The Mangle of Practice: Agency and Emergence in the Sociology of Science

  title={The Mangle of Practice: Agency and Emergence in the Sociology of Science},
  author={Andrew Pickering},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={559 - 589}
  • A. Pickering
  • Published 1 November 1993
  • Art
  • American Journal of Sociology
Some difficult but important issues have arisen in recent social studies of science concerning temporally emergent phenomena and the decetering of the human subject in scientific practice. This essay seeks a constructive clarification of the issues, and links them together, by delineating and exemplifying a view of science as a field of emergent human and material agency reciprocally engaged by means of a dialectic of resistence and accommodation-the mangle. 

The sociology of the sciences

Volume 1: classical accounts - from a sociology of knowledge to a sociology of the sciences scientific communities between collaboration and competition gendered science and technology sociologies of

The Objects of Sociology: A Response to Breslau's “Sociology after Humanism”*

Daniel Breslau's essay opens up a valuable space in seeking to align the sociologically impure objects explored in science studies with the practice of a pure sociology. I challenge Breslau's

Beyond Anthropocentrism in Historical Studies

the comparative theory of the human sciences, I am trying to reflect on certain changes, turns and approaches that are observable in contemporary human and social sciences. I see the growing interest

The Re-Naturalization of Society? Environmental Challenges for Sociology

The sociological discipline, as it came to be constructed from the late 19th century and onwards, deliberately concentrated on human societies, giving little attention to biophysical nature, which is

The Technicity Paradigm and Scientism in Qualitative Research

This philosophical paper suggests that almost all academic research, including qualitative research, is conducted under the influence of a "technicity paradigm" which values objectivity,

Materialist mappings of knowing in being: researchers constituted in the production of knowledge

In keeping with the editor's call for this special issue, this paper demonstrates how reading data with and through a new materialist lens opens up different ways of seeing and thinking. Drawing on


This paper is an examination of the development of standpoint epistemo- logies and their impact on the objective status of scientific knowledge. I explore both the origins of these epistemologies and

Being Objective about Objectivity: The Ironies of Standpoint Epistemological Critiques of Science

This paper is an examination of the development of standpoint epistemologies and their impact on the objective status of scientific knowledge. I explore both the origins of these epistemologies and

Chapter 9 On the Moral of an Emerging Academic Praxis: Accounting for a Conference Experience

This chapter was inspired by and tells of a conference experience. Most “ordinary” academics like me go to a varying number of conferences annually and regularly share stories of these experiences

Responsible Management-as-Practice: Mobilizing a Posthumanist Approach

The emerging field of responsible management (RM) studies the integration of sustainability, responsibility, and ethics in managerial practices. Therefore, turning to practice theories for the study



Science as practice and culture

Science as Practice and Culture explores one of the newest and most controversial developments within the rapidly changing field of science studies: the move toward studying scientific practice--the

Knowledge and Power: Toward a Political Philosophy of Science

This lucidly written book examines the social and political significance of the natural sciences through a detailed and original account of science as an interpretive social practice.

Social Organization and Social Process: Essays in Honor of Anselm Strauss

The essays gathered in this volume contain analyses based on the general action perspective of Chicago sociology and, in particular, on the contributions of Anselm L. Strauss, whose lengthy

The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology might Benefit Each Other

The need for an integrated social constructivist approach towards the study of science and technology is outlined. Within such a programme both scientific facts and technological artefacts are to be

Death and Furniture: the rhetoric, politics and theology of bottom line arguments against relativism

and participants in the 15th Discourse and Reflexivity Workshop (University of Sheffield, September 1992) for making helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. In this version pages are

Sociology of Science

The Social Process of Innovation.By M. J. Mulkay. Pp. 64. (Macmillan: London and Basingstoke, April 1972.) 60p.

Symbolic Interactionism and Cultural Studies: The Politics of Interpretation

Series Editor's Preface. Preface. 1. The Interactionist Heritage. 2. The Interpretive Heritage. 3. Critique and Renewal: Links to Cultural Studies. 4. Enter Cultural Studies. 5. Communications as the

Interests and the Growth of Knowledge

oppose critical theorizing. Fay accepts that no solution to this problem as yet exists within the educative model (p. 233). Here it seems important that we specify our audiences. Educative theory

Feedback Thought in Social Science and Systems Theory

This is a study of a method of thinking in the social sciences known as the loop concept. This concept underlies the notions of feedback and circular causality. After tracing its historical roots,

Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change

Technology is everywhere, yet a theory of technology and its social dimension remains to be fully developed. Building on the influential book The Social Construction of Technological Systems, this