Conscripting organisms : an ethnography of boundaries. Audiences and reflexivity in academic and consultancy work
This thesis investigates the use of houndedness. claims for credibility and the exploitation o\' reflexive accounting within know ledge w ork. The current literature t'rom the sociology of scientific knowledge is used to contextualize this investigation, which constructs the thesis' central problem as a concern with the way boundary maintaining and boundary breaking activities contribute to the distribution of science and technology into its wider context. Two distinct and apparentK contrasting knowledge cultures are used to explore this problem; the social studies of technology (SST-1) is constituted as an academic knowledge culture and stratified systems theory (SST-2) is constituted as a consultancy culture. Ethnographic investigation and a variety of textual forms are used to address each of these cultures and the relationship between them. The constituted distinction is used as a further resource for investigating the problem. Chapters one to three provide the "introduction', 'aims' and "methodology' and exemplify boundedness, credibility and reflexivity in the culture of SST-1. Chapters four to six provide the "data' chapters of the thesis and exemplify boundedness, credibility and reflexivity in the culture of SST-2. This investigation identifies the concepts of unlocatability. conscription of members at the margins, and flexible and locked boundedness as key features of SST-2. In the final chapter, this thesis claims the apparent contrast between SST-1 and SST-2 is unsustainable as they can both be constructed as "working" via the variable 'incorporation' of "entities' (people, roles, locations, artefacts, ideas) into "conscripting organisms'. However, the boundaries constructed for the production of this thesis allow us to establish SST-1 and SST-2 as similar in using conscription and distinct in the focus of conscription. SST-1 is constituted as conscripting at the core and SST-2 is constituted as conscripting at the margins.