“Making up people”

Work on the ways in which classifications of people affect the people classified, in particular the ways that individuals think of themselves, and how this affects their actions, and open up or close off possible futures will be continued. Further arguments will be made for a “looping effect”, so that the criteria for classification change as the people who are classified change. Ways in which a new classification can in a certain sense bring a new kind of person into existence—a kind that simply did not exist beforehand will be explored. In the past the focus has tended to be on kinds of deviant behaviour, but similar analyses seem to be helpful for understanding racial and ethnic classifications.

Project leader(s):
  • Ian Hacking (Toronto)

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