By Rebecca Jean Emigh, Dylan Riley, Patricia Ahmed
Antecedents of Censuses From Medieval to state States, the 1st of 2 volumes, examines the effect of social formations on censuses from the medieval interval via present instances. The authors argue that relative impact of states and societies will not be linear, yet will depend on the particular ancient configuration of the states and societies, in addition to the kind of inhabitants info being amassed. They convey how details collecting is an consequence of the interplay among states and social forces, and the way social resistance to censuses has often circumvented their making plans, avoided their implementation, and encouraged their accuracy.
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Extra resources for Antecedents of Censuses from Medieval to Nation States: How Societies and States Count
From the phenomenological and ethnomethodological perspectives, societies and individuals are powerful actors because their common-sense categories must be the basis of official ones. To participate in information gathering, individuals must have the knowledge that is being requested of them, and they must be able to interpret and respond to a request. , filling out a form in a household). Thus, even the relatively reified format of census information is based on individual-level social interaction in some social context.
Thus, the society-centered perspective implies that information or census intellectuals should be prominent social actors who have the capacity to translate lay categories into scientific ones to create information. Thus, empirically, we look at whether information or census intellectuals exist or not, and we try to locate them socially within their meso-level social organizations and institutions and macro-level social structures. We do this in several ways—sometimes by comparing the social position or influence of these intellectuals, sometimes by showing when intellectuals successfully translate lay categories into scientific ones, or sometimes by showing that information gathering based on novel categories, proposed by intellectuals, that do not resonate with lay categories fails.
In contrast, science studies explore more thoroughly how national, institutional, organizational, or local context shapes technical knowledge and information (Bloor 1976:141; Collins 1985:1; Fourcade 2009:xiv–xv, 15; 2011:1724–1725; Lave 1988:20; MacKenzie 2011:1778; reviews in Epstein 2008:167–169 and Shapin 1995:300–302). Individuals, including technical experts, conduct interactions in specific and variable organizational settings, which in turn are embedded within larger social contexts (Heritage 1984:180; Zucker 1977:728).