Volume 3, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages: 59-66
Received: Feb. 17, 2014;
Accepted: Apr. 28, 2014;
Published: May 10, 2014
Views 3552 Downloads 202
Ivan Mihailov Chompalov, Department of Sociology, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 295 Meadville Street, 342 Centennial Hall, Edinboro, PA 16444
Lubomir Savov Popov, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Bowling Green State University, 309 Johnston Hall, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0059
Knowledge about and reflection on the epistemological developments in sociology of science is an important step towards a critical analysis of the discipline, its present, and its future. The assessment of theoretical and empirical trends within the discipline has a number of beneficial consequences. Thus, spurring a discussion about the relative merits of new trends might contribute to the clarification of the epistemological positions, the methodologies used, and the communicativeness of the arguments that are made. We believe that it is important to periodically initiate discussions on the paradigmatic developments in a particular field of study. Such discussions will increase methodological awareness and reflection and will further the methodological expertise of the scholarly community. Recently, a salient turn from positivist to constructivist approaches has come to dominate the field of sociology of science. We have contextualized the development of social constructivism in sociology of science through a brief historicist foray. This approach allows us to inform the reader about the advent of social constructivism in this domain and to present in a nutshell its claims of contributions, as well as to mention the criticisms levied against it. We have extended our contextualization even further by relating these new developments to the history of humanistic paradigms and the study of cultural phenomena like the world of ideas, knowledge, and science. Our intent has been to provide a platform for reflecting over these developments and to create a system of reference points for orientation in the realm of sociology of science thought. We hope that this article will contribute to the emergent discussion on constructivism in general, on constructivism in sociology of science, as well as on the positioning of constructivist agendas across disciplines. We believe that the present discussion will increase the methodological awareness of practicing scholars and will make them reflect on their own methodological affiliations, preferences, and biases. It is our deep conviction that in such a way we can contribute to the advancement of an epistemologically sophisticated scholarly community that navigates with ease the murky waters of methodological decision-making.
Ivan Mihailov Chompalov,
Lubomir Savov Popov,
Sociology of Science and the Turn to Social Constructivism, Social Sciences.
Vol. 3, No. 2,
2014, pp. 59-66.
R. Merton, “Science, Technology, and Society in Seventeenth-Century England,” New York: Howard Fertig,  1970.
R. Merton, “The Sociology of Science,” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
S. Cole, “Making Science: Between Nature and Society,” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.
J. Cole, ”Social Stratification in Science,” (S. Cole, Ed.), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
H. Zuckerman, “Scientific Elite: Nobel Lau-reates in the United States,” New York: Free Press, 1977.
D. Crane, “Invisible Colleges," Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
W. Hagstrom, “The Scientific Community,” New York: Basic Books, 1965.
N. Storer, “The Social System of Science,” New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
I. Mitroff, “The Subjective Side of Science: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Psychology of the Apollo Moon Scientists,” Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1974.
N. Mullins, “Science: Some Sociological Perspectives,” Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973.
T. Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  1970.
H. Collins, “Stages in the Empirical Programme of Relativism,” Social Studies of Science, Vol. 11, pp. 3-10, 1981.
B. Barnes, “Interests and the Growth of Knowledge,” London: Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1977.
D. Bloor, “Knowledge and Social Imagery,” London: Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1976.
B. Latour, “Science in Action,” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987.
B. Latour and S.Woolgar,“Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts,” Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979..
K. Knorr-Cetina, “The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science,” New York: Pergamon Press, 1981.
K. Knorr-Cetina, “Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge,” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.
M. Lynch, “Art and Artifact in Laboratory Science: A Study of Shop Work and Shop Talk in a Research Laboratory,” London: Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1985.
T. Pinch, “Confronting Nature: The Sociology of Neutrino Detection,” Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Reidel, 1986.
A. Pickering, “Construct-ing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics,” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
G. N. Gilbert and M.Mulkay,“Opening Pandora's Box: A Sociological Analysis of Scientists' Discourse,” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
J. Potter, P. Stringer, and M. Wetherell, “Social Texts and Context,” London: Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1984.
S. Yearley, “Science, Technology, and Social Change,” London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.
M. Ashmore, ” The Reflexive Thesis: Writing Sociology of Scientific Knowledge,” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.
S. Woolgar (Ed.), “Knowledge and Reflexivity: New Frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge,” London: Sage, 1988.
K. Parsons (Ed.), “The Science Wars,” New York: Prometheus Books, 2003.
H. Poincare [1902-1908], “The Foundations of Science,” New York: Science Press, reprinted in 1921.
U. Segerstrale (Ed.), “Beyond the Science Wars,” Albany: SUNY,2000.