Astrosociology: what an absolutely fascinating topic, and such an innovative move by the authors to consider how well sociology may be equipped to look beyond, or perhaps even augment, its existing conceptual frameworks, particularly globalization and cosmopolitanism. I'm so excited I'm wondering if the book has the capacity to reinvigorate sci fi studies as well?: afterall, the fact that it is an avowedly sociological work hints at possible directions beyond the more popular cultural studies type approaches. I'm also thinking of the impact on sci fi authors, particularly those outside the "hard sci fi" genre, who are more willing to explicitly foreground the importance of how technology is mediated by social relationships.
In any case, it is a dream for this blog to feature such a work, embodying, as it does, so many of our theoretical interests (for example, note the references to biopower). Now I know I have to change priorities on my current reading list. The authors of the book also acknowledge the pioneering work of Jim Pass. This link lists his work, along with other bibliographical resources concerned with astrosociology.
Space weaponry, satellite surveillance and communications, and private space travel are all means in which outer space is being humanized: incorporated into society’s projects. But what are the political implications of society not only being globalized, but becoming ‘cosmic’?
Our ideas about society have long affected, and been affected by, our understanding of the universe: large sections of our economy and society are now organized around humanity’s use of outer space. Our view of the universe, our increasingly ‘cosmic’ society, and even human consciousness are being transformed by new relations with the cosmos.
As the first sociological book to tackle humanity’s relationship with the universe, this fascinating volume links social theory to classical and contemporary science, and proposes a new ‘cosmic’ social theory. Written in a punchy, student-friendly style, this timely book engages with a range of topical issues, including cyberspace, terrorism, tourism, surveillance and globalization.Review
"An original vision and a pedagogical text on a major issue of our time and, even more, of our childen's." Goran Therborn is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, UK and is also co-Director of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Sweden.
"Arguably the most important and certainly the most ambitious book of recent sociology." Bryan Turner, Editor of the "Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology".
An original vision and a pedagogical text on a major issue of our time and, even more, of our childen´s.
Göran Therborn is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, UK and is also co-Director of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Sweden.
Arguably the most important and certainly the most ambitious book of recent sociology.
Bryan Turner, Editor of the Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology.
Cosmic Society: Towards a Sociology of the Universe
By Peter Dickens, James S. Ormrod
Published by Routledge, 2007
ISBN 0415374324, 9780415374323