Study Guides (238,586)
Canada (115,230)
Sociology (297)

Chapter 17.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Tina Fetner

Chapter 17- science environment and society o Sociologists of science look at the interactions between science and society. o A paradigm is the framework within which scientists operate. There are particular paradigms for particular branches of scientific research. o According to Thomas Kuhn, normal science is the science conducted within an existing paradigm. During the practice of normal science, discoveries may be made that add to or clarify, but don’t challenge, the existing paradigm. o Thomas Kuhn theorizes that scientific revolutions, also called paradigm shifts, occur when enough anomalies accrue during the practice of normal science to challenge the existing paradigm. o Normative science is the notion that science is unaffected by the personal beliefs or values of scientists but rather follows objective rules of evidence. o In practice, however, social factors such as funding availability, government policies (which in turn can be affected by interest groups), and international pressure or competition can affect choices about what scientific research is pursued. o Boundary work refers to research conducted on the border between legitimate and non legitimate science, either within a specific scientific discipline or between disciplines. o Anthropologists Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar claim that scientific facts don’t just reveal themselves through experiments and research but are socially constructed as scientists debate findings, discuss results, and work through disagreements, all of which is influenced by unequal power relations between researchers. o The Matthew effect, a term coined by Robert Merton, refers to the notion that certain scientific results get more notice and have more influence based on the existing prestige of the researchers involved. Agriculture and the environment o Global warming is the rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as well as an increased in the average global temperature o The majority of scientists agree that the roots of global warming can be linked to human activity such as deforestation and the burning of coal, gas, and oil. o At the same time, global warming is predicted to have a strong impact on human society, primarily through devastating natural disasters such as prolonged heat waves, larger and more frequent hurricanes, and debilitating droughts. o The term “organic” is often used as a catchall for foods that are seemingly healthy, “natural,” or produced on a small scale. In the United States specific guidelines have to be followed in order for food products to be labelled “organic” or “made with organic ingredients.” o The organic food market creates stratification in two ways: Because it is expensive to maintain an organic farm, many smaller farmers are essentially priced out of the organic farm market, which allows megafarms to dominate the market and use their influence to change policies and guidelines to their advantage. Moreover, because organic products are more expensive, high-income individuals are much more likely to purchase them and reap their benefits than low-income people. o Genetically modified foods, also referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are products whose genetic structures have been altered, usually to make them produce higher yields. o Proponents argue that GMOs help bring down food prices, reduce dependence on pesticides and herbicides, reduce waste, and can even provide vitamin and mineral content that may be missing from a population’s diet—all of which is particularly significant for developing countries. o Critics of GMOs argue that they create risks to the environment and human health that have not been adequately evaluated. o Ulrich Beck devel
More Less

Related notes for SOCIOL 1A06

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.