Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age (Political Power and Social Theory)

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9781783506682: Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age (Political Power and Social Theory)

This issue of Political Power and Social Theory explores the changes in science associated with the rise of neoliberalism since the 1970s. The neoliberalization of science has complicated interactions among states, markets, and civil society, often in ways that challenge major assumptions underlying decades of research. The articles collected here break with older Mertonian sociologies of science and constructivist microsociologies of scientific knowledge to examine the mesolevel problem of the changing institutional contexts of 'the scientific field' as originally identified by Pierre Bourdieu. Papers presented in Part I extend Bourdieu's relational approach to the broader set of interactions among scientific, regulatory, industry, and social movement fields. Part II extends Bourdieu's concern with order and the scientific habitus to the changing patterns of scientific practices under neoliberalism. By reconceptualizing the central problem for the social studies of science as the political sociological problem of field and interfield dynamics, the collected papers chart an important theoretical agenda for future research in the study of science-society relations.

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About the Author:

Scott Frickel - Washington State University
David J. Hess - Vanderbilt University

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Psychiatry, sociology, geography, public policy, social work, and construction management and engineering specialists from North America present eight essays on changes in scientific and technological policies and practices that occurred with the rise of neoliberal thought since the 1970s. The essays were first presented at a workshop at the U. of Wisconsin in June 2012 and draw on field theory, including Bourdieusian, strategic action, and organizational field theories, and focus on the problems of interfield relations and institutional logics. They discuss the concept of autonomous-heteronomous polarity of the scientific field and the producer and user-oriented poles; how the modes of science operate simultaneously and how scientists negotiate their relationship with both; regulatory policy and science for stream restoration and intrafield relations; the different regulatory outcomes to the problem of accelerated honey bee die-offs in France and the US; climate denialism; green building standards in the UK as an example of the liberalization of industrial regulation through voluntary standards; strategic action fields and the move toward the market in US academic science; the circulation of knowledge associated with nutritional science; and the institutional context in which citizen science has become a key method in investigating the impacts of shale gas development by hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking.' Distributed in North America by Turpin Distribution. --Annotation 2014 Ringgold Inc. Portland, OR (protoview.com)

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