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The Social Life of Standards

The real-world development and implementation of standards can be inconsistent and even impractical, but how do communities challenge and reset standards created by others that do not meet their needs?

A new book called The Social Life of Standards provides an ethnographic examination of standards. Edited by QUT Associate Professor Fiona McDonald, in collaboration with Professor Janice E. Graham, Dr Christina Holmes and Distinguished University Professor Regna Darnell, The Social Life of Standards explores twelve ethnographic case studies and reveals how standards – political and technical tools for organising society – are made, subverted, contested and reassembled by local communities in the contexts of science, infectious disease and pandemic management, agriculture and First Nations Peoples.

The Social Life of Standards is available now as a Hardcover, Paperback, EPUB or PDF from UBC Press.

About Fiona McDonald

Associate Professor Fiona McDonald

Fiona is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business & Law and a Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University, Canada and a Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Centre for Public Law.

Fiona’s research encompasses issues related to health governance and has four broad themes:

  • the governance of health and systems (with a focus on rural bioethics and disaster response);
  • the governance of health technologies;
  • the governance of health professionals; and
  • the governance of health organisations.

Fiona’s work has been published in a range of international journals and she has presented at a number of international conferences. You can read more about Fiona in her staff profile.

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