BIOPOWER AND THE AVALANCHE OF. PRINTED NUMBERS lan Hacking. Long ago, in Les Mots et les chases, Michel Foucault taught that. Life, Labor, and . Hacking Biopower and the Avalanche of Printed Numbers. Report. Post on Jan Views. Category. Hacking Ian. “Biopower and the Avalanche of Printed Numbers.”. Humanities in Society. ;– Print. 9. Hamlin Christopher. “The History and.

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Hacking Biopower and the Avalanche of Printed Numbers – [PDF Document]

Department of Geography and Faculty of Boopower. This was a project of the Demography and epidemiology research theme, part of the Department of Geography’s Cambridge Cultural and Historical Geography thematic research group.

Knowledge and information are topics of fundamental importance across the social sciences. Concepts such as the ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘information society’ enjoy an increasingly wide currency in academic as well as policy-making circles.

Conventionally, both phenomena are associated with what the noted American sociologist, Daniel Bell, termed ‘post-industrial society’ Bell Common to all three notions is an emphasis on the decline of industrial employment and the concomitant rise of service sector jobs pribted fields such as education, finance, healthcare, consultancy, communications and retail.

To a greater or lesser extent, new information technologies — principally computing — have played a transformative role in each of these areas by disrupting traditional modes of production.

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While information technology is a relatively modern concept, the disruptive power of information has a much longer history. This research project is concerned with exploring one specific aspect of that history: Bikpower on research initially undertaken as part of an ESRC-funded doctoral research project PTA into the development and implications of census-taking, this post-doctoral study will explore other dimensions of the ‘avalanche of printed numbers’ Hacking,including the collection of data on criminals, poor relief expenditure and food prices.

Hacking Biopower and the Avalanche of Printed Numbers

Far from being the precursor of the ‘Information Age’, state, economy and society in early industrial Britain c. This project is particularly concerned with investigating the disruptive effects of information gathering on modes of governance.

Earlier PhD work suggested that the collection of population statistics from contributed to a major re-alignment of the relationship between the core of the British state, principally parliament, and its periphery, principally parishes and counties. Although parliament was the driving force behind late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century social enquiry Innesthe creation of new forms of social and demographic knowledge had dramatic, and unintended, consequences for the institution which had promoted information gathering so vigorously.

In the Great Reform Act swept away the eighteenth-century system of corrupt boroughs. In its place new urban centres of manufacturing and industry were represented in the House of Commons for the first time.

The statistical state: knowledge, numbers and population in Britain, c. 1780-1837

Electoral change on such a dramatic scale was only possible because of the availability of spatially and temporally consistent demographic and fiscal data. These data allowed ministers to cast the Reform Act’s redistribution provisions in an objective light, thereby ensuring the political support of the Crown Thompson The current project intends to extend this analysis further by considering the relationship between new kinds of information gathering and economic and social policy-making in the period By employing a wider definition of state action than is allowed for in crude measures of public expenditure or statute-making, this research seeks to challenge conventional accounts that insist on the rise of the laissez-faire state after eg Harling and Mandler A wide range of published and unpublished sources will be used in avalanceh study.


Parliamentary papers, contemporary periodicals, economic treatises, private papers, and local and centrally-created records will be exploited using qualitative and avzlanche methods to achieve the research objectives outlined above.

International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education. This is an archived project. Study at Cambridge Undergraduate Graduate International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education. About research at Cambridge.