Data for “Day-to-Day Intervention”
This chapter examines the emergence of official attitudes that demanded the data that a population register could provide. It explores the intellectual background to this through government reports and the work of medical researchers. It argues that these illustrate how Foucault’s conceptualisation of power illuminates a study of registration by drawing attention to the nature of the thinking underpinning it. It examines the Statistical Policy Committee, established to realise government’s data goals, interrogating the thinking of its key members in the context of the period’s progressive thought. It shows how they advocated registration and the common numbering of government files and how they planned to handle a public backlash. It also initiates a discussion concerning the relationship between paper-based and computerised files in this period.