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Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. Oktober 2000

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  • Taschenbuch: 389 Seiten
  • Verlag: Mit University Press Group Ltd; Auflage: New Ed (11. Oktober 2000)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0262522950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262522953
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,2 x 22,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 103.670 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Is this book sociology, anthropology, or taxonomy? Sorting Things Out, by communications theorists Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, covers a lot of conceptual ground in its effort to sort out exactly how and why we classify and categorize the things and concepts we encounter day to day. But the analysis doesn't stop there; the authors go on to explore what happens to our thinking as a result of our classifications. With great insight and precise academic language, they pick apart our information systems and language structures that lie deeper than the everyday categories we use. The authors focus first on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a widely used scheme used by health professionals worldwide, but also look at other health information systems, racial classifications used by South Africa during apartheid, and more.

Though it comes off as a bit too academic at times (by the end of the 20th century, most writers should be able to get the spelling of McDonald's restaurant right), the book has a clever charm that thoughtful readers will surely appreciate. A sly sense of humor sneaks into the writing, giving rise to the chapter title "The Kindness of Strangers," for example. After arguing that categorization is both strongly influenced by and a powerful reinforcer of ideology, it follows that revolutions (political or scientific) must change the way things are sorted in order to throw over the old system. Who knew that such simple, basic elements of thought could have such far-reaching consequences? Whether you ultimately place it with social science, linguistics, or (as the authors fear) fantasy, make sure you put Sorting Things Out in your reading pile. --Rob Lightner -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


" 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

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Von Ein Kunde am 7. April 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is an excellent book on classification as discourse. The authors do an excellent job of discussing this topic in terms of its social, political, and professional history and implications. It is an important title in the cultural studies of information and should be familiar to all concerned with this area of study.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 7 Rezensionen
138 von 155 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A diamond-studded dungheap 11. April 2001
Von "rogerva" - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This tragic book is full of important ideas and significant research, but it's so poorly written you hardly notice. Other reviews kindly describe its style as "academic," but it's just bad writing. It's really shocking that publishers still consider this kind of jargon-filled nonsense acceptable to publish outside of the UMI thesis-reprint circuit. (I write professionally, so I'm not unqualified to make this assertion.)
After making a cogent point with examples and internal references, the authors feel the need to bridge to the next section with this clotted delight:
"Leaking out of the freeze frame, comes the insertion of biography, negotiation, and struggles with a shifting infrastructure of classification and treatment. Turning now to other presentation and classification of tuberculosis by a novelist and a sociologist, we will see the complex dialectic of irrevocably local biography and of standard classification."
Wha? What you mean to say is:
"This tension between personal experience and clinical priorities plays a large part in our current understanding of 'tuberculosis.' To further examine this tension, we will now examine the personal tuberculosis stories of a novelist and a sociologist."
The former kind of self-important, get-it-all-down academic writing is as embarrassing to read as adolescent poetry; they're both driven by a desire to make sure the reader gets every last nuance, and the lack of subtlety makes you want to toss the book across the room.
But the ideas buried within this book...the ideas are so sweet. If only they'd had the sense to ghostwrite this book. It could be a classic.
29 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A real advance in knowledge - inspiring. 6. Januar 2002
Von Richard R. Wilk - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Most everything in modern societies rests on rules, standards, and regulations of one kind or another. Where do these endless detailed lists and definitions come from? This book is really unprecedented in the way it takes apart the practice of rule-making and nomenclature, to show us that there is a social and cultural process that lies behind the faceless lists. For me, it was like having the curtain of OZ lifted aside, so I could see for once the messy, petty, and often political way that things are sorted into categories and labeled.
I disagee that the book is badly written. I found it better than the average academic title in studies of technology and society, where thick jargon is the primordial soup. This was one of the most original books about technological systems I have read in years, with wide application in many different fields.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Imporant work on classification and its limitations 16. November 2013
Von Leslie J. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A major advance in the study of classification infrastructures -- the definitions of infrastructure, socially salient examples, and discussions of places where classification systems fail are invaluable!
6 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Dry and overreaching 11. März 2009
Von Trevor Burnham - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a quintessentially academic book: Much of the subject matter is absolutely fascinating, particularly the chapter on the fraught process of distinguishing black from white in South Africa under apartheid, where many fell into a mixed-race purgatory unrecognized by the state apparatus; yet most of the authors' analysis is less interesting than they presume. They ask the right questions about the problematic nature of categories, but provide few answers, instead falling back to arching assertions such as "all category systems are moral and political entities," a statement that is so plainly false that the authors don't even bother to justify it.

I would recommend the apartheid section of this book to anyone interested in that chapter of history, but the other examples the authors use (the ICD and the DSMIV) have been explored elsewhere to greater effect.
Need to have 29. Oktober 2014
Von Annette - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Just about the best book ever on the hidden world of classifications and the way they teach us to look upon the world!
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