Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Walther, C.S., Jones, S.D., Wickens, C.M., Martinez, R.
“The Numbers Are Eye Popping”: Statistical Consciousness as a Discursive Tool to Monitor Same-Sex Demography (2021) Social Currents

DOI: 10.1177/2329496520983850

In this article, we examine newspaper accounts of same-sex demography to examine how journalists use U.S. Census Bureau statistics to discuss changes in lesbian and gay households from 1990 to 2015. We utilized Foucault’s discussion of discourse and discussed what we call statistical consciousness, the use of statistics in everyday life. We support these findings with qualitative examples of each same-sex household increase to show how journalists present statistical data to exaggerate or misrepresent the number of same-sex households in the United States. We argue that the journalists report using U.S. Census Bureau statistics which the journalist then use dramatic and exaggerated reports of same-sex demography. The dramatic and exaggerated reports of same-sex demography influence how people think about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) people and the census. © The Southern Sociological Society 2021.

Author Keywords
Foucault; same-sex demography; statistical consciousness

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