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The Pasteurization of France, trans. A. Sheridan and J. Law, Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, , BRUNO LATOUR The ‘Franslatcd by Aian Sheridan andjolin r^iw The Pasteurization of France Bruno Latour Translated by Alan Sheridan and John Law. The Pasteurization of France [Bruno Latour, Alan Sheridan, John Law] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. What can one man accomplish.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Pasteurization of France by Bruno Latour.

What can one man accomplish, even a great man and brilliant scientist? Although every town in France has a street named for Pasteur, was he alone able to stop people from spitting, persuade them to dig drains, influence them to undergo vaccination? Pasteur’s success depended upon a whole network of forces, including the public hygiene movement, the medical profession both What can one man accomplish, even a great man and brilliant scientist?

Pasteur’s success depended upon a whole network of forces, including the public hygiene movement, the medical profession both military physicians and private practitionersand colonial interests.

It is the operation of these forces, in combination with the talent of Pasteur, that Bruno Latour sets before us as a prime example of science in action. Latour argues that the triumph of the biologist and his methodology must be understood within the particular historical convergence of competing social forces and conflicting interests. Yet Pasteur was not the only scientist working on the relationships of microbes and disease.

How was he able to galvanize the other forces to support his own research? Latour shows Pasteur’s efforts to win over the French public–the farmers, industrialists, politicians, and much of the scientific establishment. Instead of reducing science to a given social environment, Latour tries to show the simultaneous building of a society and its scientific facts.

The first section of the book, which retells the story of Pasteur, is a vivid description of an approach to science whose theoretical implications go far beyond a particular case study. In the second part of the book, “Irreductions,” Latour sets out his notion of the dynamics of conflict and interaction, of the “relation of forces. Instead of leading to sociological reductionism, this method leads to an unexpected irreductionism.


Published October 15th by Harvard University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Pasteurization of Franceplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question oasteurization The Pasteurization of France. Lists with This Book. Aug 30, Mark Bowles rated it really liked it. This is a semiotic study of Pasteur based on three French journals.


There are continuous comparisons in the book between what Tolstoy did in War and Peace and what Latour does here. Tolstoy attacks the hagiography of Napoleon showing how he was only a part of the war, Latour does the same with Pasteur. To understand the greatness of a man all the actors in which he associates must be examined. Latour concludes that the revolution in medicine in the 19th was not attributable solely to A.

Latour concludes that the revolution in medicine in the 19th franc not attributable solely to Pasteur. He followed the movement, accompanied it, sometimes preceded it, and then was offered sole responsibility for it by others. Science is as political and chaotic as any other activity 2.

There is no boundary between science and society 3. Comparison with Tolstoy throughout the book and anti-hagiography 4. Two monographs in this book one empirical, one theoretical 5. Pasteur as a fulcrum 6. Network of alliances is what produces results in science 7. Latour does not wish is simply impute a revolution to Pasteur C.

War, peace, and microbes 1. Latour argues that all science is shaped by society. To prove his point he looks at a case the biological revolution of Louis Pasteur in which it appears that science impacted society and not the other fracne around. Latour uses semiotics and studies three scientific journals.

Bruno Latour – The Pasteurization of France

He read the Review Scientific from to recording all references to disease, biology, health, Pasteur, microbes, doctors, and hygiene. This is not a historical account. It is presented through the network of associations that make up the Pasteurian world. Strong microbes and weak hygienists. This is an examination of the hygienists When Latour begins to read the Revue in there is little mention of Pasteur.

One idea was found throughout the journal–this was the urgent need for regeneration. Hygienists in this period constantly equated health with the wealth of a country.

They believed that anything could possibly cause illness so that nothing could be ignored. This was an inadequate theory and they knew it. They quickly adopted and believed everything he claimed. By hybridizing the hygienists and the Pasteurians the power of both was increased. You will be Pastures of Microbes. It could not be introduced into an artificial environment.

Pasteur was able to trigger anthrax in chickens in his laboratory. He was able to show what took place in real latout also took place in the laboratory. Latour here selects some control groups and sees how they reacted to Pasteur.

This ths army doctors, civilian physicians, colonial doctors, and ordinary people.

The civilian doctors were slow to adopt Pasteur. Those who reject social studies of science reject it because they believe it is reducitonist and is ignorant of science.


Sociologists argue that force is behind scientific activity. Scientists argue reason fance behind scientific activity. Latour asks what would happen if no distinction was drawn between force and reason? This section consists of an introduction and then chapters of numbered propositions. Jun 17, Luther Wilson rated it it was amazing. The second part of this book lays out in Tractatus-fashion Latour’s “metaphysics” Oft held as a genius in postmodern sociology circles, and as a buffoon in pretty much everywhere else.

The book is, however, definitely still a worthwhile read. It is like a Swiss cheese, full of holes! To his credit Latour is a linguistically dexterous, however vapid, writer.

Overall, sadly, a perfect example of a mind left rotten from rea Oft held as a genius in postmodern sociology circles, and as a buffoon in pretty much everywhere else. Overall, sadly, a perfect example of a mind left rotten from reading too much French postmodernism.

The Pasteurization of France – Bruno Latour – Google Books

Nov 05, Jerry Balzano marked it as shelved Shelves: I’m actually reading the “appended” manifesto “Irreductions”, which is absolutely brilliant. Jul 12, Peter rated it really pasteeurization it. A provocative reconceptualization of how to write of the history of science. Dec 17, Miquixote rated it really liked it Shelves: Read this in my Sociology of Medicine university course. Latour sucessfully shows how society and its scientific developments grow together.

He doesn’t fall into deterministic traps that society controls everything or that science or scientists develop irregardless of social forces. Several cross-disciplinary boundaries are crossed to prove his points: Jan 27, BDT rated it did not like it.

Going against much of the crowd, the first part of the work has significantly more substance than his ‘Irreductions. However, I could easily see why the second part of his work is more appealing, and is more forward thinking than his “War ppasteurization Peace of Microbes.

Sep 24, AskHistorians added it Shelves: Latour does a good job at showing the social and cultural prerequisites necessary to encourage the French to accept Pasteur’s microbes as revealed truth, as well as the process by which these conditions are obscured in favor of the “Great Man” thesis. Karin rated it it was amazing Sep 13, Travis rated it it was amazing Jun 25, Juan Lxtour rated it really liked it Oct 02, Julia rated it liked it May 29, Oz rated it it was amazing Apr 23, Mzeheter rated it it was amazing Feb 13, Fo rated it really liked it Apr 18, Jasper rated it it was amazing Feb 10,


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