The sociology of science and innovation


The objective of this class is to assess the relevance of the concept of "scientific field" (P. Bourdieu), particularly in the context of policies that have, since the 1970s, promoted closer relationships between science and the market.

The first two sessions of the seminar will be devoted to the reading of Bourdieu's texts on science. Session 3 will focus on two sociological models of the evolution in the relationship between science, industry, and the State (the "New Production of Knowledge" and "Triple Helix" models) and will show how they differ from T.Shinn’s theory of scientific production regimes. In sessions 4 and 5 we will address the two questions raised by the previous analyses: the degree of integration of this world and its relative autonomy in the face of increasing injunctions to science to serve economic growth and market needs. Session 6 will focus on how the concept of "neoliberal governmentality" (M. Foucault) has contributed to a better understanding of the previously discussed evolutions in science.


  • Bourdieu P., Science de la science et réflexivité, Paris, Raisons d’Agir, 2001.
  • Laval C., Foucault, Bourdieu et la question néolibérale, Paris, La Découverte, 2018.
  • Lemieux C., Le crépuscule des champs. Limites d’un concept ou disparition d’une réalité historique ?, Raisons Pratiques, 21, 75-100, 2011.
  • Shinn T., Marcovich A., Regimes of Science Production and Diffusion : Towards a Transverse Organization of Knowledge, Scientiae Studia, vol.10, 33-64, 2012.
  • Shinn T., Ragouet P., Controverses sur la science. Pour une sociologie transversaliste de l’activité scientifique, Paris, Raisons d’Agir, 2005.

Educational formula

Each session of this seminar is structured around a corpus of texts which students must read before class in order to be able to exchange with the teacher on the issues raised. Assessment for this class will be based on a written report: students will write a synthesis of the exchanges that will have taken place during the sessions, based on the texts studied, the interventions of the teacher, and the questions and remarks formulated during the discussion phases. Oral participation in the debates will be taken into account in the assessment.

Additional information

Class delivered by Pascal Ragouet.

In brief

Year Fifth year

Teaching languageFrench

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activitySeminar

ValidationContinuous assessment

Mandatory teaching