1st Edition

Knowledge as Social Order
Rethinking the Sociology of Barry Barnes

Edited By

Massimo Mazzotti

ISBN 9781138251380
Published September 9, 2016 by Routledge
198 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Investigating a theme first pioneered by Barry Barnes in the early 1970s, this volume explores the relationship between social order and legitimate knowledge and is intended as a tribute to Barnes' seminal role in the development of the discipline of science and technology studies (STS). The contributors highlight the way in which Barnes' work has shaped their way of conceptualizing the basic relation between knowledge and society. In doing this they explore the original sociological underpinnings of STS while pointing to the way in which Barnes' interdisciplinary work has been developed to tackle current concerns in the field as well as in social theory. They also address the concerns of social scientists who are investigating the nature of power and agency and the problem of social order, emphasizing the essential role played by scientific knowledge and technological machinery in the construction of social life. Contributors to the volume include Martin Kusch, Steven Loyal, Mark Haugaard, David Bloor, Trevor Pinch, John Dupre, Donald MacKenzie, Harry Collins, Steven Shapin and Karin Knorr Cetina.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Massimo Mazzotti; Relativism at 30,000 feet, David Bloor; Relativism: is it worth the candle?, Trevor Pinch; Who is the industrial scientist? Commentary from academic sociology and from the shop-floor in the United States, ca.1900–ca.1970, Steven Shapin; The meaning of hoaxes, Harry Collins; Objectual practice, Karin Knorr Cetina; Producing accounts: finitism, technology and rule-following, Donald MacKenzie; Power and legitimacy, Mark Haugaard; Barnes on the freedom of the will, Martin Kusch; Agency, responsibility and structure: understanding the migration of asylum seekers to Ireland, Steven Loyal; Against maladaptationism: or what's wrong with evolutionary psychology?, John Dupré; Index.

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Massimo Mazzotti is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Exeter, UK.


'This is a deep, wide-ranging set of essays celebrating the seminal contribution to understanding of scientific knowledge from one of its most unassumingly loyal and clinically exacting sociological thinkers. The strong programme in sociology of scientific knowledge which Barnes jointly founded is critically appraised, further developed, given historical perspective, and clarified vis-a-vis other work, all in one powerful and provocative collection.' Brian Wynne, Lancaster University, UK ’This year - and this book - celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Science Studies Unit at Edinburgh University, and the beginning of science studies as a discipline. To both, Barry Barnes has made a lasting contribution. Here, eleven leading scholars show how his influence helped transform the sociology of scientific knowledge, by demonstrating the relationship between knowledge, practice, and structure. The result is essential reading for all who see - or who still fail to see - science as a social activity.’ Roy MacLeod, University of Sydney, Australia 'Provides a strong insight into the wide scope of Barry Barnes's work and alerts the reader to its implications for many areas of sociology. This book is an intriguing tribute to Barnes' work in science studies, social theory and the sociology of the life sciences.' Steve Yearley, University of Edinburgh, UK '...the book contains, besides the very thoughtful and informative introductory essay by the editor, ten very good articles...by highly respected scholars in the field of science and technology studies...this is a great book...for upper undergraduate and graduate courses in the sociology of science and related fields. It furthermore would be an attractive book for students and scholars to purchase who want to get some very accessible background knowledge to many well known ideas in the sociological study of science and technology.' History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 'This collection of eleven es