Accepted Paper:

The knowledge in the change of the conceptualization of 'the local': 'imaginative answers' in Italian industrial districts  


Viviana Lebedinsky (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) Paris, France)

Paper long abstract:

The paper argues about the relevance of knowledge as a key element in the reconceptualization of "the local" and considers the contributions of anthropology regarding the "imaginative answer" through a study of the phenomenon of innovation focusing on the Italian industrial districts. It enlarges certain aspects of some research based on a personal doctorate thesis in social anthropology done at l'EHESS. The development of "innovation" is studied in relation to the following aspects: the process of accumulation of knowledge, for generations, of "specific and local resources" regarding historical, temporal and spatial dimensions; specificities on how tacit and codified knowledge complement and improve each other analyzing the industrial and formative districts in the local and global dimensions; and the mechanisms of abstraction. The anthropological contributions of "skill", "know-how", "expertise", "technique", "technology", and "scientific, technical and technological knowledge" are emphasized as well as the processes of learning in the acquisition of knowledge.

Panel W037
The local in times of change