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    Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology (Paperback)) (Paperback) By (author) Geoffrey C. Bowker, By (author) Susan Leigh Star

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    DescriptionWhat do a seventeenth-century mortality table (whose causes of death include "fainted in a bath," "frighted," and "itch"); the identification of South Africans during apartheid as European, Asian, colored, or black; and the separation of machine- from hand-washables have in common? All are examples of classification -- the scaffolding of information infrastructures. In Sorting Things Out, Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star explore the role of categories and standards in shaping the modern world. In a clear and lively style, they investigate a variety of classification systems, including the International Classification of Diseases, the Nursing Interventions Classification, race classification under apartheid in South Africa, and the classification of viruses and of tuberculosis. The authors emphasize the role of invisibility in the process by which classification orders human interaction. They examine how categories are made and kept invisible, and how people can change this invisibility when necessary. They also explore systems of classification as part of the built information environment. Much as an urban historian would review highway permits and zoning decisions to tell a city's story, the authors review archives of classification design to understand how decisions have been made. Sorting Things Out has a moral agenda, for each standard and category valorizes some point of view and silences another. Standards and classifications produce advantage or suffering. Jobs are made and lost; some regions benefit at the expense of others. How these choices are made and how we think about that process are at the moral and political core of this work. The book is an important empirical source for understanding the building of information infrastructures.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Sorting Things Out

    Sorting Things Out
    Classification and Its Consequences
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Geoffrey C. Bowker, By (author) Susan Leigh Star
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 389
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 21 mm
    Weight: 522 g
    ISBN 13: 9780262522953
    ISBN 10: 0262522950

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: JFC
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.6
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: SCI075000
    Ingram Subject Code: SO
    Libri: I-SO
    B&T General Subject: 710
    BIC subject category V2: GLK
    BIC E4L: LIB
    BISAC V2.8: SOC026000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 27340
    DC22: 001.012
    DC21: 025.42
    Thema V1.0: JBCC, GLK
    Edition statement
    Revised ed.
    Illustrations note
    MIT Press Ltd
    Imprint name
    MIT Press
    Publication date
    11 October 2000
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Author Information
    Geoffrey C. Bowker is Regis and Dianne McKenna Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.
    Review quote
    " Sorting Things Out is a brilliant dissection of a fundamental facet ofsocial life. Its analytic comparisons shed new light on familiar problemswhich plague all the social sciences." Howard S. Becker , University of California-Santa Barbara