36  Clumsy solutions to environmental change

Lessons from cultural theory

Michael Thompson

Introduction

“Knowledge is always shaped by the organizational setting in which it is produced” is the cry of those who have taken the social constructionist crock (e.g., Jasanoff and Wynne, 1998). “Of course,” reply cultural theorists, “in which case we should press on to enquire into how many organizational arrangements there are, and how it is that each of them constitutes the production line for a particular kind of knowledge.” Cultural theorists then argue that there are just four ways of organizing, each of which is, at the same time, a way of disorganizing the other three.1 Each way of organizing, the theory holds, shapes the knowledge it produces ...

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