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Sociology of Knowledge in Europe

ESA Workshop

Lupe [1]

European Perspectives on the Sociology of Knowledge

Midterm Workshop of the European Sociological Association (ESA)

Research Stream (RS05): Sociology of Knowledge

Date: August 26th/27th, 2016

Programme [2]

This workshop presents contributions covering the variety of approaches and current developments in the field of sociology of knowledge which can be found in Europe and beyond. In initializing a dialogue across the diversity, it looks for a common ground for the various theoretical and empirical efforts in this field. Rather than being just another sociological sub-discipline, we take the sociology of knowledge to establish a particular and unique sociological perspective constituting a general approach to doing social science. Its main theoretical and methodological premises can be found in the works of Max Weber’s Verstehende Soziologie, Karl Mannheim and the classical ideological criticism tradition and Alfred Schütz and Berger and Luckmann as a starting point for the social constructionism tradition. Inspiration for the sociology of knowledge can also be found in other traditions such as the ‘Durkheim School’ or in the work of Florian Znaniecki and others. 

The new sociology of knowledge approach – as we understand it – draws both on this European tradition and on the North American tradition of Symbolic Interactionism, Ethnomethodology, the Chicago School of Sociology and their ‘descendants’ such as Erving Goffman and others. Currently a number of developments under the umbrella of sociology of knowledge is gaining momentum as ideas from the sociology of knowledge are combined with concepts of communication (“Communicative Constructivism”), theories of discourse (“Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse”), practice theories, neopragmatism and many others. The current concepts of knowledge that are discussed in the domains Science and Technology Studies (STS), Gender Studies, and Postcolonial Studies are also closely related to the sociology of knowledge. We like to encourage the discussion of the diversity and variety of perspectives on the sociology of knowledge and explore the ways in which different cultures, theoretical stances or sub-disciplines conceive of the sociology of knowledge, make it fruitful for empirical research and develop it further theoretically. 

Having witnessed an enormous interest for the new research stream (RS05) “Sociology of Knowledge” at the European Sociological Association’s Conference 2015 in Prague, this workshop is intended as a next step in the development of a European Network in the Sociology of Knowledge. Therefore this workshop addresses researches in Europe and beyond to share and discuss their theoretical considerations, their methodological approaches and their empirical work(-in-progress) explicitly relating to the sociology of knowledge. 

For any further questions please contact the organizers: René Tuma, Technische Universität Berlin, Department of Sociology, Email: rene.tuma@tu-berlin.de and Saša Bosančić, University of Augsburg, Department of Sociology, Email: sasa.bosancic@phil.uni-augsburg.de

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