With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.
Chapter 14: Culture: Science Studies and Technoscience
Culture: Science Studies and Technoscience
Sociology's general concepts and methodological strategies are simply overwhelmed by the heterogeneity and technical density of the language, equipment and skills through which mathematicians, scientists and practitioners in many other fields make their affairs accountable. (Lynch, 1992: pp. 298–299)
Science and technology studies (STS) was born in the early 1970s as an extension of the sociology of knowledge (Durkheim, 1995; Durkheim and Mauss, 1963; Mannheim, 1936) into the hitherto forbidden territory of science. For much of its first 20 years, its practitioners presented a united front on a philosophically charged battlefield, but as the focus of STS research moved away from scientific knowledge and towards explorations of scientific practice (Pickering, 1992), a rift developed between what I ...