Accepted Paper:

Theoretizing Epistemic Regimes - transformative phenomena as reason for transformative theory?  


Stefan Böschen (RWTH Aachen University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper suggest a field theoretical approach for analysing the form, structure and dynamic of epistemic regimes. This is relevant while the phenomena of transformation (epistemic quality and authority) cannot be analysed with the approaches established yet.

Paper long abstract:

The track proposal highlights changes in epistemic quality and authority with the emergence of new interaction zones between different parts of society. Science interferes more intensive and more deeply with other institutionalized fields like economy, politics and the media. Nevertheless, although a broad scope of phenomena were addressed within the last decades, the question remains open how to take these phenomena into consideration. Is there a theory of transformation needed? This might be the case as it is unclear whether there is a fundamental change in the system - or not.

Against this background, this paper aims three things. First, it will shortly gather the multifaceted indices for a change in the system of the production of scientific knowledge. As these indices are not conclusive, the argument is that we need a theory to detect more precisely relevant phenomena of change. Second, it will present a field-theoretical approach to do both to analyse and to critically reflect such phenomena of transformation. In this field-theoretical approach and in contrast to the most prominent ones of Bourdieu and Fligstein/McAdam, I will strengthen and specify the model and role of actors and the relevant forces in the field. Third, it will present a research agenda for empirical studies informed by this perspective.

Panel T073
Epistemic Regimes - Reconfiguring epistemic quality and the reconstitution of epistemic authority