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Introduction

  • David D. Franks
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)

Abstract

Data are presented about the recent growth of neuroscience. Next, I describe why and how the book is addressed to different readers. Reservations that some sociologists have about neuroscience are reviewed and shown to be unfounded. The differences of the halves of the brain separated by the corpus callosum are described along with how this dovetails with important sociological concepts. This is followed by a discussion of the social nature of the brain. If this is true, sociologists should know about it even though it goes against our westernized notion of the self separated from others. The idea of reductionism seen by many as essential to science is challenged and contrasted with mind as an emergence. Important generalizations about the nature of the brain are presented. Following this is a discussion of the history of the term “neurosociology” started in the early 1970s by TenHouten. His top-down treatment, i.e., culture working down to affect the brain, is contrasted with Davis’s cybernetic (top-down/bottom-up) approach. The chapter ends with a discussion of theory and methods in neuroscience and briefly describes the book’s chapters.

Keywords

Neuroism Accounts Corpus callosum Vocabulary of motives Units of analysis Agency Reductionism Self-consciousness Social control Determinism Reductionism Emergence Linguistic turn Astonishing hypothesis Plasticity Synapses Persistent inequality fMRI TMS Wada test 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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