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British Journal of Sociology
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#1Claire Moon (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 7
This article responds empirically to the question posed by Stan Cohen about "why, when faced by knowledge of others' suffering and pain-particularly the suffering and pain resulting from what are called 'human rights violations'-does 'reaction' so often take the form of denial, avoidance, passivity, indifference, rationalisation or collusion?". Our context is Mexico's "war on drugs." Since 2006 this "war" has claimed the lives of around 240,000 Mexican citizens and disappeared around 60,000 othe...
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#1Zeke Baker (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)H-Index: 1
Drawing from theory on the "co-production" of science and society, this paper provides an account of trajectories in US climatology, roughly from the 1850s to 1920, the period during which climatology emerged as an organized branch of meteorology and government administration. The historical narrative traces the development of climatology both as a professional/institutional project and as a component of a larger governmental logic. Historical analysis of climatologists' scientific texts, maps, ...
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#1Martín Tironi (UC: Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)H-Index: 4
The use of prototypes as testing instruments has become a common strategy in the innovation of services and products and increasingly in the implementation of "smart" urban policies through living labs or pilots. As a technique for validating hypotheses about the future performance of products or policies, prototyping is based on the idea of generating original knowledge through the failures produced during the testing process. Through the study of an experimentation and prototyping project deve...
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Time use is both a cause of social inequality and a consequence of social inequality. However, how social class stratifies time use patterns is seldom studied. In this paper, I describe the time use patterns in the years 1983 and 2015 by social class, and gender in the British context. Using sequence analysis methods, I show how the diversity of time use patterns in British society is socially stratified. I find that 13 clusters capture the heterogeneity of time use patterns and that these clust...
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Is the test result positive or negative? Tests that occur in labs and doctors' offices pose specific questions to try to obtain specific information. But what happens in the social world when these tests never see the inside of a lab or doctor's office, and instead they are used in a house, in a Walmart bathroom, or in a dormitory bathroom stall? Putting the diagnosis aside, what does the presence of these tests do to social life? This paper examines one such test, the home pregnancy test, and s...
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#2David Stark (Warw.: University of Warwick)H-Index: 1
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Name-altering practices are common in many creative fields-pen names in literature, stage names in the performing arts, and aliases in music. More than just reflecting artistic habits or responding to the need for distinctive brands, these practices can also serve as test devices to probe, validate, and guide the artists' active participation in a cultural movement. At the same time, they constitute a powerful probe to negotiate the boundaries of a subculture, especially when its features are th...
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Prior accounts of the experimenter's regress in laboratory testing are set against the background of a relatively stable institutional context. Even if the tools are new or the object of investigation is unknown, participating entities are named, a certain degree of funding is presumed, and an organization exists to conduct the test. In this paper, I argue that this background assumption obscures the importance of institutional and organizational context to the sociology of testing. I analyze et...
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#1Willem Schinkel (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 19
Anyone trying to be a citizen has to pass through a set of practices trying to be a state. This paper investigates some of the ways testing practices calibrate citizens, and in doing so, perform "the state." The paper focuses on three forms of citizenship testing, which it considers exemplary forms of "state work," and which all, in various ways, concern "migration." First, the constitution of a "border crossing," which requires an identity test configured by deceptibility. Second, the Dutch asy...
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In the last 20 years, the drive for evidence-based policymaking has been coupled with a concurrent push for the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as the "gold-standard" for generating rigorous evidence on whether or not development interventions work. Drawing on content analysis of 63 development RCTs and 4 years of participant observation, I provide a rich description of the diverse set of actors and the transnational organizational effort required to implement development RCTs and mai...
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China's social credit system is an unusually explicit case where technology is used by multiple actors to turn human behavior into a test object on behalf of the state's goal of modifying the larger social environment, making it an intriguing setting for thinking about the new sociology of testing. This article considers how China's search for a usable "credit" score to both allocate financial resources and explicitly measure a citizen's trustworthiness creates an emergent experimental system of...
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