Cooking data : culture and politics in an African research world / Crystal Biruk.Material type: TextSeries: Critical global health: Publisher: Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2018Description: xiii, 277 pages ; 24 cmISBN: 9780822370895; 9780822370741; 0822370743; 0822370891Subject(s): Medical anthropology -- Malawi | AIDS (Disease) -- Research -- Malawi -- Methodology | HIV infections -- Research -- Malawi -- MethodologyDDC classification: 306.4/61096897 LOC classification: GN296.5.M42 | B57 2018
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|Main library collection New Arrivals||306 .461 Bir 2018||Available||T 19158|
Includes bibliographical references and index.
The office in the field: building survey infrastructures -- Living project to project: brokering local knowledge in the field -- Clean data, messy gifts: soap-for-information transactions in the field -- Materializing clean data in the field -- When numbers travel: the politics of making evidence-based policy -- Conclusion: Anthropology in and of (critical) global health.
Offers an ethnographic account of research into the demographics of HIV and AIDS in Malawi to rethink the production of quantitative health data. While research practices are often understood within a clean/dirty binary, the author shows that data are never clean; rather, they are always "cooked" during their production and inevitably entangled with the lives of those who produce them. Examining how the relationship among fieldworkers, supervisors, respondents, and foreign demographers shape data, the author examines the ways in which unites of information - such as survey questions and numbers written onto questionnaires by fieldworkers - acquire value as statistics that go on to shape national AIDS policy. Her approach illustrates how on-the-ground dynamics and research cultures mediate the production of global health statistics in ways that impact local economies and formulations of power and expertise.