John Willinsky's If Only We Knew: Increasing The Public Value of Social PDF

By John Willinsky

ISBN-10: 020390639X

ISBN-13: 9780203906392

ISBN-10: 0415926521

ISBN-13: 9780415926522

During this textual content, John Willinsky makes use of glossy social concerns and ancient precedents to illustrate that the social sciences can and may give a contribution way more to public wisdom than they've got long ago. we've got the applied sciences, Willinksy demonstrates, and want merely the choice to create a public source out of social learn which can expand democratic participation and self-determination, in addition to enhance research's concentration and public aid. The ebook bargains examples of why and the way this isn't merely attainable yet useful, within the face of knowledge-based economies and a withering public region.

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Additional info for If Only We Knew: Increasing The Public Value of Social Science Research

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If this provides some sense of what is “public” about the public knowledge of concern to the social sciences, the reader may still ask, What then makes it “knowledge”? To say that something is “public knowledge” is to point to its widespread acceptance as fact. Public knowledge, in this sense, is wrapped up in traditional notions of the true and the real. What makes it knowledge, rather than information, is a judgment call that has to do with, perhaps, how well what is known fits within a greater understanding of some phenomenon.

The “knowledge management services” industry is growing into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. The SAS Institute of Cary, North Carolina (“Turning Data into Pay Dirt”), invests $200 million annually in research and development on decision-support software. Financial analysts who conduct research on companies’ stock prospects earn salaries of $350,000 to $10 million, and a know-corp like Hoover’s, which serves up mostly free information on 14,000 companies to some 2 2. 3. Fritz Machlup, Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962); Drucker’s statistic is based on census figures for “professional, managerial, and technical people”: Peter Drucker, The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines to Our Changing Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), 264; Daniel Bell, The Post-industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 44; Thomas Sowell, Knowledge and Decisions (New York: Basic Books, 1980), 48.

Researchers may imagine themselves to be working on permanent, lasting contributions to knowledge, and a few may well be doing so, but such aspirations need to be integrated with current responsibilities to advancing public knowledge, where their work is most likely to do some lasting good. The knowledge lives not as it accumulates, in some sort of continuous streaming forward, but only as it is reworked, rethought, and reinterpreted. Malinowski took what now seems to be a very small step on the question of race, but such points of analysis are part of how progress in public and academic knowledge is measured.

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If Only We Knew: Increasing The Public Value of Social Science Research by John Willinsky


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