Search results for: counting-how-we-use-numbers-to-decide-what-matters

Counting How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters

Author : Deborah Stone
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“Required reading for anyone who’s interested in the truth.” —Robert Reich In a post-Trumpian world where COVID rates soar and Americans wage near–civil war about election results, Deborah Stone’s Counting promises to transform how we think about numbers. Contrary to what you learned in kindergarten, counting is more art than arithmetic. In fact, numbers are just as much creatures of the human imagination as poetry and painting; the simplest tally starts with judgments about what counts. In a nation whose Constitution originally counted a slave as three-fifths of a person and where algorithms disproportionately consign Black Americans to prison, it is now more important than ever to understand how numbers can be both weapons of the powerful and tools of resistance. With her “signature brilliance” (Robert Kuttner), eminent political scientist Deborah Stone delivers a “mild-altering” work (Jacob Hacker) that shows “how being in thrall to numbers is misguided and dangerous” (New York Times Book Review).

Routledge Companion to Audiences and the Performing Arts

Author : Matthew Reason
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The Routledge Companion to Audiences and the Performing Arts represents a truly multi-dimensional exploration of the inter-relationships between audiences and performance. This study considers audiences contextually and historically, through both qualitative and quantitative empirical research, and places them within appropriate philosophical and socio-cultural discourses. Ultimately, the collection marks the point where audiences have become central and essential not just to the act of performance itself but also to theatre, dance, opera, music and performance studies as academic disciplines. This Companion will be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduates, as well as to theatre, dance, opera and music practitioners and performing arts organisations and stakeholders involved in educational activities.

Democracy s Data

Author : Dan Bouk
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From the historian Dan Bouk, a lesson in reading between the lines of the U.S. census to uncover the stories behind the data. The census isn’t just a data-collection process; it’s a ritual, and a tool, of American democracy. Behind every neat grid of numbers is a collage of messy, human stories—you just have to know how to read them. In Democracy’s Data, the data historian Dan Bouk examines the 1940 U.S. census, uncovering what those numbers both condense and cleverly abstract: a universe of meaning and uncertainty, of cultural negotiation and political struggle. He introduces us to the men and women employed as census takers, bringing us with them as they go door to door, recording the lives of their neighbors. He takes us into the makeshift halls of the Census Bureau, where hundreds of civil servants, not to mention machines, labored with pencil and paper to divide and conquer the nation’s data. And he uses these little points to paint bigger pictures, such as of the ruling hand of white supremacy, the place of queer people in straight systems, and the struggle of ordinary people to be seen by the state as they see themselves. The 1940 census is a crucial entry in American history, a controversial dataset that enabled the creation of New Deal era social programs, but that also, with the advent of World War Two, would be weaponized against many of the citizens whom it was supposed to serve. In our age of quantification, Democracy’s Data not only teaches us how to read between the lines but gives us a new perspective on the relationship between representation, identity, and governance today.


Author : Petar Ramadanovic
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This book brings together two different discussions on the value of the humanities and a broader debate on interdisciplinary scholarship in order to propose a new way beyond current threats to the humanities. Petar Ramadanovic offers nothing short of a drastic rehaul of our approaches to literary scholarship, the humanities, and university systems. Beginning with an analysis of what is often referred to as the "crises" in the humanities, the author looks at the specifics of literary studies, but also issues around working conditions for academics. From precarity and pay conditions to peer review, the book has practical as well as theoretical implications that will resonate throughout the humanities. While most books defending the humanities emphasize the uniqueness of the subject or area, Ramadanovic does the opposite, emphasizing the need for interdisciplinarity and combined knowledge. This proposal is then fully explored through literary studies, and its potential throughout the humanities and beyond, into the sciences. Interdiscipline is not just a defense of literature and the humanities; it offers a clear and inspiring pathway forwards, drawing on all disciplines to show their cultural and social significance. The book is important reading for all scholars of literary studies, and also throughout the humanities.

Education Restated

Author : Elliot Regenstein
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Education Restated proposes shifts in how we address three areas in education policy: accountability, teacher hiring, and parent choice. In each of these areas policy has been anchored around the wrong core values. By focusing on the right core values, state governments can create promising conditions for education improvement at the local level.

Civil Wars in Africa

Author : Kelechi A Kalu
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This book argues that civil wars in Africa stem from the contradictions and crises that have been generated by the post-colonial state as the result of the adverse effects of colonialism and the failure of successive generations of African leaders to lead the process of changing the state's nature, character, and mission.

Public Policy

Author : Sara R. Rinfret
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Public Policy: A Concise Introduction is a student-friendly textbook that quickly connects readers to the inner workings of public policy. The text condenses early chapters on theory and the policy-making process, allowing students to take up key policy challenges – such as immigration, education, and healthcare - much earlier in the semester. Not every student starts out engaged in public policy, so place your students – both majors and non-majors alike – in the driver’s seat by fostering their analytical skills early and spend the rest of the semester discussing policy issues, examining data, and debating current policy examples that matter most to them. The Second Edition has been updated to include how we can collectively use public policy to raise individuals from the margins and address inequities that exist in our system. Recent policy questions include: "How do we shape our country′s health care system?", "How do we address increases in costs of tuition?", and "Did the COVID-19 pandemic positively or negatively shape our public education system?"

Making Better Coffee

Author : Edward F. Fischer
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An anthropologist uncovers how "great coffee" depends not just on taste, but also on a complex system of values worked out among farmers, roasters, and consumers. What justifies the steep prices commanded by small-batch, high-end Third Wave coffees? Making Better Coffee explores this question, looking at highland coffee farmers in Guatemala and their relationship to the trends that dictate what makes "great coffee." Traders stress material conditions of terroir and botany, but just as important are the social, moral, and political values that farmers, roasters, and consumers attach to the beans. In the late nineteenth century, Maya farmers were forced to work on the large plantations that colonized their ancestral lands. The international coffee market shifted in the 1990s, creating demand for high-altitude varietals--plants suited to the mountains where the Maya had been displaced. Edward F. Fischer connects the quest for quality among U.S. tastemakers to the lives and desires of Maya producers, showing how profits are made by artfully combining coffee's material and symbolic attributes. The result is a complex story of terroir and taste, quality and craft, justice and necessity, worth and value.

Truth and Post Truth in Public Policy

Author : Frank Fischer
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The phenomenon of post-truth poses a problem for the public policy-oriented sciences, including policy analysis. Along with “fake news,” the post-truth denial of facts constitutes a major concern for numerous policy fields. Whereas a standard response is to call for more and better factual information, this Element shows that the effort to understand this phenomenon has to go beyond the emphasis on facts to include an understanding of the social meanings that get attached to facts in the political world of public policy. The challenge is thus seen to be as much about a politics of meaning as it is about epistemology. The analysis here supplements the examination of facts with an interpretive policy-analytic approach to gain a fuller understanding of post-truth. The importance of the interpretive perspective is illustrated by examining the policy arguments that have shaped policy controversies related to climate change and coronavirus denial.

Uncertainty and Its Discontents

Author : Peter J. Katzenstein
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This volume considers worldviews as foundational concepts for world politics.