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Introduction: Neuroscience, Identity and Society

Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences

ISBN: 978-1-84855-880-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-881-6

Publication date: 17 October 2011


It should, we hope, by now be clear that neuroscience not simply warrants but perhaps demands attention from sociologists. However, to-date, debate around the ‘new brain sciences’ has been limited within sociology; it has mostly been ethicists who have opened up discussions on the normative and epistemological issues neuroscience raises. Of course, this is not to say that sociologists and other social scientists have been blind to the developments in the brain sciences; a variety of significant and nuanced analyses have begun to be advanced. There can be no doubt that a rich vein of creative and insightful scholarship in what might be called the social studies of the neurosciences is already in existence, and will surely widen. Yet, we can also see that much work remains to be done. It is our intention that this book will play an important role in the elaboration of scholarship in the field. To this end, we have sought and included a range of perspectives from (medical) sociologists and anthropologists, which vividly illustrate the varied social life of the neurosciences, and brightly illuminates the diverse conceptualisations, approaches and standpoints available to sociological analysts.


Pickersgill, M. and van Keulen, I. (2011), "Introduction: Neuroscience, Identity and Society", Pickersgill, M. and Van Keulen, I. (Ed.) Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. xiii-xxii.



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