Mobilizing Science: Movements, Participation, and the Remaking of Knowledge

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Mobilizing Science theoretically and empirically explores the rise of a new kind of social movement-one that attempts to empower citizens through the use of scientific research. Sabrina McCormick advances theories of social movements, development, and science and technology studies by examining how these fields intersect in cases around the globe.

McCormick grounds her argument in two very different case studies: the anti-dam movement in Brazil and the environmental breast cancer prevention movement in the U.S. These, and many other cases, show that the scientization of society, where expert knowledge shapes institutions and lay people are marginalized, gives rise to these new types of movements. Activists who engage in science often instigate new methods that result in surprising findings and innovative scientific tools; however, these movements still often fail due to superficial participatory institutions and tightly knit corporate/government relationships.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 Mobilizing Science offers a sharp and focused analysis of the complicated relationship between scientists and lay-people in grassroots movements aimed at influencing policies on issues that have a strong technical component. McCormick grounds her arguments in two detailed cases that are extremely different in their overall contexts. Yet she is able to identify similar mechanisms at work, which have useful distinctions that are helpful in thinking about these types of movements more generally.”—William Gamson, Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Media Research and Action Project at Boston College 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439900093
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sabrina McCormick is Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy & Sociology, Michigan State University. She is the author of No Family History: Finding the Environmental Links to Breast Cancer.

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Table of Contents

1. Democratizing Science Movements: Conditions for Success and Failure 
2. The Environmental Breast Cancer Movement and the Scientific Basis for Contestation 
3. Dam Impacts and Anti-dam Protest 
4. Government Institutions and Corporate Interests: Instigating Movement Challenge 
5. Democratizing Science 
6. Democratizing Science as a Mechanismof Co-optation 
7. Long- Term Struggles and Uncertain Futures 
8. A Case for Making Science Accountable 

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