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Social Theory and Human Biotechnology
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Authors: Tim Owen (University of Central Lancashire, UK) 
Book Description:
The book is intended as a contribution towards metatheoretical development as part of the post-postmodern ‘return to’ sociological theory associated with Roger Sibeon (1996, 1999, 2004, 2007), Derek Layder (1997, 2004, 2007), Nicos Mouzelis (1991, 1993, 1995, 2007), Margaret Archer (1995, 1998) and Owen [2006a, 2006b, 2007a, 2007b] in tandem with a study of some of the sociological and ethical implications of selected examples of human biotechnology. The examples include the Human Genome Project, and related areas of interest such as reproductive biotechnology; the attempts to develop a biological sociology by writers of the ‘embodied’ school; and what Powell and Owen (2005) term ‘the biomedical model’. The book is also intended to contribute towards ‘building bridges’ between post-postmodern metatheory and biological science.

Table of Contents:


by Professor Derek Layder (University of Leicester UK)


Chapter One: Introduction;pp. 1-6

Chapter Two: Transitions in Social Theory;pp. 7
Four Cardinal Sins;pp 8
a) Reductionism;pp. 9
b) Essentialism;pp. 10
c) Reification;pp. 10
d) Functional Teleology;pp. 11

Metatheory and the Problem of Relativism;pp. 12-19

The Human Genome Project and Foucauldian ‘Power';pp. 20-21

Agency and Social Actors;pp. 22-32

Archer, Layder and Mouzelis: Post-postmodern Theorists
a) Margaret Archer;pp.32-34
b) Nicos Mouzelis;pp. 34-35
c) Derek Layder;pp. 35-40

Chapter Three: A Post-Postmodern Metatheoretical Framework?;pp. 41

Codification of the Metatheoretical Framework;pp. 41-42

‘Building Bridges’;pp. 42-48

Evolutionary Psychology and ‘Nature Via Nurture’;pp. 48-61

Duality Versus Dualism Revisited;pp. 62-65

Incorporating the Biological Variable;pp. 66-75

Chapter Four: Human Biotechnology: Selected Issues and Implications;pp. 77

The Human Genome Project;pp. 77-87

Risk and Governance;pp. 87-88

Human Biotechnological Developments;pp. 88
a) Artificial Insemination;pp.88-89
b) Egg Donation;pp. 89-90
c) Prenatal Diagnosis of Genetic Disorders;pp. 90
d) Pregnancy Termination of ‘Defective’ Fetuses;pp. 90-91
e) The Eugenic Implications of Prenatal Diagnosis;pp. 91-92
f) Embryo Selection;pp. 92-93
g) Genetic Engineering;pp. 93
h) Cloning;pp. 93-95
i) Human Biotechnology: A Form of ‘New’ Eugenics?;pp. 95-96

Further Ethical Concerns and Human Biology;pp. 96-97
a) Artificial Insemination;pp. 97-98
b) Egg Donation;pp. 98-99
c) Prenatal Diagnosis;pp. 99-100
d) Embryo Selection;pp. 100-101
e) Selection for Sex;pp. 101-102
f) Cloning;pp. 102-104
g) Gene Therapy;pp. 104-108

Bio-Medical Discourse;pp. 108-113

Chapter Five: An Application of the Metatheoretical Framework to the Study of Human Biotechnology;pp. 115

The Metatheoretical Framework;pp.115-119

Reification;pp. 120-127

Essentialism;pp. 127-129

Functional Teleology;pp. 129-130

Reductionism;pp. 130-133

Genetic Fatalism;pp. 133-137

The Oversocialised Gaze;pp. 137-140

The Biological Variable;pp. 140-142

Power;pp. 142-146

Dualism;pp. 147--148

Agency-Structure, Micro-Macro, Time-Space;pp. 148-150

Concluding Observations;pp. 151-156


   Binding: Hardcover
   Pub. Date: 2009, 2nd quarter
   Pages: 7 x 10, 193 pp.
   ISBN: 978-1-60692-531-7
   Status: AV
Status Code Description
AN Announcing
FM Formatting
PP Page Proofs
FP Final Production
EP Editorial Production
PR At Prepress
AP At Press
AV Available
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