Kusz, Orsi (2020)
In: Östling, Johan/Olsen, Niklas/Heidenblad, David Larsson (eds.) (2020): Histories of Knowledge in Postwar Scandinavia. Actors, Arenas, and Aspirations. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 127-151. Open Access.
“Transactions of knowledge and boundary work
Although I am writing about a failed book project, this is not merely a study on why circulation of knowledge may not be successful. While trying to reveal blockages, I also show how knowledge circulated during the process of researching, discussing, writing, and commenting the book. I use two analytical concepts to make sense of my empirical material. First, I propose the concept transactions of knowledge, which relates to the notion of circulation of knowledge5 but highlights an oft-overlooked aspect. Circulation stresses the importance of how knowledge takes shape and how it is transformed while moving in society. Now, the movements of knowledge sometimes take the form of hybrid exchanges based on both economic and other values. What was knowledge worth for the different actors? Which transactions were imagined, proposed, realised, or hindered? Which forms did knowledge take in these transactions? Hence, with the concept of transaction, I highlight the exchanges between actors operating along different logics of value, within different “orders of worth”, as originally defined by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot. I am interested in how – in relation to which order of worth – the actors justified their “investments” in the production, distribution, and exchanges of knowledge. The relevant orders of worth in this case are: (1) the market order of worth; (2) the one I choose to refer to as the scholarly order of worth (a version of what Boltanski and Thévenot denote “inspirational”); and (3) the civic order of worth (which in my case refers to general societal ideas, morals, and ideologies).” (p. 128)