Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | Towards the Gigantic: Entification and Standardization as Technologies of Control

Title:
Towards the Gigantic: Entification and Standardization as Technologies of Control
Author:
Jens Røyrvik: University of Science and Technology , NTNU, Social Research, Trondheim, Norway Petter G. Almklov: University of Science and Technology , NTNU, Social Research, Trondheim, Norway
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124617
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2012
Volume:
4
Theme:
Theme: Objectification, Measurement and Standardization Edited by Tord Larsen

Pages:
617-635
No. of pages:
19
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2013-01-24


This paper is based on studies of how standardized entities work as elements in a regime to control risk and hazardous work. Drawing on empirical examples from the petroleum industry and infrastructure sectors, we illustrate not only the mechanisms by which particular modes of entification are involved in regimes of control but also their shortcomings and seductive powers as representations. We show how the world is semantically captured and organized to consist of controllable standardized entities by the organizational regimes in the industries we have studied. This mode of entification is particularly effective in providing transcontextual mobility, as the registered entities can enter the ever-expanding information infra-structures of modernity. Although information infrastructures comprise the standards regulating communication, they commonly materialize in information and communication technologies (ICT) that provide an increasing number of effective and ubiquitous pathways through which standardized semantic signs can move and have effects. This is a core concern in the increasing focus on management by detailed regimes of accountability, measurement and standardization seen in most modern organizations. These developments, combined with the representational shortcomings of the standardized entifications, lead to a movement towards the gigantic. An ever-increasing number of signs with increasingly higher granularity are produced in order to control an ever-elusive non-entified world.

Keywords: Entification; standardization; work; risk; the gigantic; information infrastructures

Volume 4, Theme: Theme: Objectification, Measurement and Standardization Edited by Tord Larsen

, Article 34, 2012

Author:
Jens Røyrvik, Petter G. Almklov
Title:
Towards the Gigantic: Entification and Standardization as Technologies of Control:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124617
References:
  • Almklov, Petter (2008): “Standardized Data and Singular Situations”, Social Studies of Science 38, 873-897.
  • Almklov, Petter & Stian Antonsen (2010): “The Commoditization of Societal Safety”, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 18: 132-144.
  • Almklov, Petter & Stian Antonsen & Jørn Fenstad (2011): “NPM, Kritiske infrastrukturer og samfunnssikkerhet”, [NPM, Critical Infrastructures and Societal Safety], Trondheim: NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS.
  • Almklov, Petter & Vidar Hepsø (2011): “Between and Beyond Data: How Analogue Field Experience Informs the Interpretation of Remote Data Sources in Petroleum Reservoir Geology”, Social Studies of Science 41:4, 539-61.
  • Antonsen Stian & Petter Almklov & Jørn Fenstad (2008): “Reducing the Gap Between Procedures and Practice–lessons from a Successful Safety Intervention”, Safety Science Monitor, 12.
  • Bateson, Gregory (1979): Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, London: Wildwood House.
  • Bateson, Gregory (2000): Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Bowker Geoffrey C. & Susan Leigh Star (1999): Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press.
  • Bowker GC. (2000): “Biodiversity Datadiversity”, Social Studies of Science, 30, 643-683.
  • Christensen, Tom & Per Lægreid (2001) New Public Management: The Transformation of Ideas and Practice. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Pub Ltd.
  • Ciborra, Claudio & Ole Hanseth (2009): “From Tool to Gestell: Agendas for Managing the Information Infrastructure”, Chrisanthi Avgerou (ed.): Bricolage, Care and Information, Basingstoke:Palgrave Macmillan, 160-190.
  • Det Norske Veritas (2003). Kursdokumentasjon – Sikkerhetsanalyse, Det Norske Veritas.
  • Dunleavy Patrick, Helen Margetts, Simon Bastow, Jane Tinkler (2006): “New Public Management is Dead – Long Live Digital-era Governance”, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16: 467-494.
  • Fyhn, Håkon (2010): Møte med tilstedeværelse. [Encounters with Presence]. Phd Thesis, Trondheim: NTNU.
  • Hanseth Ole & Eric Monteiro (1997): “Inscribing Behaviour in Information Infrastructure Standards”, Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, 7, 183-211.
  • Heidegger, Martin (1977a): “The Questioning Concerning Technology”, Martin Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, New York: Harper & Row.
  • Heidegger, Martin (1977b): “The Age of the World Picture”, Martin Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, New York: Harper & Row.
  • Hohnen Pernille & Peter Hasle Peter (2011): “Making Work Environment Auditable: A ‘Critical Case’ Study of Certified Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in Denmark.” Safety Science, 49, 1022-1029.
  • Hood, Christopher (1991): “A Public Management for All Aeasons?” Public Administration, 69, 3-19.
  • Hood, Christopher (2007): “What happens when transparency meets blame-avoidance?” Public Management Review, 9: 191-210.
  • Hood Christopher & Peters Guy (2004): “The Middle Aging of New Public Management: Into the Age of Paradox?” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 14, 267-282.
  • Johansen, Stein (2008): Grunnriss til en differensiell epistemologi, Bergen: Ariadne.
  • Kochan, Jeff (2010): “Latour’s Heidegger”, Social Studies of Science, 40:4, 579-598.
  • Larsen, Tord (1977): “Formalisme/substantivisme – et sentralt erkjennelsesteoretisk problem i antropologien” [Formalism/Substantivism – A Central Epistemological Issue in Anthropology], Manuscript published in reader edited by dept of social anthropology, NTNU: Trondheim.
  • Larsen, Tord (2010): “Acts of Entification”, Nigel Rapport (ed.): Human Nature as Capacity: Transcending Discourse and Classification, New York: Berghahn books, 154-78.
  • Latour Bruno (1987): Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Power, Michael (1994): The Audit Explosion, London: Demos.
  • Ribes, David & Steven J. Jackson (In Press): “Data Bite Man: The Work of Sustaining Long Term Data Collection”, Lisa Gitelman (ed.): Data are Never Raw, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Riis Søren. (2008) “The Symmetry Between Bruno Latour and Martin Heidegger: The Technique of Turning a Police Officer into a Speed Bump”, Social Studies of Science, 38, 285-301.
  • Røyrvik, Jens (2012): “Værvinduet – en teknologisk artikulert entitet i oljeindustriens erobring av natur.” Thesis submitted for PhD in social anthropology, Trondheim: NTNU.
  • Schiølin, Kasper (2012): “Follow the Verbs! A Contribution to the Study of the Heidegger–Latour Connection”, Social Studies of Science, 42, 775-786.
  • Suchman, Lucy (1987): Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-machine Communication, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Volume 4, Theme:: Theme: Objectification, Measurement and Standardization Edited by Tord Larsen

    , Article 34, 2012

    Author:
    Jens Røyrvik, Petter G. Almklov
    Title:
    Towards the Gigantic: Entification and Standardization as Technologies of Control:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124617
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
    No citations available at the moment
     

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text