Decentering sociology: Synthetic dyes and social theory

Perspectives on Science 13 (3):352-405 (2005)
: This essay addresses the difficulties that sociology as a discipline continues to experience in grasping the relations between technology, science and the social. I argue that these difficulties stem from a resolute centering of sociology on the social, which follows a generically Durkheimian blueprint. I elaborate a response to these difficulties which derives from recent lines of work in science and technology studies, and which entails a decentering of the social relative to the material and the conceptual, in terms of both objects of analysis and explanatory formats. In order to display the direct sociological relevance of this approach, I move to the macro level, developing the conceptual apparatus of a decentered social theory via the discussion of a historical example of major sociological significance—the systematic gearing together of scientific research, technological innovation and industrial production that originated in the synthetic dye industry in the second half of the nineteenth century. Besides the interest of the topic itself, the aim is thus to exemplify in some detail what a decentered sociology might look like, both empirically and conceptually
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1162/106361405774287955
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,062
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
D. Bloor (1999). Anti-Latour. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ursula Klein (2005). Technoscience avant la lettre. Perspectives on Science 13 (2):226-266.
Kjetil Rommetveit (2008). Towards a Hermeneutic of Technomedical Objects. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (2):103-120.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #157,504 of 1,934,588 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #195,968 of 1,934,588 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.