The transformations of the contemporary world have been prompting a wealth of research questions touching all social sciences (sociology, political science, anthropology, ethnology). In contrast to stances focusing extensively on invidualization, we aim at discussing the renewal of modes of collective organization and look at groups and communities at a meso-level. What is a collective? We focus on collaborative processes at the “meso” scale, including first and foremost collective knowledge creation and, more broadly, distributed cognition, of which epistemic communities appear to constitute a particularly relevant model.
The “Epistemic communities and collective creation” workgroup aims at triggering discussions around these collectives — especially, though not exclusively, through the lens of French-German comparative studies. Variations of scientific practices between diverse countries effectively induce a certain number of shifts and adjustments in the interpretation of contemporary transformations and emerging research objects. Each session will thus implicitly focus on some of the theoretical and practical problems scholars are coping with when addressing such issues, discussing in more detail the dissimilarities and dissemination of these practices across France, Germany and other cultural realms.
The 2015-16 winter and summer terms will be devoted to topics related to collectives, groups and communities in a work context. Academics based in France, Germany and the broader European area will be invited to present their research.