Institutionalizing scientific knowledge : the social and political foundation of empirical economic research

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2011
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Sociology Compass. 2011, 5(7), pp. 564-575. ISSN 1751-9020. eISSN 1751-9020. Available under: doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00384.x
Zusammenfassung

Scientific knowledge is an essential component of modern society. Consequently, sociologists are interested in its production process and have conducted a broad variety of studies showing how social patterns influence the definition and the boundaries of scientific knowledge. In this paper, I ask how social factors influence the transformation of a ‘normal’ field of knowledge into a ‘scientific’ one. First, I give a brief overview of the development of the sociology of scientific knowledge exploring different approaches to the social foundations and boundaries of scientific knowledge. Second, I present a case study of the transformation of empirical economic research in the 1920s from a field of knowledge produced by journalists and civil servants into a prestigious scientific domain. I use neo-institutionalist ideas to show that knowledge needs a socially legitimated organizational frame in order to count as ‘scientific’ and I examine how political needs to ‘manage the economy’ build boundaries around economic knowledge and define it as ‘scientific’ in order to control its production, distribution, and communication.

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300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
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ISO 690REICHMANN, Werner, 2011. Institutionalizing scientific knowledge : the social and political foundation of empirical economic research. In: Sociology Compass. 2011, 5(7), pp. 564-575. ISSN 1751-9020. eISSN 1751-9020. Available under: doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00384.x
BibTex
@article{Reichmann2011Insti-24536,
  year={2011},
  doi={10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00384.x},
  title={Institutionalizing scientific knowledge : the social and political foundation of empirical economic research},
  number={7},
  volume={5},
  issn={1751-9020},
  journal={Sociology Compass},
  pages={564--575},
  author={Reichmann, Werner}
}
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