CfP – The sociology of quantification, commensuration, statistics, and valuation- CSA, 2017 in Toronto

Canadian Sociological Association Annual Conference

May 29-June 1, 2017


Session: The sociology of quantification, commensuration, statistics, and valuation
Jim Conley, Trent University
Gary Barron, University of Alberta

This session is concerned with the practices and politics of quantification, commensuration, and valuation. Quantification produces information reduced to discrete categories that are assigned numbers that become stable features of social worlds. Commensuration transforms cases, in all their complexity, into members of classes of equivalence that are treated by convention as identical. Statistics rely on quantification and commensuration to simplify large masses of observations through measures of rates, relationships and trends. Valuation and evaluation are complex social processes in which aspects of controversial matters of concern are selected and transformed into stable rankings and standards, translating political problems into measurement issues. We are interested in papers examining the social production and circulation of technologies of quantification, commensuration, and valuation on the one hand, and in papers on how they are used to coordinate actions and make decisions in organizations and networks, and to justify distributions of resources. Theoretical and empirical contributions from any setting (for example, the arts, higher education, planning, accounting, environmental assessment, health) and methodological approach are welcome.

Call for papers opens November 18 and closes February 1, 2017.

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