Focus Group 2013/2014

Quantification


The Quantification Focus Group will analyze the production and communication of numbers. Comprised of historians, sociologists, accountants and anthropologists, this group will examine the power of numbers to represent, alter and create social worlds. We associate quantification with objectivity, precision, rationality and, increasingly, with accountability and efficiency. How did these associations come about? What causes quantification to spread? Which kinds of expertise and resources are needed in order to make credible numbers? What powers do we attribute to numbers and how do they interact with other kinds of authority? In what ways have numbers changed how we think about the world, solve problems, and engage in politics? These are some of the questions our members will address in institutional contexts ranging from statistical offices in India, insane asylums in Europe, credit ratings in the United States, and the development of infrastructure in the Qing Empire.

Wendy Espeland

Conveners


2013/2014

Wendy Espeland

Professor of Sociology

more


Members


2013/2014

Theodore M. Porter

Professor of History

more


2013/2014

Jahnavi Phalkey

History of Science and Technology

more


2013/2014

Andrea Mennicken

Associate Professor in Accounting

more


2013/2014

Tong Lam

Associated Professor of History

more


2013/2014

Emmanuel Didier

Chargé de recherche en science politique

more


2013/2014

John Carson

Associate Professor of History

more


2013/2014

Bruce G. Carruthers

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology

more


Permanent Fellow

Lorraine J. Daston

Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Professor, Committee on Social Thought

more