Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (Paperback)

Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power By Sheila Jasanoff (Editor), Sang-Hyun Kim (Editor) Cover Image

Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (Paperback)

By Sheila Jasanoff (Editor), Sang-Hyun Kim (Editor)


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Dreamscapes of Modernity offers the first book-length treatment of sociotechnical imaginaries, a concept originated by Sheila Jasanoff and developed in close collaboration with Sang-Hyun Kim to describe how visions of scientific and technological progress carry with them implicit ideas about public purposes, collective futures, and the common good. The book presents a mix of case studies—including nuclear power in Austria, Chinese rice biotechnology, Korean stem cell research, the Indonesian Internet, US bioethics, global health, and more—to illustrate how the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries can lead to more sophisticated understandings of the national and transnational politics of science and technology. A theoretical introduction sets the stage for the contributors’ wide-ranging analyses, and a conclusion gathers and synthesizes their collective findings. The book marks a major theoretical advance for a concept that has been rapidly taken up across the social sciences and promises to become central to scholarship in science and technology studies.
Sheila Jasanoff is the Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Sang-Hyun Kim is associate professor at the Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture at Hanyang University in Korea.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226276526
ISBN-10: 022627652X
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2015
Pages: 360
Language: English
"The individual essays in Dreamscapes are uniformly interesting and well researched, and Jasanoff’s opening essay offers a sophisticated overview of a wide body of literature. The collection offers a valuable addition to scholarship at the intersection of STS, SHOT, Politics and Science Policy, and I expect will become widely read."
— Metascience

"The essays in Dreamscapes of Modernity address the ways in which individuals, states, universities, and various corporate bodies conceptualize scientific and technological matters while translating this knowledge into visions for productive social, political, and technical change. Jasanoff and Kim offer a lucid and subtle analysis of the role of science and technology in producing norms, knowledges, and visions that cement relations of power. What is at stake in this very fine volume is a fundamental understanding of how social systems change or endure, cohere or fall apart."
— Judy Wajcman, author of Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism

"Here is a volume that succeeds at the difficult task of treating all societies symmetrically, whether in the global north, south, east, and west. Through the lens of sociotechnical imaginaries the authors show us telling comparisons between Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The result is a convincing deconstruction of the standard image of modernization and an equally convincing plea to engage in constructive politics. This volume should be obligatory reading for anyone engaging with how societies and science and technology shape each other and thereby our futures."
— Wiebe E. Bijker, author of Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs

"A valuable humanistic collection connecting the social history of science and the anthropology of science and technology with Jasanoff's signature contributions bridging science and technology studies, power, and the construction of social legitimacy."
— Michael M. J. Fischer, author of Anthropological Futures

"Dreamscapes of Modernity offers a flexible, yet rigorous model for positioning politics at the center of STS by emphasizing the imaginative and normative as well as the material and institutional dimensions of scientific and technological projects. The concept of sociotechnical imaginaries represents a vital contribution not only to Science and Technology Studies,but also to fields such as critical geography, cultural studies, and political theory—a reminder that contemporary configurations of science, technology, and power could have been, and still can be, otherwise."
— Daniel Williford