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20. The Social Organization of Science and Technology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the development of ideas and theories that have been used within science, technology and society (STS) to study science and technology through a lens of social organization. Using examples from STS research, the chapter illustrates how traditional forms of social organization, meritocracy, political, feudal, patriarchy, class system, democratic, family ties and separatist, are being applied to advance analysis and interpretation of science and technology. It presents scholarship that has studied science or technology from the perspective of one or more of these types of social organizations. The chapter ends by citing future directions and areas of study for enriching our understanding of the social organization of science and technology. The intellectual kinship of scientists and ideas organizes and structures the flow of ideas within the scientific community just as it does in the business world where relationships between individuals may define cultural practices.

Keywords: kinship; meritocracy; science; society; technology



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