Collective Closure?

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Collective Closure?

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Title: Collective Closure?
Public debate as the solution to controversies about science and technology
Author: Horst, Maja
Abstract: Developments in biotechnology have sparked a number of social controversies during the last decades and it has been common to understand public debate as a necessary prerequisite for the ability to deal with these controversies. This is particularly true in the case of Denmark, where public debate has been taking place for more than 25 years, and the paper uses the Danish example to argue that controversies about biotechnology intersect with fundamental political discussions about order and control in today’s knowledge society. Inspired by cultural theory and the work of Mary Douglas, it is proposed that arguments about biotechnology are justified by reference to particular articulations of social order. Her four notions of social order are identified in the analysis of a sample of arguments from four major Danish newspapers. On the basis of this typology, the paper examines the broad discursive consensus in favour of public debate and participatory exercises regarding the social responses to biotechnology. It does, however, simultaneously point to inherent tensions in the expectations towards public debate and its role in the creation of solutions to controversies over science and technology.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8270
Date: 2011-02-18
Notes: Dette er sidste udgave af artiklen inde den blev udgivet som: Maja Horst (2010): Collective Closure? - Public debate as the solution to controversies about science and technology. Acta Sociologica 53(3)195-211.

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