Our Book of the Month choice for February

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Subject Consultant John Southall, selecting a book from the SSL shelves.

February’s Book of the Month was selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology.


Evelyn Ruppert & Stephan Schell

Data Practices: making up a European people

HB3582.5.A3.DAT 2021





It was chosen because it presents a set of detailed case studies in the practice of statistical data production and research methodologies within the Social Sciences.

Book Overview

This work focuses on data practices that involve establishing and assigning people to categories and goes on to consider how this matters in enacting Europe as a population and people. Five core chapters explore key categories of people – usual residents, refugees, homeless people, migrants, and ethnic minorities – and how they come into being through specific data methodologies. This includes practices such as defining, estimating, recalibrating and inferring. Additional chapters address two key subject positions that data practices produce and require: the data subject and the statistician subject.


The entities we call “Europe” and “European” can be studied in many ways, through history, institutions, language, and cultural practices… How people are counted and who is counted are crucial to both our understanding of populations and of politics.

Sally Wyatt, Professor of Digital Cultures, Maastricht University

This rigorous collection brings home how we are living through a crucial period in which data is mobilised in increasingly powerful and pervasive ways.”

Mike Savage, Professor of Sociology, LSE.

How can I access it?

This title is available in hard copy in the library and is currently located in our New Books Display Area (around the corner from our Issue Desk). Its shelfmark is HB3582.5.A3.DAT 2021 and it is available to borrow by Oxford University students and staff members.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heartWhat would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

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