First, apologies for the long delay! Summer is in full bloom, and I’m deeply ensconced in writing a new version of a paper for ASA (as well as for a “publishable paper” requirement in my department). If you’re going to ASA, and want to see me give my first big talk*, check out the science studies section panel: “Knowledge about the economy: creating it and using it,” 8:30 AM on Tuesday, August 17. If you read the blog and say hello, I will probably stammer and say thank you and possibly offer to buy you a drink. Feel free to do the same!
Second, I was wondering if anyone knew what the sociology of knowledge is? I mean specifically some sort of “traditional” sociology of knowledge that does not include science studies. Science Studies seems to be a really coherent field, with a few big camps (SSK, ANT, ethnomethodological approaches, feminist work, etc.), a core set of journals, authors, etc. Sociology of Knowledge seems like a nearly empty signifier – anything can count as Soc of Knowledge, and nothing comes close to uniting the various strands. Is Foucault in? What about Merton? Mannheim seems like a key name, but I still don’t know what he’s being cited for, or how his work is supposed to be the backbone of anything. Can anyone in the audience recommend more recent work that you think defines or exemplifies the sociology of knowledge?
* 30 years from now, when I’m a big shot endowed chair, you can say, “I knew him when..!” You can also say this if 30 years from now I’m an adjunct at a community college. But it won’t sound as flattering.