Sociology of Science and Technology
Soci 4930 6.0, Section A. 2007-2008
Janice Newson, Course Director.
Department of Sociology,
Faculty of Arts
2096 Vari hall,
736-2100 Ext 77986
This course provides final year students with an opportunity to apply the
theoretical perspectives and methodologies they have learned in previous
courses to the roles that science and technology are accorded in social life.
Students are exposed to a diverse sociological literature including the recent
theoreticial contributions of, and debates about, social constructivism, and
science and technology as culture and practice. We analyse inter-actions
between and among scientific knowledge, technological change and the
political, economic and socio-cultural order. We explore longstanding debates
about the "objectivity" and “neutrality” of science and technology and we
assess the political choices that are embodied in specific applications of
technology and lines of scientific inquiry. A major aim is to examine the
distinctiveness and centrality of human agency in shaping a social-cultural
world that is infused with scientific knowledge and technological know-how.
As an integrative capstone course, students have the opportunity to apply
their explorations of the socio-cultural aspects of science and technology to
their major or minor area of study. Major course projects can focus on, for
example, the implications of specific technologies for mass communications,
health services, work place organisation, educational institutions, and
monitoring the natural environment; the portrayal of scientific knowledge in
art, literature and film; and the epistemological and ontological implications
of social and cultural studies of science for social theory generally.
Final year students majoring or minoring in sociology and final year students
majoring in areas such as cultural studies, education, fine arts, health
studies, labour studies, law and society, mass communication, women’s
studies and any of the natural sciences with some sociology background are
invited to enroll.
- Kleinman, Daniel Lee ( 2005) Science and Technology in Society: From
Biotechnology to the Internet.
- Reading Kit for
AS/SOCI4930 Section A. . Available
at the York University Bookstore.