Knowledge and the Social Sciences takes as its point of departure the claims that all forms of knowledge, the social sciences included, must be seen and understood in their social context. It argues that the social sciences both describe and transform their object of study, though rarely in ways that social scientists intend, and introduces students to the key epistemological and philosophical terms and issues essential for further study in the social sciences.
In a radical and yet lucid and practical introduction to ways of thinking and knowing in the social sciences this text investigates:
* the origins and consequences of different types of knowledge in substantive areas of social change: medical practice, religious beliefs, and the environment
* whether there is a decline in public trust of expert knowledge systems
* whether we are entering a knowledge society, a fragmented post-modern society, or a risk society.