Put to the Test: For a New Sociology of Testing

Stark, David C.; Marres, Noortje

A test can be defined as an orchestrated attempt to reveal an entity's potentially unknown properties or capacities. There are stress tests and screen tests, personality tests and citizenship tests, tests of strength and tests of faith. Tests have become such a familiar genre that today it seems almost anything can be a test situation. The challenge that a new sociology of testing must address is that ubiquitous testing changes the relations between science, engineering and sociology: Engineering is today in the very stuff of where society happens. It is not that the tests of 21st Century engineering occur within a social context but that it is the very fabric of the social that is being put to the test.


  • thumnail for Marres and Stark Put to the Test BJS.pdf Marres and Stark Put to the Test BJS.pdf application/pdf 333 KB Download File

Also Published In

The British Journal of Sociology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
April 2, 2020


Preprint version.