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How we avoid insight from others
Author: Mikael Klintman

Why do people and groups ignore, deny and resist knowledge about society’s many problems? In a world of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, and ‘fact resistance’ that some believe could be remedied by ‘factfulness’ or ‘enlightenment’, the question has never been more pressing. Following years of ideologically polarised debates on this topic, the book seeks to further advance our understanding of the phenomenon of knowledge resistance by integrating insights from the social, economic, and evolutionary sciences. In current debates and studies, several vital factors are downplayed: that all people and institutions – even science – occasionally resist knowledge while calling their resistance ‘scepticism’, that knowledge resistance is not always irrational, that facts don’t equal truth, and that knowledge claims continuously need to be re-evaluated. Ignoring such key factors undermines the chances of reducing problematic knowledge resistance. Examples used in the book include controversies over climate change, the roots of violence, gender roles, religion, child-rearing, vaccination, genetically modified food, and artificial intelligence. In addition to accessible discussion of the scholarly literature and media sources, in-depth interviews with other renowned human scientists in the UK about their perspectives on knowledge resistance contribute to understanding this intriguing phenomenon. Moreover, the author shares his personal experiences of cultural clashes between different knowledge claims. The book is written for the educated public, students, and scholars interested in how people and groups handle knowledge controversies, and how such disputes can be resolved in the service of better managing the urgent social, environmental, and health-related problems of today.

Preserving and reinventing traditions of learning in the Middle Ages

This edited collection explores how knowledge was preserved and reinvented in the Middle Ages. Unlike previous publications, which are predominantly focused either on a specific historical period or on precise cultural and historical events, this volume, which includes essays spanning from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, is intended to eschew traditional categorisations of periodisation and disciplines and to enable the establishment of connections and cross-sections between different departments of knowledge, including the history of science (computus, prognostication), the history of art, literature, theology (homilies, prayers, hagiography, contemplative texts), music, historiography and geography. As suggested by its title, the collection does not pretend to aim at inclusiveness or comprehensiveness but is intended to highlight suggestive strands of what is a very wide topic. The chapters in this volume are grouped into four sections: I, Anthologies of Knowledge; II Transmission of Christian Traditions; III, Past and Present; and IV, Knowledge and Materiality, which are intended to provide the reader with a further thematic framework for approaching aspects of knowledge. Aspects of knowledge is mainly aimed to an academic readership, including advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, and specialists of medieval literature, history of science, history of knowledge, history, geography, theology, music, philosophy, intellectual history, history of the language and material culture.

James Tod’s journeys among the Rajputs

James Tod (1782-1835) spent twenty-two years in India (1800-1822), during the last five of which he was Political Agent of the British Government in India to the Western Rajput States in north-west India. His book studies Tod’s relationships with particular Rajput leaders and with the Rajputs as a group in general, in order to better understand his attempts to portray their history, geographical moorings and social customs to British and European readers. The book highlights Tod’s apparently numerous motivations in writing on the Rajputs: to bring knowledge about the Rajputs into European circles, to demonstrate that the Rajputs maintained historical records from the early middle ages and were thus not a primitive people without awareness of their own history, and to establish possible ethnic links between the warrior-like Rajputs and the peoples of Europe, as also between the feudal institutions of Rajputana and Europe. Fierce criticisms in Tod’s time of his ethnic and institutional hypotheses about connections between Rajputs and Europeans illustrate that Tod’s texts did not leave his readers indifferent.

The approach adopted uses available documents to go beyond a binary opposition between the colonisers and the colonised in India, by focusing on traces of friendly exchanges between Tod and his British colleagues on the one hand, and on the other hand, various members of the kingdoms of western India, with whom they interacted. Under themes like landscape, anthropology, science, Romantic literature, approaches to government policy, and knowledge exchanges in India and in London, this volume analyses Tod’s role as a mediator of knowledge through his travels across a little-known part of the British Empire in the early 19th century.

Medicine has always been a significant tool of an empire. This book focuses on the issue of the contestation of knowledge, and examines the non-Western responses to Western medicine. The decolonised states wanted Western medicine to be established with Western money, which was resisted by the WHO. The attribution of an African origin to AIDS is related to how Western scientists view the disease as epidemic and sexually threatening. Veterinary science, when applied to domestic stock, opens up fresh areas of conflict which can profoundly influence human health. Pastoral herd management was the enemy of land enclosure and efficient land use in the eyes of the colonisers. While the native Indians of the United States were marginal participants in the delivery or shaping of health care, the Navajo passively resisted Western medicine by never giving up their own religion-medicine. The book discusses the involvement of the Rockefeller Foundation in eradicating the yellow fever in Brazil and hookworm in Mexico. The imposition of Western medicine in British India picked up with plague outbreaks and enforced vaccination. The plurality of Indian medicine is addressed with respect to the non-literate folk medicine of Rajasthan in north-west India. The Japanese have been resistant to the adoption of the transplant practices of modern scientific medicine. Rumours about the way the British were dealing with plague in Hong Kong and Cape Town are discussed. Thailand had accepted Western medicine but suffered the effects of severe drug resistance to the WHO treatment of choice in malaria.

Cohesion, contestation and constructivism
Andrew Whiting

Assertions about the threat posed by malicious actions in cyberspace has seen cybersecurity become a major focus of national security agendas, especially in the most technically developed and computerised nations. Despite not having the same storied history and decade’s worth of extensive analysis that some other objects of security do have, cybersecurity knowledge has emerged quite rapidly, coming to the fore in the 1990s and picking up noticeably after the turn of the millennium. The argument contained within this book responds to the way in which

in Constructing cybersecurity
Community–university research partnerships in global perspectives

This book is based on a three-year international comparative study on poverty reduction and sustainability strategies . It provides evidence from twenty case studies around the world on the power and potential of community and higher education based scholars and activists working together in the co-creation of transformative knowledge. Opening with a theoretical overview of knowledge, democracy and action, the book is followed by analytical chapters providing lessons learned and capacity building, and on the theory and practice of community university research partnerships. It also includes lessons on models of evaluation, approaches to measuring the impact and an agenda for future research and policy recommendations. The book overviews the concept of engaged scholarship and then moves to focus on community-university research partnerships. It is based on a global empirical study of the role of community-university research partnerships within the context of poverty alleviation, the creation of sustainable societies and, broadly speaking, the Millennium Development Goals. The book frames the contribution of community-university research partnerships within a larger knowledge democracy framework, linking this practice to other spaces of knowledge democracy. These include the open access movement, new acceptance of the methods of community-based and participatory research and the call for cognitive justice or the need for epistemologies of the Global South. It takes a particular look at the variety of structures that have been created in the various universities and civil society research organizations to facilitate and enhance research partnerships.

A false dichotomy?
Margaret Sutherland

3 Indigenous and Western knowledge: a false dichotomy? Margaret Sutherland T here is tacit agreement regarding the multi-dimensional nature of complex development issues facing society in the twenty-first century (United Nations, 2000). What is less clear is how we effectively and collectively address these issues. Talking within established educational institutional frameworks and in relation to the social and physical sciences, Sumner and Tribe (2008, p. 751) argue that wideranging perspectives relating to ‘views on the world, knowledge and research

in University engagement and environmental sustainability
Social networks and the spread of medical information
Alun Withey

4 An economy of knowledge: social networks and the spread of medical information T hrough what channels did the people of early modern Wales obtain and pass on their medical knowledge? How far was Wales truly ‘cut off’ both internally and from the wider world? Medical knowledge was ubiquitous within early modern society, but this information did not exist in isolation. It was continually recycled, reinforced and reinvented through a multiplicity of informational pathways. In the previous chapter, the growing importance of medical books was argued to be an

in Physick and the family
An introduction
Budd L. Hall

1 Knowledge, democracy and action: an introduction Budd L. Hall In the city where I live, Victoria, Canada, a wealthy city in a wealthy country, there are 1,500 women and men (in a population of 250,000) who do not have a place to sleep at night. In spite of the creation of a Coalition to End Homelessness, the numbers of people who suffer from poor health, violence, substance abuse as a result of poverty and homelessness continues at about the same level. In India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, 600 million people live without literacy

in Knowledge, democracy and action
Stewart Allen

5 Circuits of knowledge Lakshmi, forty-five years old, works in the solar workshop of the Barefoot College, assembling and testing lanterns, lamps and charge controllers. She was born in the nearby village of Tilonia, where she still lives with her elderly parents and three children. As a widow, she is the sole household breadwinner. Unable to attend formal school during the day as a child due to her household chores, she enrolled in the local night school run by the College in her village. After completing night school, she worked as a labourer in the marble

in An ethnography of NGO practice in India