Dynamics of knowledge production and the social formation of the university

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2010
Ceyhun, Murat
The purpose of this thesis is to establish a preliminary foundation of a research method aimed at understanding the social identity, role and function of the university. In this respect, it aims at identifying and articulating a set of issues, concepts, questions, social dynamics and so on, which have to be addressed and investigated carefully, before starting to build such a research method. To this end, the thesis focuses on and analyzes a recent debate on the changing nature of the contemporary social system of knowledge production; a debate constituted by several theses of change, namely, Mode 2, Finalization in Science, Post-normal Science, Academic Capitalism and Triple Helix, and the critiques directed towards these theses. In consequence, the thesis argues that to understand the social nature and function of the university, first and foremost, a versatile conceptual framework is required to capture the phenomenon of the social construction of the paradigm of knowledge/science; a phenomenon which is certainly nonlinear by nature and involves complex interrelations between scientific, political, economic and cultural realms.