Reader Query: Quantification Fights

Dear Readers*!

I am trying to create a bibliography of published works in sociology (and nearby fields) that focus on disputes between different numbers or quantification schemes. I have in mind here things like Marion Fourcade’s recent work on oil spills and the valuation of nature, where Fourcade compares different the differential success of different measures of the damages from oil spills. I am specifically looking for articles or books that examine fights between multiple, competing numbers – two different methods for doing cost-benefit analysis, or valuing life (a la QALYs), or ranking schools, etc. The literature is filled with excellent studies of the impacts of quantification, and resistance to quantification (see, e.g., Espeland’s work), but I’m having trouble coming up with good examples of works that look at fights between quantification systems. Any suggestion is welcome!

Thanks,
Dan

* Every time I write “Dear Readers”, I now think of the hilarious Harry Potter parody/over-dub “Wizard People, Dear Reader”. See wikipedia for info, and watch it over on youtube.

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1 Comment

  1. Frank Ackerman’s Poisoned for pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution (2008) has I believe a couple of examples of this when he discusses how various chemical issues were presented to the FDA and other instances of US gov’t. I will check when I get home, but it’s a reasonable starting point I thinl