Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Conference: Critical Issues in STS, May 2014

Special Session 9:
- Special Session 9: From STS to SSH: Translating STS concepts for the study of social sciences and humanities (SSH)
 (Matthias Duller & Rafael Schögler, Department of Sociology, University of Graz)
 The relation between STS on the one hand, and historical and contemporary studies of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) on the other has received surprisingly little attention so far. One reason might be the widespread view among social scientists that the argument of sociality of scientific knowledge, of primary importance in STS, is self-evident or even trivial in the case of SSH. While it is true that the explosive power behind the rise of STS during the 1970s and 1980s was drawn from sociological explanations of knowledge making, STS has since developed a considerable number of conceptual, methodological and thematic innovations that go well beyond the sheer claim of the social character of scientific knowledge. In recognition of recent publications that call explicitly for an integration of STS concepts to the study of knowledge making in SSH (Camic, Gross, and Lamont 2011), we want to explore the potentials and possible pitfalls of such a transfer more thoroughly.
In particular, we see two contexts of inquiry where a translation of STS concepts to SSH seems especially rewarding. One is the typical concern of STS for the local contexts in which ideas are being developed. This view is usually associated with the emphasis on every-day practices and already informs a number of recent studies in the history and sociology of SSH. Some of which are collected in Camic, Gross, and Lamont 2011. The second context concerns the various relationships of the sciences (both natural and social) with the non-scientific world, referring both to the impacts of scientific activities on society at large and the impacts of societal changes and society onto practices of knowledge making. While being a subject of eminent importance in STS, no comparatively systematic analyses exist for SSH in this respect.
The papers can deal with these or related questions of how STS perspectives can be fruitfully applied to the study of SSH, thereby reassessing the relation between STS and the traditional disciplines of the SSH. Proposals are welcome both from STS and SSH and can be conceptual discussions, case studies or well-founded research proposals.

SS9: From STS to SSH: Translating STS concepts for 
the study of social sciences and humanities (SSH) 

(Chairs: Matthias Duller and Rafael Schögler) 

  • -The Subject-Object-Relationship in the Social Sciences – The Epistemic Participation of the Analyzed, Werner Reichmann 
  • Prospects for the science and technology studies concept ‘boundary-work’ in studies of social sciences and humanities, Pia Vuolanto 
  • Wandering off the Beaten Path: An STS Study of Sociology, Emils Kilis
  • Horizons of Social Sciences and Humanities in European Research Funding – a story of multiple enactments, Katja Mayer 
  • Europeanizing Social Science - The case of the European Social Survey, Kristoffer Kropp 
  • Explanation of prejudice in contemporary Hungarian sociology. A case study, Judit Gárdos

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