By Peter Burke
Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social heritage of information, selecting up the place the 1st quantity left off round 1750 on the booklet of the French Encyclopédie and following the tale via to Wikipedia. just like the past quantity, it bargains a social historical past (or a retrospective sociology of information) within the experience that it focuses now not on members yet on teams, associations, collective practices and normal trends.
The booklet is split into three components. the 1st argues that actions which seem to be undying - amassing wisdom, analysing, disseminating and utilizing it - are actually time-bound and take diverse types in numerous sessions and locations. the second one half attempts to counter the tendency to write down a triumphalist historical past of the 'growth' of data by means of discussing losses of data and the cost of specialization. The 3rd half bargains geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the event of centres and peripheries and arguing that every of the most tendencies of the interval - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, and so forth, coexisted and interacted with its opposite.
As ever, Peter Burke offers a breath-taking diversity of scholarship in prose of exemplary readability and accessibility. This hugely expected moment quantity should be crucial examining around the humanities and social sciences.
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Extra resources for A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia
This chapter focuses on the first stage, the process of collecting or gathering knowledge. Gathering Knowledge Vivid metaphors such as ‘collecting’ or ‘gathering’ knowledge conjure up an obviously oversimplified picture, as if knowledge could be picked up like shells from the seashore or pulled from bushes and trees like fruit or netted like butterflies. 5 These terms are used here as no more than shorthand for a series of processes that include exploring, observing, surveying and experimenting, not to mention buying, looting and, not least, asking questions and listening to local informants.
The Tangut city of Khara-Khoto in western China was excavated by the Russian Pyotr Kozlov in 1907–9. The Inca city of Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham (with the help of a local farmer), while systematic excavations of the Mayan remains at Palenque began in 1934. Anthropological expeditions were also made at this time. Among the best known are the Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1897–1902), in which Franz Boas participated; the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits (1898), actually an interdisciplinary enterprise; and the French Mission Dakar-Djibouti (1931–3), which included a leading anthropologist, Marcel Griaule.
Konvitz (1987); Brown (1989); Waquet (2003, 2008). 10 Rueschemeyer and Skocpol (1996), 3. 11 Znaniecki (1940); McNeely with Wolverton (2008); McNeely (2009); Thackray and Merton (1972), 473. 12 Fabian (2000), 25. 13 Hudson (1981); Kuklick (1993); Harley (2001); Lane (2001). Cf. Ringer (2000). 14 Oleson and Voss (1979), 440–55. 15 Knorr-Cetina (1999). 16 Quoted in Young (2004), 369. 31 17 Naisbitt and Aburdene (1990); Mittelstrass (1992). Cf. Davenport and Prusak (1998), 1–24. 18 Drucker (1993), 41.
A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia by Peter Burke