In this provocative and broad-ranging work, the authors argue that the ways in which knowledge - scientific, social and cultural - is produced are undergoing fundamental changes at the end of the twentieth century. They claim that these changes mark a distinct shift into a new mode of knowledge production which is replacing or reforming established institutions, disciplines, practices and policies. Identifying features of the new mode of knowledge production - reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, heterogeneity - the authors show how these features connect with the changing role of knowledge in social relations. While the knowledge produced by research and development in science and technology is accorded central concern, the

Introduction

Introduction

This volume is devoted to exploring changes in the mode of knowledge production in contemporary society. Its scope is broad, concerned with the social sciences and the humanities as well as with science and technology, though fewer pages are given to the former than to the latter. A number of attributes have been identified which suggest that the way in which knowledge is being produced is beginning to change. To the extent that these attributes occur across a wide range of scientific and scholarly activity, and persist through time they may be said to constitute trends in the way knowledge is produced. No judgement is made as to the value of these trends – that is, whether they are good and to be encouraged, ...

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