Calculating the Human: Universal Calculability in the Age of by Luigi Doria (auth.)

By Luigi Doria (auth.)

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Additional info for Calculating the Human: Universal Calculability in the Age of Quality Assurance

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Through processes of qualification,41 producers cooperate with consumers (in a scene involving a multitude of other social actors, including civil society organizations and public institutions) in order to shape and reshape the qualities of the goods and ‘adjust’ them to the world of the buyer. The qualification processes42 are, therefore, practices of treatment and manipulation of technological and socio-cultural phenomena, intended to translate those phenomena into the form of quality of products/services.

720). On the other hand, however, our thoughts turn in the direction recently taken by the debate on the qualculative sphere, in the article by Callon and Law quoted above. From Callon and Law’s theoretical perspective, the issue is not merely the fact that, in contemporary calculative scenarios, ‘spaces’ of incalculability are bound to constantly emerge (to become the subject of new calculative operations, which result in the emergence of new areas of incalculability). Instead, what is more specifically at issue is the co-othering relationship between the dimension of the calculable and that of the incalculable.

21) The explicit reference here is to Michael Power’s vast and fertile reflection on the universe of auditing, on the emergence at of an audit society at the end of the twentieth century, and on the ambiguous and epistemologically obscure nature of auditing itself. 34 Calculating the Human The discursive and technological universe of auditing and the sphere of quality are closely related, although audit may be regarded as just one of the technologies of quality assurance. This is not only because the lexicon of auditing can be translated (for the most part, and perhaps in its entirety) in terms of the audit of quality (of managerial quality, organizational quality, environmental quality, quality of administration, quality of public services), but because, as Power himself points out, ‘Audits do as much to construct definitions of quality and performance as to monitor them’ (Power, 1994, p.

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