By Luigi Doria (auth.)
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Extra resources for Calculating the Human: Universal Calculability in the Age of Quality Assurance
In this way, the proﬁle of a particular good and the limits of a given market are deﬁned. The protagonists of these qualiﬁcation operations are complex calculating agencies, which, in line with one of the fundamental assumptions of the actor-network theory, take the form of socio-material networks – of networks, in other words, which are constituted not only of human agents but also of technical devices. The latter take widely differing forms, including, but not limited to, schemes of classiﬁcation, of measurement criteria, of certiﬁcation formats, of accounting methods and of quality standards.
The ﬁrst of these concerns the emergence of quality as a keyword in the management discourse (on business management and on public management) starting from the 1980s. The second regards the establishment of quality of life as one of the key concepts in the social, political and economic discourse from the second half of the twentieth century onwards. The path leading to quality’s assumption of power in business management stems from the ﬁeld of technical control of product quality. Initially, the scene was thus dominated by the concept of conformity with respect to predetermined standards.
Shore and Wright (1999; 2000) view auditing as a political technology which, in the frame of neo-liberal governmentality, develops through the internalization by individuals of normative frames and through processes of self-activation and self-policing. The anthropological analysis of the universe of quality and audit culture in the educational ﬁeld identiﬁes the presence of forms of coercive accountability (Shore and Wright 2000). The regime of quality is analysed by Morley (2003) with regard to both the macro-systems of accountability, control and regulation and the micro-dynamics through which quality inﬂuences the cultural and relational environments in universities.
Calculating the Human: Universal Calculability in the Age of Quality Assurance by Luigi Doria (auth.)