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What’s new with numbers? Sociological approaches to the study of quantification

Mennicken, Andrea ORCID: 0000-0002-5658-7678 and Nelson Espeland, Wendy (2019) What’s new with numbers? Sociological approaches to the study of quantification. Annual Review of Sociology, 45. pp. 223-245. ISSN 0360-0572

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Identification Number: 10.1146/annurev-soc-073117-041343


Calculation and quantification have been critical features of modern societies, closely linked to science, markets, and administration. In the past thirty years, the pace, purpose, and scope of quantification have greatly expanded, and there has been a corresponding increase in scholarship on quantification. We offer an assessment of the widely dispersed literature on quantification across four domains where quantification and quantification scholarship have particularly flourished: administration, democratic rule, economics, and personal life. In doing so, we seek to stimulate more cross-disciplinary debate and exchange. We caution against unifying accounts of quantification and highlight the importance of tracking quantification across different sites in order to appreciate its essential ambiguity and conduct more systematic investigations of interactions between different quantification regimes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Annual Reviews
Divisions: Accounting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 09:18
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2023 05:51

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