Culture and science/technology: Rethinking knowledge, power, materiality, and nature

Steven Epstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sociologists of science and technology mostly have not engaged directly with the sociology of culture, and most sociologists of culture have been slow to extract the implications for their own work of studies of scientific authority and technological production. In this article, the author analyzes how sociologists of science and technology in fact have performed cultural analyses. The author argues that recent moves to extend studies of science and technology "outward" beyond formal scientific settings have created new possibilities for interchange with the sociology of culture, particularly around studies of material culture, classification, cultural cartography, scientific citizenship, epistemic cultures, and civic epistemologies. The author concludes that the sociology of science and technology holds important lessons for sociologists of culture because of its focus on a key source of cultural authority, its attention to material objects, and its commitment to rethinking divides between the instrumental and the expressive and between nature and culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-182
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Culture
  • Knowledge
  • Practice
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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