Registration, Classification, and the Remaking of Society
Through an examination of the various means by which the state tracked and delineated the population, particularly through the household registration system, chapter 7 explores how state practices of counting, categorizing, and surveying expressed the Foucaultian notions of governmentality and biopower as core rationalizations of the modern state, as well as how such practices contributed, in turn, to the making of modern society itself. In so doing, this chapter also finds extensive and significant conflicts between the rationalities of administrative efficiency and those of state efficacy or legitimacy. This was particularly the case with the various measures to standardize and register surnames and to classify occupations, which furthered the long-term state goals of homogenizing and making more visible the population but also imposed constraints on administrative rationalities by compelling an acknowledgment of ingrained customs and traditions.
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