Cultural Knowledge Systems: Synthesizing our knowledge of knowledge using grounded theory
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Many applied academics, within and outside anthropology, have called for the incorporation of cultural knowledge in public policy and decision-making, and for the “bridging” of knowledge systems in knowledge coproduction. Yet critiques of the academic treatment of cultural knowledge have indicated that research has focused on the content not the epistemologies of cultural knowledge systems. To what extent does the social science literature characterize knowledge systems as systems? Does the literature on cultural knowledge systems provide us with tools for translating cultural knowledge? Conclusions derived from this thesis research (a grounded theory approach to an academic literature sample) indicate that substantial work has been done to characterize cultural knowledge epistemologies. However, language used to describe knowledge systems is inconsistent, and analyses of social structures are patchily developed. In an effort to synthesize the literature, I have compiled the best practices and methods used by academics in hopes of influencing future cultural knowledge systems research.