Dynamics of knowledge production: the case of social research industry in Turkey

Kıraç, Gülper
Knowledge production dynamics around the world have subjected to a transformation effecting all knowledge production actors and all disciplines. The crucial part of this transformation is entrance of the non-academic actors in the field of knowledge production and the ways producing information. This study aims to interrogate how this global trend affects the dynamics of knowledge production in Turkey through non-academic actors in the field of applied social research, and provide empirical data regarding newly emerging social research industry. Based on the literature analyses transformation of knowledge production and informatization, this study also tries to show parallelism between universities and research industry within the conditions of capitalism. In order to understand changing dynamics of knowledge production in Turkey, a fieldwork with the actors of social research industry was conducted. Findings of this study and the literature show that dynamics of the social research industry is determined in line with the needs and standards of clients which mainly international non-governmental organizations and banks. The results indicate that in Turkey social research industry in parallel with trends in global knowledge production cannot be regarded as an actor of knowledge production when knowledge is defined through theory and context. In consequence, this thesis suggests locating newly emerging non-academic actors as not the producers of knowledge but information.