Nature and Sociology.
Nature has become increasingly central to social thinking. From the social implications of environmental degradation to the plethora of issues raised by biotechnology, neuroscience, the body and health, the ‘natural’ world is increasingly difficult to ignore for sociologists and social scientists. In addition to a wide-ranging treatment of this field, this ground-breaking text presents fresh perspectives that challenge the way we think about the relationship between ‘time’, ‘nature’ and ‘society’.
Although the natural and social are inevitably intertwined, Tim Newton argues that we should be open to the possibility of difference between our perception of the natural and social world. In so doing, he contests accepted tenets, such as an overriding need for anti-dualism, and underscores the limitations of existing approaches such as social constructionism, critical realism and actor-network theory. In addition, he engages with the burgeoning debates on new genetics and neuroscience, takes the material world and the biological body seriously, and addresses the issues of interdisciplinarity that are likely to arise in any longer term attempt to work across the social and natural world.
In his thought-provoking discussion,
1. Recovering Nature
Introduction; The Politics of Nature; Environmental Degradation; Health and the Body; Gender and Prenatal Sex Selection; A Cause Celebre; Book Structure
2. Knowing Nature
Taking Nature Seriously – the Realist critique; Retort and Counter-Retort; Nature and Culture; Crossing the Great Divide; Conclusion
3. Beyond Anti-dualism
The Metanarrative of Anti-Dualism?; Different Kinds (Hacking); Time and Nature; Conclusion
Differentiating Natural and Social Time; Relative Specificity; Flux and Constancy; Social Flux and Constancy?; Conclusion
5. Language and Technology
Symbol Emancipation; Elias and Hacking; Sands of Time; Technolinguistics; Conclusion
6. Temporality and Realism
Temporality and Critical Realism; Drawing the Line – Laws, Tendencies and Recipes; Social Structure and Endurance; Temporality and the Sociology of Nature; Parallel Worlds; Conclusion.
Spectacle; King Gene; Biopostmodernism?; Genomics and Constancy; Genomic Foundations?; Our Dystopian Future?; Conclusion
Cautionary Tales; Engaging Life Science – Tactical Co-option; Beyond the Ethereal and the Elusive – Towards the Transgressive Corporeal; Moving from the Social to the Biological Body; Conclusion.
9. Neurological Adventures
Neurosocial Parallelism; Interdisciplinary Manoeuvres; Beyond Science Wars?; Conclusion