Theorising Measures, Rankings and Metrics

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC16 Sociological Theory (host committee)

Language: English

Issues of measure and measurement are of concern in several major threads in contemporary social theory and social research. But, what are measures, and how do they work? How to make sense of their rising power? What is the relation between measures, rankings, metrics and values? How do measures produce their practical effects?

In this panel, we welcome contributions that advance novel theorizations to advance into these puzzles. In particular, we are interested in exploring the relations between three facets of measures: (1) technological-scientific (measure unit and measure system); (2) political-administrative (undertaking aimed at implementing a policy or decision); (3) moral-judiciary (balance, moderation, fairness, wisdom).

We are also interested in highlighting how measures, far form being simply tools in our hands, are also environments in which we live – increasingly, they are the air we breathe. What does it mean to live in measured environments? How to conceptualize the subjective impact of measures in the constitution of social relations? How can the political attitude of revolution and the sub-political act of cheating be understood as to forms of reaction to measures and two very different forms of challenging existing measures? Which further forms of measure-making can be envisaged for our times? These are some further questions we invite contributors to tackle.

Session Organizer:
Andrea BRIGHENTI, University of Trento, Italy
Oral Presentations
"Was This Review Helpful to You?" Creation and Re-Creation of Value through Measurement
Cornelia SCHENDZIELORZ, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, Germany; Felicitas HESSELMANN, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany
When Reactivity Fails: The Limited Effects of Hospital Rankings
Christopher DORN, FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany
Distributed Papers
Positioning Power
Reiner KELLER, University of Augsburg, Germany, Germany
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