Geoffrey Bowker, Bruno Latour, James O’Connell

Universality through standardization is at the heart of medical and scientific practice.

2 thoughts on “Geoffrey Bowker, Bruno Latour, James O’Connell

  1. shinichi Post author

    Geoffrey Bowker, ‘How to be Universal: Some Cybernetic Strategies, 1943-70’, Social Studies of Science, Vol. 23 (1993), 107-27;

    Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modem (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993);

    James O’Connell, ‘Metrology: The Creation of Universality by the Circulation of Particulars’, Social Studies of Science, Vol. 23 (1993), 129-73.

  2. shinichi Post author

    Standardization in Action: Achieving Local Universality through Medical Protocols

    by Stefan Timmermans and Marc Berg

    In this paper, we argue that universality is always ‘local universality’. The achievement of local universality depends on how standards manage the tension involved in transforming work practices, while simultaneously being grounded in those practices. We investigate how this is done in two case studies – an oncology protocol and the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) protocol. These protocols are viewed as technoscientific scripts which crystallize multiple trajectories. In the process of obtaining local universality, we illustrate how protocols feed off previous standards and practices. We then indicate how the protocols function through the distributed work of a multitude of heterogeneous actors. Finally, we argue that, in this process, the protocols themselves are necessarily changed and partially reappropriated.


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