Censuses in Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom
A Discussion with the authors of Antecedents of Censuses From Medieval to Nation States: How Societies and States Count (Volume 1) and Changes in Censuses from Imperialist to Welfare States: How Societies and States Count (Volume 2), Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
Featuring Rebecca Jean Emigh, UCLA, Sociology; Dylan Riley, UC Berkeley, Sociology; and Patricia Ahmed, South Dakota State, Sociology.
These two volumes are a comprehensive survey of censuses (and before censuses, census-like information gathering) starting in the early medieval period to the present in England/UK, the US, and Italy. They develop a new theory of information gathering to explain the social and state forces that shape how and when information gathering is undertaken. Central to this process of information gathering is classification, that is, how people are put into socially relevant groups, such as men and women, and how social and demographic characteristics are attached to these groups. For most of history, until very recently, much more information was collected about men than about women, as early censuses were generally collected to assess resources and distribute political benefits, which were more often attached to men, not to women. However, as the purpose of censuses shifted towards collecting population information, which then became construed socially as knowledge, information collection about men and women became more symmetrical. The books trace this shift from resource collection to knowledge collection over time and region, and thus, contribute to understanding how our knowledge of women and men shifted over time and place.
Organized by: UCLA Department of Sociology
Cosponsored by: UCLA CAPPP, UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies, and UCLA Center for the Study of Women