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Making It CountStatistics and Statecraft in the Early People’s Republic of China$
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Arunabh Ghosh

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179476

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179476.001.0001

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No “Mean” Solution

No “Mean” Solution

Reformulating Statistics, Disciplining Scientists

(p.89) 4 No “Mean” Solution
Making It Count

Arunabh Ghosh

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how this new understanding of statistics became dominant in the 1950s and how it affected the valuation of key concepts and methods. It first unpacks attempts at demarcation by focusing on the nearly decade-long sequence of publications that sought to criticize Anglo-American “bourgeois” statistics and its practitioners. The chapter then shifts to the changes in statistical education and to the debates over the content of statistics. In broad terms, the consequences of this transition are well known: as a social science, statistics dealt with the social world rather than the natural world. As a result, it was bifurcated from what was seen as the abstract and formal theorizing of mathematical statistics, which was, in turn, banished to departments of mathematics.

Keywords:   Jin Guobao, bourgeois statistics, statistical education, social science, mathematical statistics

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