Wendy Nelson Espeland, Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University.
Media rankings of universities are a relatively recent development. I will discuss the mostly unintentional effects of rankings on how schools make decisions, distribute resources, and exercise power. Rankings, like many kinds of measures are interventions in the world that change the objects they measure. I will argue that we need careful, detailed studies of particular measures in order to better understand how they remake our social worlds.
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