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Science and Technology in Society. From Biotechnology to the Internet. Key Themes in Sociology

  • ID: 2248025
  • Book
  • August 2005
  • 160 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This thoughtful and engaging text challenges the widely held notion of science as somehow outside of society, and the idea that technology proceeds automatically down a single inevitable path. Through specific case studies involving contemporary debates, this book shows that science and technology are fundamentally part of society and are shaped by it.

Drawing on concepts from political sociology, organizational analysis, and contemporary social theory, this book is a first–rate study of technoscience that places power, stratification, and discourse at its center. The author shows how actors (typically social groups or organizations) in powerful positions shape developments in technoscience in significant ways, and how new developments affect people differently depending on class, race, gender, and geographical location. Avoiding dense theoretical debate, this book is ideal for those interested in science and technology studies.

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1. Science is Political/ Technology is Social: Concerns, Concepts, and Questions.

Why is Thinking about Science and Technology so Hard?.

Technoscience is Social.

Technoscience is Political.

2. Ceding Debate: Biotechnology and Agriculture.

Biotechnology and the Social Organization of Agriculture and Agri–business.

The Discursive Landscape in the Debate over Biotechnology.


3. Rethinking Information Technology: Caught in the World Wide Web.

Understanding the Digital Divide.

High Technology Education.

Politics, Civil Action, and the Internet.


4. Owning Technoscience: Understanding the New Intellectual Property Battles.

Intellectual Property, Social Common Sense, and the Knowledge Commons.

Intellectual Property and the Information Technology Revolution.

Owning Life: Intellectual Property in Biological Materials.

Intellectual Property and Innovation.


5. Technoscience in the Third World: The Politics of Indigenous Resources.


Science, Technology, and Colonialism.

From Colonialism to Bio–Colonialism.

Towards Equity in the Exchange of Biological Resources.


6. Gender and the Ideology of Merit: Women, Men, Science, and Engineering.

Merit and Stratification in Science.

Women, Men, and Academic Science.

Women and Men in Science–Based Industry.

Beyond Stratification in Science and Engineering: Artifacts and Research as Gendered.


7. Democracy and Expertise: Citizenship in a High Tech Age.

The Limits to Expert Knowledge.

The Virtues of Lay Knowledge.

Barriers to Democratizing Technoscience and Expertise.

Strategies for Overcoming the Obstacles.


8. Confronting the Problem: A Summary and Coda.



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Daniel Lee Kleinman
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