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Science and Technology in Society: From Biotechnology to the Internet

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4819-1
160 pages
February 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Science and Technology in Society: From Biotechnology to the Internet (1405148195) cover image
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 singular and 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.

  • Draws on concepts from political sociology, organizational analysis, and contemporary social theory.
  • Avoids dense theoretical debate.
  • Includes case studies and concluding chapter summaries for students and scholars.
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Acknowledgments.

Abbreviations.

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.

Conclusions.

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

Understanding the Digital Divide.

High Technology Education.

Politics, Civil Action, and the Internet.

Conclusions.

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.

Conclusion.

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

Introduction.

Science, Technology, and Colonialism.

From Colonialism to Bio-Colonialism.

Towards Equity in the Exchange of Biological Resources.

Conclusions.

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.

Conclusions.

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.

Conclusions.

8. Confronting the Problem: A Summary and Coda.

References.

Index.

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Daniel Lee Kleinman is Professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. He is the author most recently of Impure Cultures: University Biology and the World of Commerce (2003).
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  • Examines the ways that science and technology are integral parts of, and are influenced by, the society in which they exist.

  • Shows how groups and organizations in power shape developments in technoscience, and how new developments affect people differently depending on class, race, gender and location.

  • Draws on concepts from political sociology, organizational analysis, and contemporary social theory.

  • Avoids dense theoretical debate.

  • Includes case studies and concluding chapter summaries for students and scholars.
See More
“Kleinman has written a wise and instructive book that is certain to help the next generation of students from all disciplines understand the increasingly critical issues in science, technology, and society.” David Guston, Arizona State University

"An excellent book for an introduction to science and technology studies in the context of a social science survey course or seminar." Choice

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