Society and Knowledge: Contemporary Perspectives in the Sociology of Knowledge and Science (Second Edition) / Edition 2

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765802958
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/21/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 451
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany, and a fellow of the Center for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, Essen, Germany. During the academic year 2002-2003 he was Paul F. Lazarsfeld Professor at the University of Vienna. Stehr is also a professor emeritus of the University of Alberta. His research interests include sociology, economics and labor, globalization, and ecology.

Volker Meja is professor of sociology at Memorial University in Newfoundland. His other works include Politics and Knowledge, Society and Knowledge, and Modern German Sociology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the development of the sociology of knowledge and science 1
1 The sociology of knowledge 35
2 Durkheim and Mauss revisited : classification and the sociology of knowledge 67
3 Knowledge and utility : implications for the sociology of knowledge 93
4 Toward a sociology of cognition 117
5 The conventional component in knowledge and cognition 151
6 The fabrication of facts : toward a microsociology of scientific knowledge 175
7 Knowledge and power : an interview by Peter Ludes 203
8 Knowledge as product and property 243
9 Mixing metaphors : politics or economics of knowledge? 269
10 Knowledge societies 299
11 Polarity and knowledge 329
12 Kausalitat, Anschaulichkeit, and Individualitat, or how cultural values prescribed the character and the lessons ascribed to quantum mechanics 357
13 Midwifery as science : an essay on the relation between scientific and everyday knowledge 373
14 The discursive production of uncertainty : The OJ Simpson "dream team" and the sociology of knowledge machine 393
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