July 29, 2004 7:03 AM   Subscribe

This website exists because astrosociology is not yet a widely recognized subfield of sociology, and therefore it can benefit from a centralized approach. It is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growth of astrosociology from a general state of nonexistence.
As a little known sociologist fights his lonely quixotic battle to introduce a new sociology subfield, some who are stuck in their earthbound paradigm object.
posted by found missing (8 comments total)
(This website) is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growth of astrosociology from a general state of nonexistence.

As opposed to...what? A specific state of nonexistance?
posted by at 8:17 AM on July 29, 2004

I read the working definition, and I still don't get what they're talking about. Can anyone put this into understandable English?
posted by evening at 8:52 AM on July 29, 2004

Being one of the resident MeFi Sociologists, I found this very, very funny.

Astrosociology is defined as the sociological study of the two-way relationship between astrosocial phenomena and other aspects of society (i.e., non-astrosocial phenomena or other social phenomena) at the various levels of social reality and organization (i.e., the micro, middle, and macro levels of analysis). The concept of astrosocial phenomena (have I coined a new concept?!) pertains to all social conditions, social forces, organized activities, objectives and goals, and social behaviors directly or indirectly related to (1) spaceflight and exploration or (2) any of the space sciences (e.g., astronomy, cosmology, astrobiology, astrophysics). It includes all outcomes of these phenomena in the form of scientific discoveries and technological applications, new paradigms of thought in the astrosocial and non-astrosocial sectors of society, as well as any resulting changes of social norms and values in any of the social structures of a particular society.

Essentially, he is attempting to carve a niche in the social aspects of space sciences, and how their advancements affect society at large (I think: the guy could use some lessons in how to make a clear point).

One of two things is happening. Either a) this is a parody of some of the ridiculous attempts at flag planting to get the title of "founder of the _______ school of thought" or b) this is a ridiculous attempt at such flag planting.

Unfortunately, after reading this, have come to the conclusion that it is, in fact b) (note that under his picture he wrote "founder of") Funny nonetheless.
posted by Quartermass at 10:17 AM on July 29, 2004

The goal is to attract the attention of sociologists and others interested in the general areas of the "sociology of outer space" or "outer space and society" and encourage them to participate in the building of a specific new body of knowledge, and its related sociological literature, that is focused upon astrosocial phenomena. This also involves the creation and nurturing of astrosociology so that it becomes the core subject matter of courses taught in sociology (and even astronomy) departments in the United States and around the world.

From somewhat reasonable to batshit looney in under 100 words. Not bad.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:23 AM on July 29, 2004

I hereby found the study of anthrosocioastrology - the study of the crazy people behind socioastrology.
posted by ChasFile at 2:33 PM on July 29, 2004

I hereby find the study...?
posted by ChasFile at 2:33 PM on July 29, 2004

wow. I actualy wanted to find out what the hell it was talking about, which was rather difficult. It seems that what he wants to do is study the interplay of astronomy and society. For example, uh, how the moon missions might have mobilzed and inspired the nation. Sounds pretty boring, actualy.
posted by delmoi at 5:23 PM on July 29, 2004

As another resident sociologist, I must say that this is particularly stupid, as there is already a branch of sociology devoted to the interplay between science, technology and society, among other things. We call this (rather obviously) 'the sociology of science' and it has been around at least since Robert K. Merton started studying scientific norms prior to WWII. 'Astrosociology' has already been done to some degree, although by no one mentioned on this site.
posted by amauck at 9:23 PM on July 29, 2004

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