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Data Practices: Making Up a European People

Data Practices: Making Up a European People

Current price: $35.00
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Goldsmiths Press
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How EU data practices establish and assign people to categories, and how this matters in enacting--"making up"--Europe as a population and people.

What is "Europe" and who are "Europeans"? Data Practices approaches this contemporary political and theoretical question by treating it as a practical problem of counting. Only through the myriad data practices that make up methods such as censuses can EU member states know their national populations, and this in turn is utilized by the EU to understand the population of Europe. But this volume approaches data practices not simply as reflecting populations but as performative in two senses: they simultaneously enact--that is, "make up"--a European population and, by so doing--intentionally or otherwise--also contribute to making up a European people.

The book develops a conception of data practices to analyze and interpret findings from collaborative ethnographic multisite fieldwork conducted by an interdisciplinary team of social science researchers as part of a five-year project, Peopling Europe: How Data Make a People. The book focuses on data practices that involve establishing and assigning people to categories and how this matters in enacting Europe as a population and people. Five core chapters explore key categories of people--usual residents, refugees, homeless people, migrants, and ethnic minorities--and how they come into being through specific data practices such as defining, estimating, recalibrating and inferring. Two additional chapters address two key subject positions that data practices produce and require: the data subject and the statistician subject.

About the Author

Evelyn Ruppert is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and Principal Investigator for Peopling Europe: How Data Make a People (ARITHMUS). Stephan Scheel is Junior Professor for Transnational Cooperation and Migration Research at Universität Duisburg-Essen in Hamburg.

Praise for Data Practices: Making Up a European People

"Data Practices’s detailed case studies of the practice of statistical data production should be included on the syllabus of any introductory statistics, data science or research methods course. However, it is its thoughtful consideration of quantitative data production from the perspective of the data subject, beyond the (often) superficial consideration of data privacy and security, that will earn it pride of place on my bookshelf."
—Dr. Mariel McKone Leonard, London School of Economics Review of Books