The Social Life of Standards

Ethnographic Methods for Local Engagement

Edited by Janice Graham, Christina Holmes, Fiona McDonald, and Regna Darnell

The Social Life of Standards

Edited by Janice Graham, Christina Holmes, Fiona McDonald, and Regna Darnell

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

256 pages | 2 halftones, 2 maps, 5 figures | 6 x 9
Paper $35.95 ISBN: 9780774865227 Will Publish January 2022 For sale in USA only
Cloth $89.95 ISBN: 9780774865210 Published April 2021 For sale in USA only
A look at how various tools for organizing society are developed and contested by the people in communities they would affect.

The Social Life of Standards reveals how political and technical tools for organizing society are developed, subverted, contested, and reassembled by local communities interacting with standards created by others. The authors investigate biomedical, agricultural, and other cases to show how inconsistent implementation of standards in the real world runs up against the non-negotiable criteria presupposed by external forces. To solve these problems, they propose a new, reflexive process that involves local engagement at every stage in the production and application of standards.
 
Review Quotes
Victor Braitberg, University of Arizona
There is no comparable work to The Social Life of Standards, a breakthrough book which successfully—even brilliantly—articulates an approach to the study of standards that is sensitive to local contexts and alert to the politics of knowledge in the making.
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