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2017-10-23 - 09:44
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Institute of Sociology, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

At the Institute of Sociology of the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen, there is a tradition of research activities in the area of societal knowledge production spanning many years.  This research, such as in the area of inter-cultural cooperation in the automobile industry or concerning the conditions of knowledge production in the Erlangen metropolitan area, is conducted through an association of both academic chairs there.

The associate of the Institute of Sociology, Dr. Gerd Sebald, studied the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Sociologyphenomenon intensively as part of his dissertation "Open Knowledge Economy: Analyzes of Knowledge Sociology of Free/Open Source Software Development." Given this basis, the project "Cultures of Knowledge Production Cooperation and Confrontations with Utility-Oriented and Knowledge Economy" is currently a hot topic at the Institute of Sociology and is in the planning stage. It makes the assumption that the current state of knowledge production in society and especially in the field of software production is particularly characterized by two conflicting tendencies: On the one hand, there is a growing percentage of produced knowledge which can be attributed to the utility postulate. On the other hand, for over the past 25 years, a primarily media-based, open knowledge economy has developed in which knowledge is produced in the form of software without the intent of utilization and is distributed. Particularly in the past few years, both sides have only been able to find partial solutions due to the problems in the production of software. Various forms of cooperation have also developed between these two cultures of knowledge production. The research of these areas is a desideratum.

Based on a comparative cultural term, recurring primarily in terms of the description of the sphere of activity and in discursive and organizational structures, it is the goal of the project to inquire about inherent potentials and interactions as well as the aspects of mutual irritation which result from the collision of these two cultures of knowledge production. In the planned study, a series of case studies should be prepared in which the different forms of cooperation in confronting the utilization-oriented and open knowledge economy based on document analyzes, expert interviews and participatory monitoring are studied, documented and interpreted.

In collaboration with OSADL, a review should be performed to determine to what extent the anticipated findings can be implemented in actual practice in order to make open source software development more effective in the future and to be able to include groups of the population who were previously not involved in the community process.

Contact

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Institute of Sociology, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, Contact: Dr. Gerd Sebald (in German language), Email: Dr. Gerd Sebald, Web: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Institute of Sociology, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, http://www.soziologie.phil.uni-erlangen.de/ (in German language)

References

Book Cover of Gerd Sebald: Offene Wissensökonomie

Gerd Sebald: Offene Wissensökonomie

Analysen zur Wissenssoziologie der Free/Open Source-Softwareentwicklung. [Open economy of knowledge. Analyses related to the sociology of knowledge of Free/Open Source software development.] VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, 2008 (in German language)