Discovering and Inventing Hazardous Environments: Sociological Knowledge and Publics at Risk

  • Stephen R. Couch
  • Steve Kroll-Smith
  • Jeffrey D. Kindler


Robert Merton and Alan Wolfe write about ‘one of the least understood stages in the development of a science … how [scientific] knowledge is consumed.’1 Specifically, they are interested in how sociological knowledge ‘becomes part of the culture and society that academic sociologists themselves study.’2 The authors do an interesting job of tracing how certain sociological terms become part of the language of the larger culture, while other terms do not. They also consider the use of sociological research methods, especially survey research, in the larger society and the impact of sociology on social policy. Merton and Wolfe conclude: ‘Our time seems particularly receptive to sociological ways of knowing’ — for better and for worse.3


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Couch
  • Steve Kroll-Smith
  • Jeffrey D. Kindler

There are no affiliations available

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