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Registration and RecognitionDocumenting the Person in World History$
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Keith Breckenridge and Simon Szreter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265314

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265314.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Recognition and Registration: The Infrastructure of Personhood in World History

Recognition and Registration: The Infrastructure of Personhood in World History

(p.1) Editors’ Introduction: Recognition and Registration: The Infrastructure of Personhood in World History
Registration and Recognition

Simon Szreter

Keith Breckenridge

British Academy

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key arguments and subjects discussed in the book, but it undertakes this review by means of a close investigation of the place of registration in contemporary scholarship. It explores the meaning of the term registration, and then examines the concept in existing social science theory, tracking the limits of its usage in the writings of Michel Foucault, Jack Goody, James Scott, and Amartya Sen's scholarship of social rights. It draws linkages between the chapters in the volume and the existing historiography on documentary government, drawing out the implications, in particular, of Clanchy's work. Moving beyond this review, it offers a theoretical account of the work of registration which highlights the (often neglected) dialectical politics at work in the registration of membership in human collectivities across time and region.

Keywords:   Michel Foucault, Jack Goody, James Scott, Amartya Sen, social rights, documentary government, history of registration, theory of registration, work of registration, social security

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