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How Our Days Became NumberedRisk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual$
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Dan Bouk

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226259178

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226259208.001.0001

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Numbering in Layers

Numbering in Layers

Chapter:
(p.209) Conclusion: Numbering in Layers
Source:
How Our Days Became Numbered
Author(s):

Dan Bouk

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226259208.003.0008

This chapter draws three sets of conclusions from the book: first, that economic or political controversy created opportunities for the expansion of risk making; second, that the kinds of risks being made also expanded from purely vital risks to include economic risks too; and third, that risk makers generated with each of their expansions a proliferation of statistics, serial numbers, and databases tied to those being made into risks. The chapter uses Dorothea Lange’s photograph of Tom Cave and his social security number tattoo to work through these conclusions and to present a brief history of the migration of corporate risk-making methods from life insurance into the New Deal welfare state.

Keywords:   Dorothea Lange, tattoo, social security, Tom Cave, welfare state, New Deal, risks, life insurance

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