Title (eng)

The (re)production and transfer of knowledge in the context of the ‘KNOTS Summer School’ in Chiang Mai 2018 – a critical approach


Barbara Braunhuber

Theresa Goisauf

Junita Reinisch


Institut für Internationale Entwicklung (IE)


The transdisciplinary approach aims to produce knowledge by including different perspectives and knowledge forms of academic and non-academic actors. This paper analyses how knowledge, knowledge production and transfer were understood and practiced within the context of the Summer School in Chiang Mai 2018. The Summer School was part of the KNOTS project1, which is concerned with transdisciplinarity and intends to establish a network of knowledge exchange by linking partner universities from five countries. The research paper demonstrates the attempt to shift knowledge production into a transdisciplinary direction and describes challenges that occurred. Even though the transdisciplinary approach and the KNOTS program aim to significantly reduce knowledge hierarchies by transforming knowledge production, the results show that this still remains a challenging task. Knowledge hierarchies and power relations were still visible and felt by most of the participants. The most strongly perceived asymmetries, which were considered from an intersectional perspective, were in the realms of role (student or lecturer), nationality (European or Southeast Asian), language and gender. While hierarchies cannot be eliminated completely, the paper discusses the attempts by the participants to reduce the still existing asymmetries. The results are a further contribution to transdisciplinary research, which so far has not taken the field of sociology of knowledge into sufficient consideration, particularly in regard to knowledge and knowledge hierarchies.

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Transdisciplinarity, sociology of knowledge, feminist and post-colonial approaches, knowledge hierarchies, KNOTS Summer School

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o:1597584 ie.WorkingPaper