Science cultures

Authored by: Alex Preda

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159

10.4324/9780203891377.ch43

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Abstract

Any sociologist writing on the topic of science cultures is almost immediately confronted with an apparent paradox: while the study of culture(s) has become increasingly popular among sociologists (for instance, the American Sociological Association’s sociology of culture section is one of the largest), culture has apparently been increasingly marginalized in sociological inquiries of science. To give but one example, the third edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (Hackett et al. 2007), a work of over one thousand pages giving a state of the art overview of the field, mentions culture only in a few places, mostly in describing the relationship between the usage of technologies and law or health movements. The lack of attention to culture is even more intriguing if we take into account that the new sociology of science emerging in the late 1970s has substantially contributed to investigating the role of culture in the production and adoption of forms of scientific knowledge, as well as in the dynamics of scientific disciplines.

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