Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Put to the Test: the Sociology of Testing

Put to the Test: The Sociology of Testing

The Special Issue of the British Journal of Sociology has now been published online. Put to the Test - The Sociology of Testing is edited by CIM Academics Noortje Marres and David Stark.

The Special Issue investigates the changing and expanding role of testing in contemporary society, politics, economy and everyday life, through empirical studies of testing in society - from pregnancy testing to citizen tests by immigration agencies, social credit experiments in China and randomized controlled trials of development - and brings together leading international sociologists and scholars in science and technology studies (STS).

In their introductory essay, the editors discuss why we need a new sociology of testing. For longer video content in which the contributors make links between the themes of the articles and the Coronavirus pandemic, please see the Blindspot website.

British Journal of Sociology, Volume 71, Issue 3

Table of Contents

Noortje Marres

(University of Warwick)

David Stark

(University of Warwick & Columbia University)

Put to the Test:

For A New Sociology of Testing

Luciana de Souza Leão

(University of Michigan)

What's on trial?

The Making of Field Experiments

Joan Robinson

(City College of New York, CUNY)

What the pregnancy test is testing

Janet Vertesi

(Princeton University)

Testing planets:

Institutions tested in an era of uncertainty

Jonathan Bach

(The New School)

The red and the black:

China's social credit experiment as a total test environment

Martín Tironi

(Pontifical Catholic University of Chile)

Prototyping public friction:

Exploring the political effects of design testing in urban space


Nathan Coombs

(University of Edinburgh)

What do stress tests test?

Experimentation, demonstration, and the sociotechnical performance of regulatory science

Noortje Marres

(University of Warwick)

Co-existence or displacement: Do street trials of intelligent vehicles test society?


Willem Schinkel

(Erasmus University Rotterdam)

State work and the testing contours of citizenship  

Giovanni Formilan

(University of Edinburgh)

David Stark

(University of Warwick & Columbia University)

Underground testing:

Name-altering practices as probes in electronic music