The Changing Nature of Knowledge: Mapping the Discourse of the Malmö Longitudinal Study, 1939-1995

Stockholms Universitet (2000)
The concept of knowledge is the topic of this monograph, the purpose of which is to study how it has been represented in educational research literature since 1939. Six texts have been selected, which use the Malmö Longitudinal Study data. These texts span the time period of 1939-1995 and have different foci, such as intelligence, social adjustment, benefits of education, recurrent education and quality of life. Discourse analysis has been used to study the texts. The assumption, guiding the analysis, is that representations of knowledge are found in the texts. In this study the representations that are sought are ideas with reference to knowledge. It was found that different concepts of knowledge have been constucted by diverse activities of choosing, judging and interpreting. The purposes and sources, for whcih these activities have been undertaken, are quite dissimilar, so much so, as to constitute differing conceptualizations of knowledge, underlying these six educational research texts.
The theoretical framework is based on the work of two philosophers, Ernst Cassirer and Michael Lyncg. Cassirer's work from the 1930s and 1940s, in which precision in scientific concepts is advanced, is contrasted to Lynch's work from 1995, in which he proposes the use of fluid concepts. One such fluid concept has been used in the title of this monograph. Over the years, conceptualizations of knowledge have changed in this educational discourse. These results are presented, using social cartography to map the texts as intertextual fields. Visualizing complex pheonomena in this manner provides the reader with an interpretation of the discourse, in which the change is seen. Thus, mapping opens up the discourse for us to see, showing us the concepts of knowledge embedded in the texts, and allows us to see how the ways of seeing have changed over time in this discourse. The monograph ends with a discussion on the construction of knowledge, its consequences for the nature of knowledge and Cassirer's "unity of essence"
Keywords Knowledge, Theory of
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Call number BD161.O35 2000
ISBN(s) 9172650885  
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