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Title: Strong structuration theory in the technological, appropriative, and ideological dimensions of biotechnology : the case of the Rothamsted GM wheat trials
Author: Panagiotou, Aristeidis
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 8215
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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In the past couple of decades, biotechnology has shifted from a paradigm of purely scientific research and experimentation to worldwide commercialization in a multitude of industries ranging from agriculture and food production to pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Collective protest and scientific concern suggest that arguably the most controversial products of biotechnology are Genetically Modified (GM) crops and food. In this thesis I examine the 2012 GM wheat field trials carried out by Rothamsted Research in the UK which has been regarded by some as a 'second push' by the biotechnology industry to bring GM into the UK. In order to place this experiment in the broader economic, political, and cultural environment I combine two seemingly incongruent theoretical frameworks; namely Nicos Mouzelis' post-Marxist scheme (TAI) and Rob Stones' Strong Structuration Theory (SST). The former rejects the base/superstructure dichotomy, but retains the Marxist critical edge by arguing that all major institutional spheres have technological, appropriative, and ideological dimensions. The latter is a comprehensive theory of action that situates social actors in specific environments of action. TAI and SST can prove to offer invaluable insights to the technological, appropriative, and ideological dimensions of the field trials in a holistic and non-reductionist way. Apart from the specificities of GM wheat experiments discussed, some broader characteristics and tendencies that seem to take shape in the GM debate will also come to the surface.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available