David Beer discusses Metric Power on the New Books in Critical Theory podcast with Dave O’Brien.
How do metrics rule the social world? In Metric Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) David Beer, Reader in Sociology at the University of York, outlines the rise of the metric and the role of metrics in shaping everyday life. The book outlines the core theoretical concepts, such as neo-liberalism, bio-power, and bio-politics, alongside the characteristics themes of metric power, including practices of making (in)visible, the social life of methods and data, and questions of agency. These theoretical discussions are set against the broad backdrop of the rise of big data, corporate power, social media, and algorithm based decision making. Metric Power is located within the study of broader social inequalities, meaning the book makes important reading for anyone concerned with how our daily experiences of technologies, organisations, and social institutions, are shaped, unequally, by the power of metrics.