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Standards:Recipes for Reality

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2011
Author(s): Lawrence Busch
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Communication, Networking & Broadcasting ;  General Topics for Engineers
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Abstract

Standards are the means by which we construct realities. There are established standards for professional accreditation, the environment, consumer products, animal welfare, the acceptable stress for highway bridges, healthcare, education -- for almost everything. We are surrounded by a vast array of standards, many of which we take for granted but each of which has been and continues to be the subject of intense negotiation. In this book, Lawrence Busch investigates standards as "recipes for reality." Standards, he argues, shape not only the physical world around us but also our social lives and even our selves. Busch shows how standards are intimately connected to power -- that they often serve to empower some and disempower others. He outlines the history of formal standards and describes how modern science came to be associated with the moral-technical project of standardization of both people and things. Busch suggests guidelines for developing fair, equitable, and effective standards. Taking a uniquely integrated and comprehensive view of the subject, Busch shows how standards for people and things are inextricably linked, how standards are always layered (even if often addressed serially), and how standards are simultaneously technical, social, moral, legal, and ontological devices.

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      Frontmatter

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half title, Infrastructures Series, Title, Copyright, Contents, Prologue, Acknowledgments, Introduction View full abstract»

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      The Power of Standards

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Émile Durkheim on Norms, Studying Standards, Commensurability and Coupling, Symmetry, Types of Standards, The Relationship among the Four Kinds of Standards, Standards, Tests, and Indicators, Constructing Tests, Metaphors and Measurements, Layers of Standardization, Path Dependence, Standards and Sanctions, The Objectivity of Standards, The Signs on the Wall, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Standardizing the World

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: A Perfect and Just Measure Shalt Thou Have, A Time for Standards, The Military, Colonization, Social Movements, Medicine, Agriculture, Public Education, Civil Religion, Families, Fashion, Markets and Economies, Factories, Organizational Communications, The Standard (Auditable) Organization, Management, Law and Politics, Knowledge, Quantification and Standards, Conclusion: Creating Standardized Cognition View full abstract»

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      From Standardization to Standardized Differentiation

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Using Standards to Differentiate, The Growth of Non-Price Competition, The Market for Lemons Revisited, Transport, Communications, Packaging, The Neoliberal Reforms, Standards and the Long Tail, Mass Customization, Slivercasting, Massclusivity, and Other Oxymoronic Truths, Conclusions View full abstract»

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      Certified, Accredited, Licensed, Approved

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Rush to Certify, The Party, Trust, Risk, Science, Standards, and Certification, Accreditation, The Tripartite Standards Regime and Its Problems, The Violence of Audits, The Limits to the Tripartite Standards Regime, Conclusion: Governing the Market Society View full abstract»

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      Standards, Ethics, and Justice

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: From Standards to Ethics, A Rapid Tour through Ethics (with Apologies to Ethicists), Justifying Standards, Different Worlds Require Different Kinds of Standards, How Standards Distribute Goods, Injustice, Value Chains, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Standards and Democracy

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Case for Expertise, The Case for Democracy, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Conclusions: Another Road to Serfdom?

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Choices and Devoirs, Living the Certified Life, The Limits of Private Standards?, Building Standards That Are Fair, Equitable, and Effective, Toward a Trustworthy Society View full abstract»

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      Notes

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      References

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Standards are the means by which we construct realities. There are established standards for professional accreditation, the environment, consumer products, animal welfare, the acceptable stress for highway bridges, healthcare, education -- for almost everything. We are surrounded by a vast array of standards, many of which we take for granted but each of which has been and continues to be the subject of intense negotiation. In this book, Lawrence Busch investigates standards as "recipes for reality." Standards, he argues, shape not only the physical world around us but also our social lives and even our selves. Busch shows how standards are intimately connected to power -- that they often serve to empower some and disempower others. He outlines the history of formal standards and describes how modern science came to be associated with the moral-technical project of standardization of both people and things. Busch suggests guidelines for developing fair, equitable, and effective standards. Taking a uniquely integrated and comprehensive view of the subject, Busch shows how standards for people and things are inextricably linked, how standards are always layered (even if often addressed serially), and how standards are simultaneously technical, social, moral, legal, and ontological devices. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Lawrence Busch
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Standards are the means by which we construct realities. There are established standards for professional accreditation, the environment, consumer products, animal welfare, the acceptable stress for highway bridges, healthcare, education -- for almost everything. We are surrounded by a vast array of standards, many of which we take for granted but each of which has been and continues to be the subject of intense negotiation. In this book, Lawrence Busch investigates standards as "recipes for reality." Standards, he argues, shape not only the physical world around us but also our social lives and even our selves. Busch shows how standards are intimately connected to power -- that they often serve to empower some and disempower others. He outlines the history of formal standards and describes how modern science came to be associated with the moral-technical project of standardization of both people and things. Busch suggests guidelines for developing fair, equitable, and effective standards. Taking a uniquely integrated and comprehensive view of the subject, Busch shows how standards for people and things are inextricably linked, how standards are always layered (even if often addressed serially), and how standards are simultaneously technical, social, moral, legal, and ontological devices. View full abstract»