Sociology of Knowledge and Knowledge System in Our Society

Knowledge is one of the most fundamental issues of human being and it is generally the mental self-perception and self-interpretation of men and societies. Knowledge has always been treated by religion, science and especially philosophy and this treatment mostly has been at individual level. According to the theory of knowledge which is the most concrete example of approaching knowledge at individual level, knowledge is a mental fact which is obtained through actions as perceiving, thinking, understanding and explaining, and expressed through language. While there have been some interpretations approaching knowledge from social point of view, it is quiet recently that this approach is tried in systematical way. It is sociology of knowledge that has emerged as subdiscipline of sociology to embrace this issue. Sociology of knowledge in this framework studies the social structures, typologies and formations, as well as the knowledge systems and their interrelationships. Turkish society has got as unique knowledge system as all societies from past to present. However this system of knowledge has many variations and differentiations to be focused on beginning from the pre-Islamic and nomadic culture through the classical age of Islamic civilization which is based on an important cultural code through Ottoman times to the republican periods. Undoubtedly Turkish society in all these periods has its own accumulations that might correspond to that knowledge system and sociology of knowledge. Given this accumulation it can be said that the knowledge system of Turkish society has its own problems which have been inherited from the classical Islamic civilization and later on gained some more complicated dimensions. The ottoman case gives as a typical example of this. In the Republican period besides the remaining problem of serious dichotomy there have been considerable developments regarding the sociology of knowledge. This article tries to examine this process.


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