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Sociology Reviewed: The Sociology Of Science And The Science Of Society

February 11, 2018

I studied the natural sciences in the late 1960s before ‘defecting’ to Sociology, where my original degree was in Social Science (Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Statistics etc) and my Master’s was in the Sociology of Science and Technology.
I was fascinated by it all: how research is chosen, funded and develops, and how ‘theories’ are constructed, both by real human beings via conscious and cultural choices .  It was therefore a pleasure in 1993 to respond when the editors of Sociology Reviewed invited me to write about ‘The Sociology of Science and the Science of Society’ for their book.
And 25 years later, overall the same general observations still apply…

So below is the piece I wrote for Sociology Reviewed, in which I tease out how the natural and social sciences have much in common, both being shaped by the curiosities, available resourcing, investigatory skills and eventually negotiated paradigms of the people who develop any particular subject focus. Eternal ‘truths’ are a matter of individual belief, not science; but shared understandings based on tested and established evidence – even though what comprises accepted evidence, and the subsequent understandings (paradigms), may change over time – can take us a long way towards meaningful insights into the natural and social worlds in which we all live.

The Sociology of Science and the Science of Society

Hilary Burrage

in Sociology Reviewed (Tony Lawson, John Scott, Hal Westergaard and John Williams (eds), Collins Educational (1993)

Read more about Sociology and Science

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation

18.04.12 FGM books together IMG_3336 (3).JPG

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Hilary Burrage, Ashgate / Routledge 2015).
Full contents and reviews   HERE.
FEMALE MUTILATION: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation  (Hilary Burrage, New Holland Publishers 2016).
Full contents and reviews   HERE.

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