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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Institut d'Història de la Ciència

PhD Work in Progress Science in the 'Cracks' : A sociological analysis of 'extitutional' , 'independent' or 'autonomous' science collectives in Barcelona

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Science in the ‘Cracks’: A sociological analysis of ‘extitutional’,
‘independent’ or ‘autonomous’ science collectives in Barcelona

Work in Progress de Gamze Karaca
(PhD Candidate at the
Department of Sociology, METU, Turkey and
visitor at iHC-UAB)

                                                                                9/2/24, 12h (CET)


This ongoing study aims to explore the scientific practices of practitioners who form part of collectives that self-identify themselves as ‘extitutional’, ‘independent’ or ‘autonomous’ spaces of scientific research and knowledge production in Barcelona. What analytically brings together these collectives, which vary not only in scope, legal status and organizational structure but also in scientific focus, field of specialization and research output, is their apparent critical stance towards certain aspects of contemporary scientific activity and its embedded conception of science. The study is interested in understanding how this ‘normative’ positionality, which is at first glance articulated by the discursive stretching of the institutional character conventionally attached to science, is constructed and sustained in practical terms on different levels.


The ‘crack’ metaphor, borrowed from the narrative of one of the respondents interviewed so far, will be tentatively employed in a double movement to signal ‘symptoms’ (what is being critiqued, as in ‘what is cracking?’ in the contemporary scientific body) on the one hand, and ‘strategies’ (how are these cracks strategically attended in practice) on the other, both of which are to be extracted from the written material available on the websites of the collectives and the oral accounts of the actors. It will also be used to synthesize the emerging patterns identified during the ongoing semi-structured in-depth interviews with the relevant discussions in sociology of science literature. The work-in-progress session will serve for presenting the current state of the problematization that frames the research, along with sharing certain findings that are considered potentially significant.