The Circulation of Knowledge in Public Discourse—Between ‘Popularization’ and ‘Populization’
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University of Lodz
Publication date: 2016-03-30
Polish Sociological Review 2016;193(1):19–32
Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to investigate the circulation of knowledge in public discourse. Two models of circulation, which could be called the ‘popularization’ and ‘populization’ of knowledge, are discussed. The first is identified with the traditional activity of academic elites and usually involves informing the general public about scientific discoveries and translating hermetic academic jargon into language accessible to a wider audience. The second attempts to describe the process whereby the dominant administrators of scientific knowledge lose their monopoly position. An especially valuable proposal for describing ‘popularization’ and ‘populization’ is the category of ‘de-distantiation’ (the reduction and weakening of distances in social relations) invented by Karl Mannheim. The circulation of knowledge is also considered as an important component of modernization and anti-modernization discourse.
This article has been prepared within the framework of a research project ‘Public communication in Poland—an inter and multidisciplinary perspective’ implemented by the academic consortium ‘Discourse Analysis’ and financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland (National Program of Humanities Development, agreement no. 0114/NPRH2/H11/81/2013).