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Symbolic Interactionism in Social Studies of Science

Symbolic Interactionism in Social Studies of Science

(p.179) 7 Symbolic Interactionism in Social Studies of Science
Symbolic Interaction and Cultural Studies
Adele E. ClarkeElihu M. Gerson
University of Chicago Press

Before the 1930s, questions about the nature of science were usually linked to the development of the sociology of knowledge and to philosophical debates. Many philosophical perspectives were used to frame and argue about the social nature of the sciences, and echoes of these debates can still be heard. The pragmatist philosophers who laid the basis for symbolic interactionism were particularly interested in the nature of scientific inquiry, methodologies, and approaches. However, these concerns were largely ignored in the interactionist sociological tradition. Over the past decade, both the sociology of science and the interdisciplinary field of science studies have grown rapidly. Scholars from many traditions have entered the fray. This chapter provides an overview of recent symbolic interactionist and related contributions focused largely on scientific work organization. It also draws attention to efforts of historians and philosophers in ways traditional to science studies.

Keywords:   science, sociology, symbolic interactionism, scientific work organization, science studies

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