Dissertation conferred December 17, 2009; title and abstract below

Constructing a Politics of Knowledge in the Age of the  Internet

The politics of knowledge in the age of the internet is concerned with many overlapping elements.  From the reimagining of research in relation to the new infrastructures to the development of new technologies and their social, cultural, ontological, and epistemological implications, here the politics of knowledge centers around questions of information technology infrastructures in late capitalism, the control society, and reflexive modernization.   As these social and political theories operate across academic disciplines and organizational systems, new formulations of knowledge production arise such as transdisciplinary research.  Transdisciplinary research can be considered as a model for knowledge production that is still capable of recognizing the shared and processual nature of knowledge that operates contrarily to the objectified and commodified understanding of knowledge in late capitalism.  Using critical analysis centered in considerations of reflexivity and the control society, I argue for the possibility of alternative cyberinfrastructures for the e-sciences and virtual learning environments as systems of cultural reproduction.  These alternatives privilege constructions of science understood as creative, social, and processual following the findings of actor-network theory and the theories of Deleuze and Guattari.  Finally, I argue that we are co-constructing a politics of knowledge within and through the infrastructures that we are building, and within these politics there is a conception of the practices of science and research that could be informed by a reconsideration of social theories of technology and our contemporary social and political theory in relation to the development of future technologies and future ways of understanding those technologies.