Croissant, Jennifer L. 1965-

views updated

Croissant, Jennifer L. 1965-


Born August 7, 1965, in Bellefonte, PA; daughter of William G. (an educator) and Patricia (an educator) Croissant; married Roy David Willits, Jr., January 16, 1999. Education: Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1987; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.M., 1989; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ph.D., 1995.


Home—Tucson, AZ. Office—University of Arizona, 1443 E. 1st St., SBS Annex, Tucson, AZ 85721-0403; fax: 520-621-1533. E-mail—[email protected].


Academic. University of Arizona, Tucson, assistant professor, then associate professor, 1995—, director of graduate studies, 2005-08.


American Sociological Association (chair, 2006-07), Society for Social Studies of Science (council member).


(With Sal Restivo) Degrees of Compromise: Industrial Interests and Academic Values, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2001.

(Editor, with Ron Eglash, Giovanna Di Chiro, and Rayvon Fouché) Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(With Wenda K. Bauchspies and Sal Restivo) Science, Technology, and Society: A Sociological Approach, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2006.


Jennifer L. Croissant is an American academic. She completed her higher education at Pennsylvania State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning a Ph.D. from the latter in 1995. That same year Croissant began working as an assistant professor at Tucson's University of Arizona. She was eventually promoted to associate professor and became director of graduate studies in 2005.

Croissant published her first book, Degrees of Compromise: Industrial Interests and Academic Values, with Sal Restivo in 2001. The book examines the scale, scope, and transparency of academic institutions' industrial interests. These include a look into for-profit business partnerships with universities and the perceived commercialization of university and school campuses. The book also looks at the effects this has on values, ethics, and practices of students.

In 2004 Croissant edited Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power with Ron Eglash, Giovanna Di Chiro, and Rayvon Fouché. The book attempts to unite two contrasting positions in the field of social science of technology: the microlevel, or the detail-specific empirical studies of technology and science, and the macrolevel, or the accounts more centered on the social theories, studies of sociopolitical production, and how technoscience is received. The approach is to locate the all-telling components of these fields, the so-called "technological black boxes," and put technoscience in its appropriate economic, social, and cultural contexts. The book uses twenty case studies where nonscientists, through historical, political, and activist accounts, have simplified science and technology for their own purposes. The book, divided into four sections, discusses the human body and the technologies available to alter it, a range of information technologies, the role of science and technology on the environment, and the significance of inventions in the field. Roy Bendor, writing in the Canadian Journal of Communication, claimed that "the book's most important contribution to a growing, politically conscious scholarship that is highly critical towards conventional models of linear innovation and diffusion of technoscience, is its pointing at a multitude of means to exploit the fissures and cleavages in the ostensibly impenetrable wall of western technoscientific knowledge." Bendor concluded: "Although it may suffer from a noticeable slant toward fanciful optimism as to the ‘really existing’ potential of acts of appropriating technology to damper technoscientific hegemony, Appropriating Technology is bound to leave more than a dent in the discourse of technoscience, charting innovative paths to rethink and posit the interrelations of technology, society, and power."

Collaborating with Wenda K. Bauchspies and Sal Restivo, Croissant published Science, Technology, and Society: A Sociological Approach in 2006. The book serves as a thorough study of the rising field of science, technology, and society (STS). The account reviews contemporary issues, related theories, and contains a number of case studies to use as firsthand examples.



Canadian Journal of Communication, 2004, Roy Bendor, review of Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May, 2006, S.L. Tanimoto, review of Science, Technology, and Society: A Sociological Approach, p. 1621.

Isis, March, 2006, Rebecca Herzig, review of Appropriating Technology, p. 181.


University of Arizona Web site, (January 7, 2008), author profile.

About this article

Croissant, Jennifer L. 1965-

Updated About content Print Article