Expert Knowledge and the Social Imaginary: The Case of the Montreal Check Census
AbstractThe debate provoked by the publication of the 1871 Canadian census findings was an early instance of public attention to social scientific practice. It also raised questions of the "accuracy" of census data, a matter of current interest to social science historians. Dissatisfaction with the 1871 findings led the Montreal City Council to undertake a re-enumeration of the city in 1872. As a comparison of the results shows, the design of a census shapes all aspects of reporting and defines how "population" is configured in the results.