Disrupting Science

Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945-1975

Author: Kelly Moore

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691162093

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

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In the decades following World War II, American scientists were celebrated for their contributions to social and technological progress. They were also widely criticized for their increasingly close ties to military and governmental power--not only by outside activists but from among the ranks of scientists themselves. Disrupting Science tells the story of how scientists formed new protest organizations that democratized science and made its pursuit more transparent. The book explores how scientists weakened their own authority even as they invented new forms of political action. Drawing extensively from archival sources and in-depth interviews, Kelly Moore examines the features of American science that made it an attractive target for protesters in the early cold war and Vietnam eras, including scientists' work in military research and activities perceived as environmentally harmful. She describes the intellectual traditions that protesters drew from--liberalism, moral individualism, and the New Left--and traces the rise and influence of scientist-led protest organizations such as Science for the People and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Moore shows how scientist protest activities disrupted basic assumptions about science and the ways scientific knowledge should be produced, and recast scientists' relationships to political and military institutions. Disrupting Science reveals how the scientific community cumulatively worked to unbind its own scientific authority and change how science and scientists are perceived. In doing so, the book redefines our understanding of social movements and the power of insider-led protest.
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Economists and Societies

Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s

Author: Marion Fourcade

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400833139

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

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Economists and Societies is the first book to systematically compare the profession of economics in the United States, Britain, and France, and to explain why economics, far from being a uniform science, differs in important ways among these three countries. Drawing on in-depth interviews with economists, institutional analysis, and a wealth of scholarly evidence, Marion Fourcade traces the history of economics in each country from the late nineteenth century to the present, demonstrating how each political, cultural, and institutional context gave rise to a distinct professional and disciplinary configuration. She argues that because the substance of political life varied from country to country, people's experience and understanding of the economy, and their political and intellectual battles over it, crystallized in different ways--through scientific and mercantile professionalism in the United States, public-minded elitism in Britain, and statist divisions in France. Fourcade moves past old debates about the relationship between culture and institutions in the production of expert knowledge to show that scientific and practical claims over the economy in these three societies arose from different elites with different intellectual orientations, institutional entanglements, and social purposes. Much more than a history of the economics profession, Economists and Societies is a revealing exploration of American, French, and British society and culture as seen through the lens of their respective economic institutions and the distinctive character of their economic experts.
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Religion and Family in a Changing Society

Author: Penny Edgell

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691086743

Category: Social Science

Page: 210

View: 9577

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The 1950s religious boom was organized around the male-breadwinner lifestyle in the burgeoning postwar suburbs. But since the 1950s, family life has been fundamentally reconfigured in the United States. How do religion and family fit together today? This book examines how religious congregations in America have responded to changes in family structure, and how families participate in local religious life. Based on a study of congregations and community residents in upstate New York, sociologist Penny Edgell argues that while some religious groups may be nostalgic for the Ozzie and Harriet days, others are changing, knowing that fewer and fewer families fit this traditional pattern. In order to keep members with nontraditional family arrangements within the congregation, these innovators have sought to emphasize individual freedom and personal spirituality and actively to welcome single adults and those from nontraditional families. Edgell shows that mothers and fathers seek involvement in congregations for different reasons. Men tend to think of congregations as social support structures, and to get involved as a means of participating in the lives of their children. Women, by contrast, are more often motivated by the quest for religious experience, and can adapt more readily to pluralist ideas about family structure. This, Edgell concludes, may explain the attraction of men to more conservative congregations, and women to nontraditional religious groups.
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Inside the Critics’ Circle

Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times

Author: Phillipa K. Chong

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069116746X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 3189

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An inside look at the politics of book reviewing, from the assignment and writing of reviews to why critics think we should listen to what they have to say Taking readers behind the scenes in the world of fiction reviewing, Inside the Critics’ Circle explores the ways that critics evaluate books despite the inherent subjectivity involved, and the uncertainties of reviewing when seemingly anyone can be a reviewer. Drawing on interviews with critics from such venues as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, Phillipa Chong delves into the complexities of the review-writing process, including the considerations, values, and cultural and personal anxieties that shape what critics do. Chong explores how critics are paired with review assignments, why they accept these time-consuming projects, how they view their own qualifications for reviewing certain books, and the criteria they employ when making literary judgments. She discovers that while their readers are of concern to reviewers, they are especially worried about authors on the receiving end of reviews. As these are most likely peers who will be returning similar favors in the future, critics’ fears and frustrations factor into their willingness or reluctance to write negative reviews. At a time when traditional review opportunities are dwindling while other forms of reviewing thrive, book reviewing as a professional practice is being brought into question. Inside the Critics’ Circle offers readers a revealing look into critics’ responses to these massive transitions and how, through their efforts, literary values get made.
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Impossible Engineering

Technology and Territoriality on the Canal Du Midi

Author: Chandra Mukerji

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069116665X

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 723

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The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering--in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal's surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. The Canal du Midi is typically characterized as the achievement of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a tax farmer and entrepreneur for the canal. Yet Chandra Mukerji argues that it was a product of collective intelligence, depending on peasant women and artisans--unrecognized heirs to Roman traditions of engineering--who came to labor on the waterway in collaboration with military and academic supervisors. Ironically, while Louis XIV and his treasury minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert used propaganda to present France as a new Rome, the Canal du Midi was being constructed with unrecognized classical methods. Still, the result was politically potent. As Mukerji shows, the project took land and power from local nobles, using water itself as a silent agent of the state to disrupt traditions of local life that had served regional elites. Impossible Engineering opens a surprising window into the world of seventeenth-century France and illuminates a singular work of engineering undertaken to empower the state through technical conquest of nature.
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Talking Prices

Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art

Author: Olav Velthuis

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400849403

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 8452

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How do dealers price contemporary art in a world where objective criteria seem absent? Talking Prices is the first book to examine this question from a sociological perspective. On the basis of a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data, including interviews with art dealers in New York and Amsterdam, Olav Velthuis shows how contemporary art galleries juggle the contradictory logics of art and economics. In doing so, they rely on a highly ritualized business repertoire. For instance, a sharp distinction between a gallery's museumlike front space and its businesslike back space safeguards the separation of art from commerce. Velthuis shows that prices, far from being abstract numbers, convey rich meanings to trading partners that extend well beyond the works of art. A high price may indicate not only the quality of a work but also the identity of collectors who bought it before the artist's reputation was established. Such meanings are far from unequivocal. For some, a high price may be a symbol of status; for others, it is a symbol of fraud. Whereas sociological thought has long viewed prices as reducing qualities to quantities, this pathbreaking and engagingly written book reveals the rich world behind these numerical values. Art dealers distinguish different types of prices and attach moral significance to them. Thus the price mechanism constitutes a symbolic system akin to language.
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Cultural Sociology and Its Diversity

Author: Amy J Binder,Mary Blair-Loy,John H. Evans,Kwai Ng,Michael Schudson

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Incorporated

ISBN: 9781412969673

Category: Social Science

Page: 260

View: 9549

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What is the cultural approach to sociology? Although there are many paths to understanding society, all branches of sociology integrate meaning. A cultural approach requires an intellectual sensitivity toward meaning, a way of putting emphasis on the human experience. Whether studying race and ethnicity or the sociology of economics, each realm of human activities studied by social scientists is cultural. Taking this meaning-centered approach, the editors of this special volume of The ANNALS have gathered a diverse group of culture-minded sociologists, whose work encompasses a wide spectrum of topics from the study of large institutions, such as the economy and the legal system, to small group interactions. The editors highlight the common cultural thread that runs through a wide repertoire of areas such as the arts, pop culture, organization, education, race and ethnicity, sexuality, science and technology, social inequalities, sociology of law, economic sociology, and microsociology. Students and scholars of all specialty subjects will find this synergetic volume of The ANNALS offers a unique collaborative approach and a clearer understanding of how to use culture in different sociological subfields – especially in the translation from the intellectual background of one subfield to another.
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Blessed Events

Religion and Home Birth in America

Author: Pamela E. Klassen

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691087986

Category: Social Science

Page: 316

View: 7653

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Blessed Events explores how women who give birth at home use religion to make sense of their births and in turn draw on their birthing experiences to bring meaning to their lives and families. Pamela Klassen introduces a surprisingly diverse group of women, in their own words, while also setting their birth stories within wider social, political, and economic contexts. In doing so, she emerges with a study that disrupts conventional views of both childbirth and religion by blurring assumed divisions between conservative and feminist women and by taking childbirth seriously as a religious act. Most American women who have a choice give birth in a hospital and request pain medication. Yet enough women choose and advocate unmedicated home birth--and do so for carefully articulated reasons, social resistance among them--to constitute a movement. Klassen investigates why women whose religious affiliations range from Old Order Amish to Reform Judaism to goddess-centered spirituality defy majority opinion, the medical establishment, and sometimes the law to have their babies at home. In considering their interpretations--including their critiques of the dominant medical model of childbirth and their views on labor pain--she examines the kinds of agency afforded to or denied women as they derive religious meanings from childbirth. Throughout, she identifies tensions and affinities between feminist and traditionalist appraisals of the symbolic meaning of birth and the power of women. What does home birth--a woman-centered movement working to return birth to women's control--mean in practice for women's gender and religious identities? Is this supreme valuing of procreation and motherhood constraining, or does it open up new realms of cultural and social power for women? By asking these questions while remaining cognizant of religion's significance, Blessed Events challenges both feminist and traditionalist accounts of childbearing while broadening our understanding of how religion is ''lived'' in contemporary America.
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What do Economists Know?

New Economics of Knowledge

Author: Robert F Garnett Jr

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113462199X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 7525

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A provocatively rethink of the questions of what, how and for whom economics is produced. Academic economists in the twentieth century have presumed to monopolise economic knowledge, seeing themselves as the only legitimate producers and consumers of this highly specialized commodity. This has encouraged a narrow view of economics as little more than a private dialogue among professionally licensed knowers. This book recasts this narrow view.
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Culture, Class, and Critical Theory

Between Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School

Author: David Gartman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136169768

Category: Social Science

Page: 194

View: 8051

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Culture, Class, and Critical Theory develops a theory of culture that explains how ideas create and legitimate class inequalities in modern society. This theory is developed through a critique and comparison of the powerful ideas on culture offered by Pierre Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School thinkers, especially Theodor Adorno. These ideas are illuminated and criticized through the development of two empirical cases on which Gartman has published extensively, automobile design and architecture. Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School postulate opposite theories of the cultural legitimation of class inequalities. Bourdieu argues that the culture of modern society is a class culture, a ranked diversity of beliefs and tastes corresponding to different classes. The cultural beliefs and practices of the dominant class are arbitrarily defined as superior, thus legitimating its greater share of social resources. By contrast, the thinkers of the Frankfurt School conceive of modern culture as a mass culture, a leveled homogeneity in which the ideas and tastes shared by all classes disguises real class inequalities. This creates the illusion of an egalitarian democracy that prevents inequalities from being contested. Through an empirical assessment of the theories against the cases, Gartman reveals that both are correct, but for different parts of modern culture. These parts combine to provide a strong legitimation of class inequalities.
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