Contemporary Perspectives in the Sociology of Knowledge
Author: Nico Stehr,Volker Meja
Publisher: Transaction Pub
Category: Social Science
The sociology of knowledge is a critical, evolving field in the analysis of cultural products. Basic to the social sciences and humanities alike, the field is currently undergoing a renaissance. The sixteen original contributions to this volume by a group of social scientists, philosophers, and historians drawn from many nations and vantage points of science represent novel theoretical and empirical efforts to transform the sociology of knowledge, its established boundaries, issues, and solutions. The essays discuss the dis�torting effect of ideology; recent developments toward sociologically in�formed epistemology; the relationship between common sense knowledge and scientific knowledge; the social organization and practice of science; the interrelations between power and knowledge in modern society; and theories of cognition and a general sociology of knowledge. This is the first major compendium in the sociology of knowledge to be issued in more than a decade. Contents and Contributors: Joseph Gabel, "Is Non-Ideological Thought Possible?"; Pierre Ansart, "Is All Social Knowledge Ideological?"; David Bloor, "Durkheim and Mauss Revisited"; Michael J. Melkay, "Knowledge and Utility"; Niklas Luhmann, "The Differentiation of Advances in Knowl�edge"; Gunther Dux, "Strategies Toward a Sociology of Cognition"; Betty Barnes, "The Conventional Character of Knowledge and Cognition"; Gerard Namer, "The Triple Legitimation"; Karin Knorr-Cetina, "Toward a Microsociology of Scientific Knowledge"; Johannes Weiss, "Cognitive Radi�calism and Societal Power"; Juan Corradi, "The Modern Husbandry of Knowledge"; Norbert Elias, "An Interview with Peter Ludes"; Paul Forman, "How Cultural Values Prescribed the Character and the Lessons Ascribed to Quantum Mechanics"; W. Baldamus, "Epistemology and Sociology"; Ger-not Bohme, "An Essay on the Relations of Scientific and Everyday Knowl�edge"; Marie-Noel Stourdze and Helene Strohl, "The Knowledge of the Eater."
Contemporary Perspectives in the Sociology of Knowledge and Science
Author: Donald N. Levine
Category: Social Science
The sociology of knowledge is generally seen as part of the sociology of cultural products. Along with the sociology of science, it explores the social character of science and in particular the social production of scientific knowledge. Knowledge in all its varieties is of crucial importance in social, political, and economic relations in modern society. Yet new realities, the editors argue in their introduction to this second edition, require a new perspective.In the past half century, the social role of knowledge has changed profoundly. The natural attitude toward scientific knowledge in science that assigned a special status to science's knowledge claims has lost its dominance, and the view that all knowledge is socially constructed has gained general acceptance. Science increasingly influences the political agenda in modern societies. Consequently, a new political field has emerged: knowledge politics.These fourteen essays by social scientists, philosophers, and historians cover fundamental issues, theoretical perspectives, knowledge and power, and empirical studies. Eight of the fourteen contributions were part of the first edition of Society and Knowledge, published in 1984, and most of these have been updated and revised for this new edition. Included in this edition are six new contributions by Robert K. Merton, Steve Fuller, Dick Pels, Nico Stehr, Barry Schwartz, and Michael Lynch.This second, revised edition builds on its predecessor in presenting cutting-edge theoretical and empirical efforts to transform the sociology of knowledge. Professionals, policymakers, and graduate students in the fields of sociology, political science, and social science will find this volume of interest and importance.
Religions have always been associated with particular forms of knowledge, often knowledge accorded special significance and sometimes knowledge at odds with prevailing understandings of truth and authority in wider society. New religious movements emerge on the basis of reformulated, often controversial, understandings of how the world works and where ultimate meaning can be found. Governments have risen and fallen on the basis of such differences and global conflict has raged around competing claims about the origins and content of religious truth. Such concerns give rise to recurrent questions, faced by academics, governments and the general public. How do we treat statements made by religious groups and on what basis are they made? What authorities lie behind religious claims to truth? How can competing claims about knowledge be resolved? Are there instances when it is appropriate to police religious knowledge claims or restrict their public expression? This book addresses the relationship between religion and knowledge from a sociological perspective, taking both religion and knowledge as phenomena located within ever changing social contexts. It builds on historical foundations, but offers a distinctive focus on the changing status of religious phenomena at the turn of the twenty-first century. Including critical engagement with live debates about intelligent design and the ‘new atheism’, this collection of essays brings recent research on religious movements into conversation with debates about socialisation, reflexivity and the changing capacity of social institutions to shape human identities. Contributors examine religion as an institutional context for the production of knowledge, as a form of knowledge to be transmitted or conveyed and as a social field in which controversies about knowledge emerge.
'Science, Technology, and Society' offers approximately 150 articles written by major scholars and experts from academic and scientific institutions worldwide. The theme is the functions and effects of science and technology in society and culture.
A Historical Sociology of Biological and Chemical Warfare
Author: Professor Brian Balmer
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Technology & Engineering
It is no secret that twentieth-century Britain was governed through a culture of secrecy, and secrecy was particularly endemic in military research and defence policy surrounding biological and chemical warfare. More generally, it is hard to exaggerate the role of secrecy in all past biological and chemical warfare programmes and several recent historical surveys of biological and chemical warfare research have emphasised that all state sponsored programmes, together with sub-state organised activities, were cloaked in utmost secrecy. Of these research programmes, Britain carried out one of the most significant in scale and scope in the twentieth century. Yet, partly because of the secrecy surrounding the programme, there is still little academic literature on its historical development. Equally, and despite secrecy being a pervasive feature of past and contemporary societies, social scientists and historians have paid relatively little scholarly attention to the nature, mechanics and effects of secrecy, particularly with regard to secrecy in relation to the production and governance of science and technology. Drawing on classical sociological writing on secrecy by Simmel, Merton and Shils this groundbreaking book by Brian Balmer draws on recently declassified documents to investigate significant episodes in the history of biological and chemical warfare. At the same time, it draws on more contemporary perspectives in science and technology studies that understand knowledge and social order as co-produced within heterogeneous networks of 'things and people' in order to develop a theoretical set of arguments about how the relationship between secrecy and science might be understood.
Notes on contributors Acknowledgements 1. The Idiom of Co-production Sheila Jasanoff 2. Ordering Knowledge, Ordering Society Sheila Jasanoff 3. Climate Science and the Making of a Global Political Order Clark A. Miller 4. Co-producing CITES and the African Elephant Charis Thompson 5. Knowledge and Political Order in the European Environment Agency Claire Waterton and Brian Wynne 6. Plants, Power and Development: Founding the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 1880-1914 William K. Storey 7. Mapping Systems and Moral Order: Constituting property in genome laboratories Stephen Hilgartner 8. Patients and Scientists in French Muscular Dystrophy Research Vololona Rabeharisoa and Michel Callon 9. Circumscribing Expertise: Membership categories in courtroom testimony Michael Lynch 10. The Science of Merit and the Merit of Science: Mental order and social order in early twentieth-century France and America John Carson 11. Mysteries of State, Mysteries of Nature: Authority, knowledge and expertise in the seventeenth century Peter Dear 12. Reconstructing Sociotechnical Order: Vannevar Bush and US science policy Michael Aaron Dennis 13. Science and the Political Imagination in Contemporary Democracies Yaron Ezrah 14. Afterword Sheila Jasanoff References Index
In this easily accessible text, Mark Erickson explains what science is and how it is carried out, the nature of the relationship between science and society, the representation of science in contemporary culture, and how scientific institutions are structured.
This book covers some of the major contributions Sal Restivo has made to the sociology of science over the past twenty years. His work has been guided by three agendas: to develop a sociological theory of science and scientific knowledge; to use the sociology of science as a vehicle for developing a sociology of objectivity; and to explore the relationships between science, objectivity, and human values. He has tried - in his career and, specifically, in this volume - to understand science without accepting the culture of science uncritically. In his introduction, Restivo provides a view of the sociology of science from his perspective as a working sociologist of science. He sketches the sociology of science landscape and provides some preliminary indications of why a critical sociology of science is needed. Then, showing the influence of classical social theorists such as Marx, Durkheim, and Nietzsche, and later theorists such as G. H. Mead and C. W. Mills, he writes on the scientific revolution (using a human ecology approach), science and progress, the science machine (i.e., industrialized science), the anthropology of science, science policy, and epistemology. His substantive concerns lead directly to his proposal in the concluding chapter for a sociology of objectivity. In chapter 2, Restivo argues for a conception of the scientific revolution as an organizational and institutional revolution. This is crucial for understanding the author's claim in chapters 3 and 4 that modern science is a social problem, and his later claims about scientific knowledge as a social construction. There, the author begins to unfold a defense of anarchy in society and inquiry. In chapter 5, Restivo shows how his early study of visiting foreign scientists in America raised the question of ideology in science for him. He concludes the chapter by underscoring the results of the so-called "laboratory studies," in particular the suspension of a host of conventional dichotomies such as social/technical, fact/ artifact, and internal/external. Chapter 6 then examines issues of science policy and scientific validity from a sociology and anthropology of science perspective. The concept of a critical sociology of science is linked to the program for developing what Marx called a "human science." The final chapter includes a section on the sociology of mathematics, an area Restivo has pioneered in.
A classical sociologist can be defined as someone whose "works occupied a central position among the sociological ideas and notions of an era." Following this criterion, Michaela Pfadenhauer demonstrates the relevance of Peter L. Berger's work to the sociology of knowledge. Pfadenhauer shows that Berger is not only a sociologist of religion, but one whose works are characterized by a sociology-of-knowledge perspective. Berger stands out among his fellow social scientists both quantitatively and qualitatively. He has written numerous books, which have been translated into many languages, and a multitude of essays in scholarly journals and popular magazines. For decades, he has played a role in shaping both public debate and social scientific discourse in America and far beyond. As a sociologist of knowledge, Berger has played three roles: he has been a theoretician of modern life, an analyst of modern religiosity, and an empiricist of global economic culture. In all areas, the focus on processes rather than status quo is characteristic of Berger's thinking. This book provides an in-depth view on the critical thinking of one of the most important sociologists that present times has to offer. It includes four written essays by Berger.
"The exploration of the social conditions that facilitate or retard the search for scientific knowledge has been the major theme of Robert K. Merton's work for forty years. This collection of papers [is] a fascinating overview of this sustained inquiry. . . . There are very few other books in sociology . . . with such meticulous scholarship, or so elegant a style. This collection of papers is, and is likely to remain for a long time, one of the most important books in sociology."—Joseph Ben-David, New York Times Book Review "The novelty of the approach, the erudition and elegance, and the unusual breadth of vision make this volume one of the most important contributions to sociology in general and to the sociology of science in particular. . . . Merton's Sociology of Science is a magisterial summary of the field."—Yehuda Elkana, American Journal of Sociology "Merton's work provides a rich feast for any scientist concerned for a genuine understanding of his own professional self. And Merton's industry, integrity, and humility are permanent witnesses to that ethos which he has done so much to define and support."—J. R. Ravetz, American Scientist "The essays not only exhibit a diverse and penetrating analysis and a deal of historical and contemporary examples, with concrete numerical data, but also make genuinely good reading because of the wit, the liveliness and the rich learning with which Merton writes."—Philip Morrison, Scientific American "Merton's impact on sociology as a whole has been large, and his impact on the sociology of science has been so momentous that the title of the book is apt, because Merton's writings represent modern sociology of science more than any other single writer."—Richard McClintock, Contemporary Sociology
Climate change is one of the most critical issues of the twenty-first century, presenting a major intellectual challenge to both the natural and social sciences. While there has been significant progress in natural science understanding of climate change, social science analyses have not been as fully developed. Climate Change and Society breaks new theoretical and empirical ground by presenting climate change as a thoroughly social phenomenon, embedded in behaviors, institutions, and cultural practices. This collection of essays summarizes existing approaches to understanding the social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of climate change. From the factors that drive carbon emissions to those which influence societal responses to climate change, the volume provides a comprehensive overview of the social dimensions of climate change. An improved understanding of the complex relationship between climate change and society is essential for modifying ecologically harmful human behaviors and institutional practices, creating just and effective environmental policies, and developing a more sustainable future. Climate Change and Society provides a useful tool in efforts to integrate social science research, natural science research, and policymaking regarding climate change and sustainability. Produced by the American Sociological Association's Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change, this book presents a challenging shift from the standard climate change discourse, and offers a valuable resource for students, scholars, and professionals involved in climate change research and policy.
The Growing Impact of Scientific Knowledge on Social Relations
Author: Gernot Böhme,Nico Stehr
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
The original essays collected here under the general title of The Knowledge Society were first commissioned for a conference held in the late fall of 1984 at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, West Germany. The conference in Darmstadt saw a larger number of contribu tions presented than could be accommodated in this edition of the Sociol ogy of the Sciences Yearbook. However, all contributions were important and affected those published in this collection. We are therefore grateful to all participants of the Darmstadt conference for their presentations and for their intense, useful as well as thoughtful discussion of all papers. Those chosen for publication in the Yearbook and those undoubtedly to be published elsewhere have all benefitted considerably from our discussions in Darmstadt which also included a number of the members of the edito rial board of the Yearbook. In addition, we are pleased that the authors were able to read and comment further on each other's papers prior to publication. As is the case in every endeavor of this kind, we have incurred many debts and are only able to acknowledge these at this point publicly while expressing our sincere thanks and appreciation for all the intellectual sup port and the considerable labor invested by a number of persons in the realization of the collection.
Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History
Author: Alice O'Connor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Progressive-era "poverty warriors" cast poverty in America as a problem of unemployment, low wages, labor exploitation, and political disfranchisement. In the 1990s, policy specialists made "dependency" the issue and crafted incentives to get people off welfare. Poverty Knowledge gives the first comprehensive historical account of the thinking behind these very different views of "the poverty problem," in a century-spanning inquiry into the politics, institutions, ideologies, and social science that shaped poverty research and policy. Alice O'Connor chronicles a transformation in the study of poverty, from a reform-minded inquiry into the political economy of industrial capitalism to a detached, highly technical analysis of the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the poor. Along the way, she uncovers the origins of several controversial concepts, including the "culture of poverty" and the "underclass." She shows how such notions emerged not only from trends within the social sciences, but from the central preoccupations of twentieth-century American liberalism: economic growth, the Cold War against communism, the changing fortunes of the welfare state, and the enduring racial divide. The book details important changes in the politics and organization as well as the substance of poverty knowledge. Tracing the genesis of a still-thriving poverty research industry from its roots in the War on Poverty, it demonstrates how research agendas were subsequently influenced by an emerging obsession with welfare reform. Over the course of the twentieth century, O'Connor shows, the study of poverty became more about altering individual behavior and less about addressing structural inequality. The consequences of this steady narrowing of focus came to the fore in the 1990s, when the nation's leading poverty experts helped to end "welfare as we know it." O'Connor shows just how far they had traveled from their field's original aims.
The classic work that redefined the sociology of knowledge and has inspired a generation of philosophers and thinkers In this seminal book, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society. Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, Berger and Luckmann go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge—the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people. When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term social construction,effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.
The contrast between the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and Karl Mannheim's sociology of knowledge has often been noted, but never fully explicated. Most accounts of the Frankfurt School's critique of Mannheim have taken the form of partisan affirmations or denials of its success. This study provides the first detailed comparison of these two conflicting approaches to the theory of ideology. Following reconstructions of the origins of the two perspectives and a review of the Frankfurt School's critique of Mannheim, a systematic comparison is developed around the four central issues of totality, consciousness and social existence, ideology, and truth. An analysis of the significance of the contrast for current debates in social theory is offered in conclusion.
Wilhelm 'Gi' Baldamus (1908–1991) was one of the most distinctive voices in British sociology in the second half of the twentieth century. He made major contributions to both industrial sociology and sociological theory, yet many of his central concerns remain under-explored. This volume is the first of its kind to engage with these questions and Baldamus’ responses, in combination with the publication of two of Baldamus's own later writings never before printed in English. A substantial biographical introduction by the editors situates this work within the context of Baldamus’s life both before and after his exile from Nazi Germany, adding background to the exploration of his concerns that research should be underpinned by meticulous theoretical and conceptual work. It will be of interest to sociologists, social theorists, intellectual historians, and those working in the field of social science research methods.'
What are systems? What is society? What happens to human beings in a hypermodern world? This book is an introduction to Niklas Luhmann's social system theory which explains specific functions like economy and mass media from a cybernetic perspective. Integrating various schools of thought including sociology, philosophy and biology Luhmann Explained results in an overall analysis of "world society". Special attention is given to the present-day relevance of Luhmann's theory with respect to globalization, electronic mass media, ethics, and new forms of protest.