Corporate Mortality Files and Late Industrial Necropolitics

Corporate Mortality Files and Late Industrial Necropolitics This article critically examines the corporate production, archival politics, and socio–legal dimensions of corporate mortality files (CMFs), the largest corporate archive developed by IBM to systematically document industrial exposures and occupational health outcomes for electronics workers. I first provide a history of IBM's CMF project, which amounts to a comprehensive mortality record for IBM employees over the past 40 years. Next, I explore a recent case in Endicott, New York, birthplace of IBM, where the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied IBM's CMFs for workers at IBM's former Endicott plant. Tracking the production of the IBM CMF, the strategic avoidance of this source of big data as evidence for determining a recent legal settlement, alongside local critiques of the IBM CMF project, the article develops what I call “late industrial necropolitics.” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Medical Anthropology Quarterly Wiley

Corporate Mortality Files and Late Industrial Necropolitics

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 American Anthropological Association
ISSN
0745-5194
eISSN
1548-1387
D.O.I.
10.1111/maq.12417
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article critically examines the corporate production, archival politics, and socio–legal dimensions of corporate mortality files (CMFs), the largest corporate archive developed by IBM to systematically document industrial exposures and occupational health outcomes for electronics workers. I first provide a history of IBM's CMF project, which amounts to a comprehensive mortality record for IBM employees over the past 40 years. Next, I explore a recent case in Endicott, New York, birthplace of IBM, where the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied IBM's CMFs for workers at IBM's former Endicott plant. Tracking the production of the IBM CMF, the strategic avoidance of this source of big data as evidence for determining a recent legal settlement, alongside local critiques of the IBM CMF project, the article develops what I call “late industrial necropolitics.”

Journal

Medical Anthropology QuarterlyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

References

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