Mathematics And Social Interest Case Study

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Mathematics and social interests Published in Search, Vol. 19, No. 4, July-August 1988, pp. 209-214 pdf of Search article Reprinted in Arthur B. Powell and Marilyn Frankenstein (eds.), Ethnomathematics: Challenging Eurocentrism in Mathematics Education (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), pp. 155-171. Brian Martin Go to Brian Martin's publications on science, technology and society Brian Martin's publications Brian Martin's website Mathematics is a product of society and it can both reflect and serve the interests of particular groups. The connection between mathematics and interest groups can be examined by looking at the social construction of mathematical knowledge and by looking at the social system in which mathematics…show more content…
They commonly distinguish their enterprise from religious or political belief systems, seeing scientific truth as unbiased. This belief system has always had difficulties with certain applications of science such as nuclear weapons. The usual way in which the belief in the purity of science is maintained is by distinguishing between scientific knowledge and its applications. Scientific knowledge is held to be pure while its applications can be for good or evil. This is known as the use-abuse model. This standard picture came under attack in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Radical critics argued that science is inevitably shaped by its social context. For example, funding of pesticide research by the chemical industry arguably influences not only what research topics are treated as important but also what types of ecological models are considered relevant for understanding agricultural systems. Many critics argued that the key motive behind science is profit and social control (Rose & Rose 1976a, b; Arditti et al.…show more content…
It can refer to the impact of social factors -- such as sources of funding, possible applications or prevalent beliefs in society -- on the content and form of mathematical knowledge, such as on the choice of areas to study, the formulation of methods of proof and the choice of axioms. Alternatively, it can refer to the role mathematics plays in applications, from actuarial work to industrial engineering. Finally, it can refer to the social organisation of the production of mathematics: the training of mathematicians, patterns of communication and authority in mathematical work, professionalisation, specialisation and power

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