Alternative Pathways in Science and Industry

From Urban and Industrial Environments

Alternative Pathways in Science and Industry

Activism, Innovation, and the Environment in an Era of Globalizaztion

By David J. Hess





In Alternative Pathways in Science and Industry, David Hess examines how social movements and other forms of activism affect innovation in science, technology, and industry. Synthesizing and extending work in social studies of science and technology, social movements, and globalization, Hess explores the interaction of grassroots environmental action and mainstream industry and offers a conceptual framework for understanding it. Hess proposes a theory of scientific and technological change that considers the roles that both industry and grassroots consumers play in setting the research agenda in science and technology, and he identifies "alternative pathways" by which social movements can influence scientific and technological innovation. He analyzes four of these pathways: industrial opposition movements, organized against targeted technologies (as in the campaign against nuclear energy); technology- and product-oriented movements, which press for alternatives (as does the organic food movement); localism, which promotes local ownership (as in "buy-local" campaigns); and access pathways, which support a more equitable distribution of resources. Within each pathway, Hess examines reforms in five different areas: agriculture, energy, waste and manufacturing, infrastructure, and finance. The book's theoretical argument and empirical evidence demonstrate the complex pattern of incorporation (of grassroots innovations) and transformation (of alternative ownership structures and the alternative products themselves) that has characterized the relationship of industry and activism. Hess's analysis of alternative pathways to change suggests ways economic organizations could shift to a more just and sustainable course in the twenty-first century.


$62.00 X ISBN: 9780262083591 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 illus.


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262582728 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 illus.


  • Winner, 2009 Robert K. Merton Book Award given by the American Sociological Association Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology.