Professor, Karl Mannheim Chair for Cultural Studies, Zeppelin University, Germany
Knowledge seems to define so many of the phenomena of modern societies. But despite its prominence, knowledge is a hard term to grasp and often remains nebulous. It is necessary to explore the category of knowledge from a sociological perspective, and trace the concept of knowledge as the very fabric of modern societies. As we move through our modern world, the phenomenon we call knowledge never seems to be far. Whether we talk of know-how, technology, innovation or education, it is the concept of knowledge that ties them all together. Despite its ubiquity as a modern trope we seldom encounter knowledge as a concept itself. How is it produced, where does it reside, who owns it and what is its price? Is knowledge always beneficial, will we know all there is to know at some point in the future, and does knowledge really equal power? We need to pursue these questions as an original approach and trace the many ways knowledge how it is discovered, signified, validated, transported, disseminated, utilized, questioned, discarded, rediscovered and, as indicated, woven into the very fabric of modern society.