demographic survey

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Nick Durie
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Joined: 12-09-04
May 4 2005 20:58
demographic survey

Lifted from another thread, I wanted to discuss this. The comment was made by 'cantdocartwheels'. I'd like to open it up for discussion coz I'm quite interested in the ideas it poses for us.

Quote:
What would be really interesting is a truly demographic study conducted by anarchists into the differences in varying social groups within the class in say dublin and a comparably sized english city. It would take a little while but i think it would be bloody useful. Wish i had enough grasp of statistics to do that.
Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Joined: 17-07-06
May 4 2005 21:22

What is meant by "varying social groups"?

And what do statistics prove?

WeTheYouth
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Joined: 16-10-03
May 4 2005 23:49
Jack wrote:
rkn wrote:
And what do statistics prove?

confused

Surely you're not pretending that statistics aren't a hugely useful tool for analysising situations?

It depends what you are trying to analyse. Positivism can only go so far.

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Steven.
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May 5 2005 09:18

If you use statistics right they can tell you a helluva lot. Some people say you can prove anything with statistics - but only if you use them wrong. Psychologists are the worst roll eyes

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the button
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May 5 2005 13:06

Let's not forget the origins of statistics -- literally "the science of the state." Statistics emerged at the same time, & as a key part of, modern governance -- as one of the tactics which created & demarcated "population" as an object & target of goveranance.

Early stats in the UK were on the incidence & geographical distribution of poverty -- thereby marking out "the poor" as a deviant population. Statistics are an aspect of the same regime of power as the prison, the workhouse, the modern schooling system, & so on.

This is not to say that we should have nothing to do with statistics. Fuck, if I boycotted stats I wouldn't have a job wink . My point is not that stats are bad, simply that they are dangerous (to almost quote the button lookie-likie). As anarchists, we should be aware that when we use statistical reasoning, we are potentially (if not always-already wink ) complicit in & with a certain regime of power-knowledge. To revist the title of a popular thread of yesteryear, statistics are most definitely not neutral.

(Do I win a fiver for the most-Foucaulian post ever?)

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the button
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May 6 2005 07:53

Hooray! tongue