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Biosocial Matters. Rethinking the Sociology–Biology Relations in the Twenty–First Century. Sociological Review Monographs

  • ID: 3615694
  • Book
  • 288 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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After years of disagreements bordering on open hostility between the social and life sciences, there appears to be encouraging signs of reconciliation a shift in terrain where both sides of the erstwhile dispute are questioning their very premises.Biosocial Matters: Rethinking the Sociology–Biology Relations in the Twenty–First Century features a collection of readings from scholars on the vanguard of a reframing of biology/society debates within the sociological disciplines. Posing the question of whether a new biosocial terrain is indeed emerging, contributors explore ways this shift may contribute to a revitalization of sociology and the biological imagination as well. Initial readings frame the battle lines through theoretical and historically–oriented contributions that reveal present renegotiations of the biological/social boundaries. Highlights include Evelyn Fox Keller rethinking the relation between the natural and the human sciences, Eva Jablonka writing on cultural epigenetics, Hannah Landecker on the notion of signal, Tim Newton on the turn to biology, and Steve Fuller on the organism. A final section focuses on in–depth analyses of epigenetics and neuroscience, two key frontiers in current sociology/biology debates. Readings include Des Fitzgerald, Nikolas Rose and Ilina Singh on the ′neuropolis′, John Bone on the nature and structure of neurosociology s promise, and Lisa Blackman on the challenges of new bio/psycho/sociologies. Pioneering and timely,Biosocial Matters offers illuminating insights into the long–overdue realignment between nature and sociology in the emergent decades of the twenty–first century.
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Editorial introduction

1. The biosocial: sociological themes and issues (Maurizio Meloni, Simon Williams and Paul Martin)

Rise of the new biology: implications for the social sciences

2. Thinking about biology and culture: can the natural and human sciences be integrated? (Evelyn Fox Keller)

3. Cultural epigenetics (Eva Jablonka)

4. From boundary–work to boundary object: how biology left and re–entered the social sciences (Maurizio Meloni)

5. The social as signal in the body of chromatin (Hannah Landecker)

Thinking biosocially: promises, problems, prospects

6. Unstable bodies: biosocial perspectives on human variation (Gisli Palsson)

7. The turn to biology (Tim Newton)

8. Organizing the organism: a re–casting of the bio–social interface for our times (Steve Fuller)

9. New bottles for new wine: Julian Huxley, biology and sociology in Britain (Chris Renwick)

Biosocial challenges and opportunities: epigenetics and neuroscience

10. Social epigenetics: a science of social science? (Emma Chung, John Cromby, Dimitris Papadopoulos and Cristina Tufarelli)

11. Epistemic modesty, ostentatiousness and the uncertainties of epigenetics: on the knowledge machinery of (social) science (Martyn Pickersgill)

12. The epigenomic self in personalized medicine: between responsibility and empowerment (Luca Chiapperino and Giuseppe Testa)

13. Living well in the Neuropolis (Des Fitzgerald, Nikolas Rose and Ilina Singh)

14. The nature of structure: a biosocial approach (John Bone)

15. The challenges of new biopsychosocialities: hearing voices, trauma, epigenetics and mediated perception (Lisa Blackman)

Notes on contributors


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Maurizio Meloni is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, UK. He is the author of the upcoming book Political Biology (2016) and has held two EU Marie Curie Fellowships, a Fulbright scholarship, and an Annual Membership (2014 2015) at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, Princeton, NJ USA

Simon Williams is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. His publications include a co–edited collection Debating Biology (2003), and contributions to many other journals such as Body & Society, Sociology, Subjectivities, Sociology of Health & Illness and Social Science and Medicine.

Paul Martin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, and former Director of the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham. He has published in journals such asBioSocieties, New Genetics and Society, Sociology of Health and Illness, andSocial Science and Medicine.
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