Merton on Kuhn: historicity – in disciplines & political economy

107 The Sociology of Science, Memoir : (quoting from a 1972 paper written with HZ) :

Kuhn seems to us too restrictive in …  […] sociological interpretations of extra-theoretical influences upon the selection of problems for investigation in a science include more than its norms and institutional structure. They also include exogenous influences upon the rock of research adopted by scientists that come from the environing society, culture, economy and polity, influences of a kind pus so much in evidence these days in the heavily publicized form of changing priorities in the allocation of resources as to become apparent event to the most cloistered of scientists. All part from such exogenous influences, there is the question … of (the largely unintended) influences upon the rock of research that derived from the social structure as distinct from the normative structure of science, that is derive from the social composition and relations of scientists at work in the various disciplines.

Deux zones d’attention donc : la diversité des situations disciplinaires (ici l’un des leviers majeurs de Bourdieu, pour une sociologie de l’homo academicus), et la question matérielle de l’économie politique de la science, publique ou institutionnelle (à effet national) dans tous sens possibles.


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