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 3, pp. 21-43.

Martha S. Feldman and James G. March , 1981. “Information in Organizations as Signal and Symbol”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 26, pp. 171-186.

Stephanie E. Hampton , Lyubov R. Izmest'eva , Marianne V. Moore , Stephen L. Katz , Brian Dennis and Eugene A. Silow , 2008. “Sixty years of environmental change in the world's largest freshwater lake – Lake Baikal, Siberia”, Global Change Biology, 14, 8, pp. 1947-1958.

Rosemary Horrox , ed. and translator, 1994. The Black Death (Manchester, Manchester University Press).

Sarah E Igo ., 2007. The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press).

Herbert Kalthoff , 2005. “Practices of Calculation: Economic Representations and Risk Management”, Theory, Culture, and Society, 22, pp. 69-97.

Michael B Katz ., 1983. Poverty and Policy in American History (New York, Academic Press).

Michèle Lamont and Virag Molnar , 2002. “The Study of Boundaries in the the Social Sciences”, Annual Review of Sociology, 28, pp. 167-195.

Erin Leahey , 2005. “Alphas and Asterisks: The Development of Statistical Significance Testing Standards in Sociology”, Social Force, 84, pp. 1-24.

Mara Loveman , 2005. “The Modern State and the Primitive Accumulation of Symbolic Power”, American Journal of Sociology, 110, pp. 1651-83.

Stuart Michaels and Wendy Nelson Espeland , 2006. “Queer Counts: Measurement and the Emergence of Gay Identity”, American Sociological Association (Montreal).

Peter Miller and Ted O'Leary , 1987. “Accounting and the Construction of the Governable Person”, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 12, pp. 235-266.

Peter Miller and Nikolas Rose , 1990. “Governing Economic Life”, Economy and Society, 19, pp. 1-31.

Michael Power , 2003. “Evaluating the Audit Explosion”, Law & Policy, 25, pp. 185-202.

Jonathan Simon , 1988. “The Ideological Effects of Actuarial Practices”, Law and Society Review, 22, pp. 771-800.

Mitchell L Stevens , 2008. “Culture and Education”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 619, pp. 97-113.

Stanley Smith Stevens , 1946. “On the Theory of Scales of Measurement”, Science, 103, pp. 677-680.

Marilyn Strathern , 2000. Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics and the Academy (London, Routledge).

Cass R Sunstein ., 2000. “Cognition and Cost-Benefit Analysis”, Journal of Legal Studies, 29, pp. 1059-1103.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie
  • ISSN: 0003-9756
  • EISSN: 1474-0583
  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-sociology-archives-europeennes-de-sociologie
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×