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SOC 331 Study Guide - Final Guide: Love Canal, Feminist Technoscience, Androcentrism

Course Code
SOC 331
Roberta Garner
Study Guide

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GEO/WGS 219-301 SPRING 2019
1. Be able to apply concepts to examples.
2. Be able to compare/contrast different materials.
3. Know the basic key points from group presentations.
Gender: conventional ideas about male/female and their ‘appropriate’ social relations. An analytic
framework that studies values/social structures/meanings related to ideas of male and female
Androcentrism: Male centred/focused
Epistemological Androcentrism: Male centred ways of knowing
Feminist standpoint epistemologies: ways of knowing that come from women’s perspectives
Situated Knowledge”: the idea that ALL knowledge is produced in a particular place, time, and context
Paradigm shift”: Substantial change or shift in a way of doing something or a way of thinking
Science and Technology Studies (STS): An academic field of inquiry; Examines the
social/cultural/historical/geographic nature of the institution of science and technology
Genetic Engineering: intentional, direct manipulations by humans of the genetic makeup of an organism or
population to achieve genetic and/or physical changes
Holistic: parts that all need to function together, all part of one whole
o Steingraber: seeking to conserve a particular perspective or mode of being
Related to existing scientific knowledge or public health
o Paigen: scientists want to be conservative with respect to making claims of new
Society should be conservative with respect to protecting public health
Gibbs investigation in Love Canal
o Son attended the school and was having health problems
o She conducted a study which started the Swale Theory
Wet and dry areas and the correlation of diseases there
Systematic analysis
Seeing and showing patterns
Gibbs role as a housewife
o It was seen as a constraint that she did not have the same qualifications as the scientists
and politicians
o Women have to fulfil gendered roles yet she still gets criticized for it
o Branded a hysterical housewife by the government and her sons school
o Felt guilty she was not fulfilling her role as a mom as much as she should have been
Love canal was in Niagara New York
o Created in 1980
o Government program for cleaning up toxic waste sites
o Clean-up is most often paid for by responsible parties
Hard to prove causality in situations like Love Canal
o It takes a lot of resources and access to do the studied she was attempting to do
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It is difficult in science to ever prove something 100%
There were lots of different chemicals, people, genetics, symptoms, etc.
all over a long period of time
Sometimes evidence is not enough
Paigens suggestions for future situations
o Scientists should follow their rules
o Involve the community
o Fund the community’s research
o Have a clear process for conflict resolution before you get into problems
o Be clear about competing values and what scientific data, by itself can and cannot answer
1. Relationship between the situation at Love Canal and the precautionary principle
a. Public health conservatism is related to the precautionary principal; If you can see that
something is going to be causing harm we should be preventing it
2. Paigen’s critiques of the birth/pregnancy study used by the NY State Health Department to
compare with Love Canal
1. From Richardson
a. Ways in which the X chromosome has been gendered
i. X chromosome is associated with feminine traits
ii. X mosaicism creates the idea that women are emotional, changeable, mysterious,
intuitive, complex
1. Women’s true nature
2. From the National Geographic reading (by Henig)
a. Non-binary gender terms
i. Gender creative or expressive
ii. Transgender
b. Potential risks faced by transgender people
c. Locations that have terms for third genders
i. Tonga
ii. Somoa
iii. Hawaii
iv. Native American people
v. South Asia
vi. Thailand
3. From Epstein
a. Ways in which medical research/biological science is gendered
i. Human being was the 154 pound male in medicine and science
1. Defines what we think as standard and Other
2. Impacted the symptoms and markers for disease, medicines that work
a. Ex. heart attacks
b. Why he is critical of medical research profiling
i. Improper treatment
ii. Dubious associations
1. We may do some research and assume the relevant categories are male
female but that could really be due to our socialization
a. We could be missing things
iii. Market incentives
iv. A permanent temporary solution
v. Problematic understandings of sex and gender
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