Doing Science in the South: Negotiating Centrality and Marginality in the Process of Knowledge Production on a Global Scale.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Joao Marcelo EHLERT MAIA, FGV, Brazil
Raewyn CONNELL, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia
Robert MORRELL, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Much has been said about the globalization of knowledge and the increasing flow of ideas, academics and even institutions between North and South. Although postcolonialism has drawn attention to new forms of inequalities and domination that have emerged from this process, there is a lack of empirically-informed research on such problems. This paper addresses these issues by discussing North/South relations in three domains of knowledge: HIV, climate change and gender studies. Each domain is interdisciplinary, crossing natural science, social science and the humanities; each is recently constructed or expanded; each is significant for public policy. Moreover, each is a domain where knowledge from the global South (broadly conceived) has played a significant role. Our 4-year research program focuses on three countries in the global South (Australia, Brazil and South Africa) and examines knowledge workers and their labour processes (including gender relations and its effects on knowledge practices), knowledge institutions (including workplaces and communication systems), economic strategies and the resourcing of knowledge work and workforces. The project is multi-method, including life-history interviews, citation-context analysis, organizational ethnography and documentary research. The paper outlines the main following findings of the research: the different patterns of centrality and marginality within and between domains; the space for negotiation and autonomy in the process of knowledge production on a global scale; and 'extraversion' as a key feature of intellectual work in the South even though it is found in various forms.