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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.'
"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
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.
A comprehensive review and analysis of environmental literacy within the context of environmental science and sustainable development. Approaching the topic from multiple perspectives, the book explores the development of human understanding of the environment and human-environment interactions in the fields of biology, psychology, sociology, economics and industrial ecology.
Changing economic circumstances ? namely, an end to the primacy of labour and property as determinants of prosperity ? have created a need for a new theoretical platform: one that transcends standard economic discourse.
This work draws together three key perspectives on science-society relations - public understanding of science, scientific and public governance, and social theory. It shows that 'science' and 'society' combine in many ways such as in citizenship, expertise, governance and democracy.
Ideology and Utopia argues that ideologies are mental fictions whose function is to veil the true nature of a given society. They originate unconsciously in the minds of those who seek to stabilise a social order. Utopias are wish dreams that inspire the collective action of opposition groups which aim at the entire transformation of society. Mannheim shows these two opposing elements to dominate not only our social thought but even unexpectedly to penetrate into the most scientific theories in philosophy, history and the social sciences. This new edition contains a new preface by Bryan S. Turner which describes Mannheim's work and critically assesses its relevance to modern sociology. The book is published with a comprehensive bibliography of Mannheim's major works.
Author: Colin Loader,Mr Volker Meja,Professor David Kettler
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Social Science
This book focuses on the important work of Karl Mannheim by demonstrating how his theoretical conception of a reflexive sociology took shape as a collaborative empirical research programme. The authors show how contemporary work along these lines can benefit from the insights of Mannheim and his students into both morphology and genealogy. It returns Mannheim's sociology of knowledge inquiries into the broader context of a wider project in historical and cultural sociology, whose promising development was disrupted and then partially obscured by the expulsion of Mannheim's intellectual generation. This inspired volume will appeal to sociologists concerned with the contemporary relevance of his work, and who are prepared for a fresh look at Weimar sociology and the legacy of Max Weber.
Soziologische Phantasie, die erstmals 1963 erschienene deutsche Übersetzung von C. Wright Mills‘ The Sociological Imagination, darf zurecht als Meilenstein wissenschaftlich-politischer Debatten in den Vereinigten Staaten betrachtet werden und zählt auch heute noch zu einer der wichtigsten Selbstkritiken der Soziologie. Mills schlägt hier einen dritten Weg zwischen bloßem Empirismus und abgehobener Theorie ein: Er plädiert für eine kritische Sozialwissenschaft, die sich weder bürokratisch instrumentalisieren lässt noch selbstverliebt vor sich hin prozessiert, sondern gesellschaftliche Bedeutung erlangt, indem sie den Zusammenhang von persönlichen Schwierigkeiten und öffentlichen Problemen erhellt. Eben dies sei Aufgabe und Verheißung einer Soziologie, die sich viel zu häufig „einer merkwürdigen Lust an der Attitüde des Unbeteiligten“ hingebe.