Monday, January 24, 2005

The New Sociology of Knowledge

Annual Review of Sociology: Vol. 20, pp. 305-329: ""

Abstract: "The new sociology of knowledge examines how kinds of social organization make whole orderings of knowledge possible, rather than focussing on the differing social locations and interests of individuals or groups. The review begins with the effects on knowledge of the media through which it is preserved, organized, and transmitted. We then analyze collective memory, examining social conditions that shape how knowledge is transmitted through time. The review then examines how patterns of authority located in organizations shape both the content and structure of knowledge, looking at how authority affects the scope, generality, and authoritativeness of knowledge. We then review recent work on how social power, particularly that embodied in institutional practices, shapes knowledge. We examine how knowledge reinforces social hierarchies and how the boundaries and categories of systems of knowledge are constituted. Looking at power, gender, and knowledge, we discuss new versions of the standpoint theories that characterized the traditional sociology of knowledge. Finally, we briefly review recent work on informal knowledge."