Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

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MIT Press, 1999 - Science - 377 pages
16 Reviews

What do a seventeenth-century mortality table (whose causes of death include "faintedin a bath," "frighted," and "itch"); the identification of South Africans during apartheid asEuropean, Asian, colored, or black; and the separation of machine- from hand-washables have incommon? All are examples of classification -- the scaffolding of informationinfrastructures.

In Sorting Things Out, Geoffrey C. Bowker andSusan Leigh Star explore the role of categories and standards in shaping the modern world. In aclear and lively style, they investigate a variety of classification systems, including theInternational Classification of Diseases, the Nursing Interventions Classification, raceclassification under apartheid in South Africa, and the classification of viruses and oftuberculosis.

The authors emphasize the role of invisibility in the process bywhich classification orders human interaction. They examine how categories are made and keptinvisible, and how people can change this invisibility when necessary. They also explore systems ofclassification as part of the built information environment. Much as an urban historian would reviewhighway permits and zoning decisions to tell a city's story, the authors review archives ofclassification design to understand how decisions have been made. Sorting ThingsOut has a moral agenda, for each standard and category valorizes some point of view andsilences another. Standards and classifications produce advantage or suffering. Jobs are made andlost; some regions benefit at the expense of others. How these choices are made and how we thinkabout that process are at the moral and political core of this work. The book is an importantempirical source for understanding the building of information infrastructures.

  

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Review: Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

User Review  - Mira - Goodreads

Great material, marred by clunky writing & editing. Read full review

Review: Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

User Review  - Sean Cohmer - Goodreads

Sorting seems to be something that we just do. We organize the world in ways that make sense... or do we? This happens to be what I am up to with my Masters thesis, in part, but this book makes sense ... Read full review

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Contents

To Classify Is Human
1
Some Tricks of the Trade in Analyzing Classification
33
Classification and LargeScale Infrastructures
51
The Kindness of Strangers Kinds and Politics in Classification Systems
53
The ICD as Information Infrastructure
107
Classification Coding and Coordination
135
Classification and Biography or System and Suffering
163
Of Tuberculosis and Trajectories
165
What a Difference a Name Makes the Classification of Nursing Work
229
Organizational Forgetting Nursing Knowledge and Classification
255
The Theory and Practice of Classifications
283
Categorical Work and Boundary Infrastructures Enriching Theories of Classification
285
Why Classifications Matter
319
Notes
327
References
335
Name Index
367

The Case of Race Classification and Reclassification under Apartheid
195
Classification and Work Practice
227

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Sorting Things Out - The MIT Press
Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star explore the role of categories and standards in shaping the modern world
mitpress.mit.edu/ catalog/ item/ default.asp?ttype=2& tid=4304

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Library & Information Science Research : Sorting Things Out ...
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences, by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. 389 pp. $29.95 (cloth). ...
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In Sorting Things Out , Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star shed new
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. By Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999. Pp. xii+377. $29.95. ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ technology_and_culture/ v042/ 42.2lowood.pdf

citeulike: Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences ...
TY - BOOK ID - citeulike:200788 TI - Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology) PB - {The MIT Press} SN - 0262024616 N2 ...
www.citeulike.org/ user/ rabourn/ article/ 200788

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Mike Michael 2000 Public Understand. Sci. 9 339-341 doi:10.1088/0963-6625/9/3/705 ...
www.iop.org/ EJ/ abstract/ 0963-6625/ 9/ 3/ 705

Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences
Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences. Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press; 1999; pp. ...
faculty.washington.edu/ tabrooks/ Documents/ bowkerReview.htm

Bowker & Star 1999: Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its ...
Bowker, gc & Star, sl (1999) Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Parts II and III. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA. ...
www.cc.gatech.edu/ ~jimmyd/ summaries/ bowker1999.html

JSTOR: Sorting Things out: Classification and Its Consequences
Sorting Things out: Classification and Its Consequences. Terra Ziporyn. Isis, Vol. 92, No. 4, 772-773. Dec., 2001. Geoffrey C. Bowker; Susan Leigh Star. ...
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About the author (1999)

Geoffrey C. Bowker is Regis and Dianne McKenna Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.

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