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Ontological complexity and problem configuration

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Data, evidence-based practices and knowledge dissemination are central concerns in contemporary organizations and institutions. In a newly started research project, we are concerned with the networks of knowledge production and dissemination in social work and in the education of social workers. In STS there is a long tradition in studying and describing knowledge production and translations processes of, in and between knowledge and practice and over the last decades a rising concern with participatory practices in knowledge production has emerged for instance represented in the work of Kim Fortun and her concept of ethnography as open systems, Teun Zuiderent-Jerak’s situated intervention and Adele Clarke’s situational analysis. We are currently developing and testing a framework for knowledge production that is premised by ontological complexity. We take ontological complexity to be about minimal ontological assumptions implying anti-essentialism, relationism and multiplicity. To engage with others with ontological complexity as premise entails problem configuration as a starting point and from there work to explore problems as ecologies of ‘established truths’, hinterlands and multiple objects. It also entails continuous experimentation with knowledge production and how and what we might come to know through experimentation and problem exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2018
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventDASTS 2018: Engaging the Data Moment - IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 24 May 201825 May 2018


ConferenceDASTS 2018: Engaging the Data Moment
LocationIT University

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