Alain Desrosières’s spectacles: one lens realist, the other constructivist
This paper focuses one central problem that Alain Desrosières has tackled during his whole career, namely how to articulate the two contradictory natures of statistics, that they are at the same times real and constructed. To understand the different strategies that he followed to solve it, we focus on his writing techniques. He was acutely aware of the importance of rhetoric, as shown among other things by his activity as journal editor at the INSEE and by his paper on the importance of the “writing styles” in the genre of the history of statistics. We show that he wrote first and foremost narratives, in which the subject of the action is very often downplayed of even absent. His narrative techniques allowed him to build a very solid bridge between statistics and politics.
KeywordsStatistical Tool Mathematical Tool Uniform Standard Passive Voice Social Question
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