Book: Sociology of Professions

Florent Champy, La sociologie des professions, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2009

« Des menaces venues du management et des marchés pèsent sur l’autonomie dans le travail de professions revendiquant un haut niveau de compétence (médecins, juristes, etc.). Or, la sociologie des professions est fortement interpellée par ces évolutions. Jusqu’aux années 1960, elle s’était particulièrement intéressée à ces activités, reprenant souvent sans distance le discours des professionnels sur leurs pratiques. Mais une sociologie plus critique a ensuite mis l’accent sur les similitudes avec des métiers moins prestigieux (plombier, infirmière). Ayant accordé peu d’attention aux spécificités de certains types de métiers, cette deuxième approche, aujourd’hui dominante, est peu armée pour penser les enjeux des évolutions actuelles.
Un premier objectif de cet ouvrage consiste à présenter systématiquement les auteurs, les théories, les démarches et les thèmes (carrières, travail, genre, statuts, etc.) constitutifs de ces deux approches successives des professions. Puis l’auteur met en évidence l’émergence d’un troisième regard, qui vise à résoudre les difficultés rencontrées par l’approche critique. S’aidant des réflexions d’Aristote sur les formes d’action dans des situations de forte incertitude, il montre à partir de plusieurs exemples comment les pressions productivistes et les tendances à la standardisation et à la bureaucratisation du travail professionnel menacent la place des « pratiques prudentielles » dans nos sociétés. »

 

Book: Caste, Gender and Science

Abha Sur, Dispersed Radiance: Caste, Gender, and Modern Science in India, New Delhi, Navayana, 2011

“This book is a step toward writing a socially informed history of physics in India in the first half of the twentieth century. Through a series of micro histories of physics, Abha Sur analyzes the confluence of caste, nationalism, and gender in modern science in India, and unpacks the colonial context in which science was organized. She examines the constraints of material reality and ideologies on the production of scientific knowledge, and discusses the effect of the personalities of dominant scientists on the institutions and academies they created. The bulk of the book examines the science and scientific practice of India’s two preeminent physicists in the first half of the twentieth century, C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha. Raman and Saha were—in terms of their social station, political involvement, and cultural upbringing—diametric opposites. Raman came from an educated Tamil brahmin family steeped in classical art forms, and Saha from an uneducated rural family of modest means and underprivileged caste status in eastern Bengal. Sur also reconstructs a collective history of Raman’s women students—Lalitha Chandrasekhar, Sunanda Bai, and Anna Mani—each a scientist who did not get her due.”

Dispersed Radiance makes an important contribution to the social history of science. It provides a nuanced and critical understanding of the role and location of science in the construction of Indian modernity and in the continuation of social stratification in colonial and postcolonial contexts.”

Abha Sur teaches in the MIT Program in Women’s & Gender Studies in Massachusetts, Cambridge

Book: Knowledge Swaraj

C. Shambu Prasad (ed.), Piloting Knowledge Swaraj: A handbook on Indian Science and Technology, Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, Orissa, March 2011. For: Knowledge In Civil Society (KICS)-Centre for World Solidarity,

http://kicsforum.net/kics/setdev/Piloting_Knowledge_Swaraj.pdf

 

Contents

PILOTING KNOWLEDGE SWARAJ IN INDIA: A HANDBOOK ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN INDIA

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Methodology of the Pilots

1.2 Piloting Knowledge Swaraj

2. MEDICAL ETHICS: A CASE STUDY OF HYSTERECTOMY IN ANDHRA PRADESH

2.1 THE ISSUE

2.2 HYSTERECTOMY-THE CLINICAL PICTURE

2.3. HYSTERECTOMY-SOCIAL FACTORS AND CONSEQUENCES

2. 4 HYSTERECTOMY-ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

2.5 CONCLUSIONS

3. SUSTAINABILITY AND PLURALITY IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY OF

RECONSTRUCTION

3.1 The Case-Study and its methodology

3.1.1 Methodology adopted

3.2 Introduction: Built Environment and Reconstruction

3.3 Approaches in Reconstruction

3.3.1 Comparison of Reconstruction Approaches

3.4. Overview of three disasters: The Context

3.4.1 The Gujarat Earthquake

3.4.2 The Tsunami in Tamil Nadu

3.4.3 Bihar Kosi Floods

3.5. Policy environment & Regulatory mechanisms

3.5.1 Institutional arrangements and reconstruction approaches

3.5.2 Guidelines, Building Codes and Norms

3.5.3 Where ‘guidelines’ fail and/or are inadequate

3.6. “Whose space is it anyway?”

3.6.1 The ‘Client’ and the Commission

3.6.2 Site allocation: Relocation vs. In-situ Reconstruction

3.6.3 Habitat Planning / Settlement Design

3.6.4 Building: design, materials and technologies

3.6.5. “Fusion” approaches

3.7. People’s Initiatives: Plurality, Sustainability and Justice

3.8. Conclusions & Recommendations

Recommendations

References

4. ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY –EXPERIMENTS IN DEMOCRATIZING

WATER SECTOR

4.1. Rationale for a Case Study on Water

4.2. Narrative of the three themes

4.2.1 River Valley Development – Understanding Tungabhadra from a Common Citizen’s Point of View

4.2.2 Ground Water Management – Social Regulation experiences of CWS and WASSAN

4.2.3 Lessons from Collaborative Advocacy Efforts by CSOs: Watershed development projects in Andhra Pradesh

4.3 Actors, roles and Knowledge Swaraj

4.3.1 Identifying actors

4.3.2 Sustainability

4.3.3 Plurality

4.4. Lessons and Conclusions

5. SOCIALISING SCIENCE IN INDIAN: SOME LESSONS FROM INDIAN EXPERIENCE

APPENDIX: SOCIALISING SCIENCE – BEYOND PROJECT TIME FRAMES

 

Book: Engineering and Concrete Building in American History

Amy E. Slaton, Reinforced Concrete and the Modernization of American Building, 1900-1930, John Hopkins University Press, 2001.

« Examining the proliferation of reinforced-concrete construction in the United States after 1900, historian Amy E. Slaton considers how scientific approaches and occupations displaced traditionally skilled labor. The technology of concrete buildings little studied by historians of engineering, architecture, or industry offers a remarkable case study in the modernization of American production.
The use of concrete brought to construction the new procedures and priorities of mass production. These included a comprehensive application of science to commercial enterprise and vast redistributions of skills, opportunities, credit, and risk in the workplace. Reinforced concrete also changed the American landscape as building buyers embraced the architectural uniformity and simplicity to which the technology was best suited.
Based on a wealth of data that includes university curricula, laboratory and company records, organizational proceedings, blueprints, and promotional materials as well as a rich body of physical evidence such as tools, instruments, building materials, and surviving reinforced-concrete buildings, this book tests the thesis that modern mass production in the United States came about not simply in answer to manufacturers’ search for profits, but as a result of a complex of occupational and cultural agendas. »

Book: Engineering and Race in US

Amy E. Slaton, Race, Rigor, and Selectivity in US Engineering. The History of an Occupational Color Line, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010.

« Despite the educational and professional advances made by minorities in recent decades, African Americans remain woefully underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. Even at its peak, in 2000, African American representation in engineering careers reached only 5.7 percent, while blacks made up 15 percent of the U.S. population. Some forty-five years after the Civil Rights Act sought to eliminate racial differences in education and employment, what do we make of an occupational pattern that perpetually follows the lines of race?

Race, Rigor, and Selectivity in U.S. Engineering pursues this question and its ramifications through historical case studies. Focusing on engineering programs in three settings—in Maryland, Illinois, and Texas, from the 1940s through the 1990s—Amy E. Slaton examines efforts to expand black opportunities in engineering as well as obstacles to those reforms. Her study reveals aspects of admissions criteria and curricular emphases that work against proportionate black involvement in many engineering programs. Slaton exposes the negative impact of conservative ideologies in engineering, and of specific institutional processes—ideas and practices that are as limiting for the field of engineering as they are for the goal of greater racial parity in the profession. »