Kichin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.)
International Encyclopedia of Human Geography.
Microsoft Word KNOWLEDEGE_COMMUNITIES_PINCH_.doc
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A knowledge community is a group of people, typically a professional, technical or scientific group, unified by a common set of values, norms and working practices, producing knowledge for a given purpose. The concept draws upon recent work on the sociology of scientific knowledge which argues that knowledge is product of a context-dependent social process. It is related to the concept of a community of practice but involves less direct contact between the members of the group concerned. The concept of the knowledge community has been used to explain a number of features of the emerging space economy, but especially the continuing dynamism of industrial agglomerations (i.e. urban and regional grouping of firms, often in the same sector). There is a lively debate in human geography over the extent to which knowledge communities, and the knowledge they generate, can be traced to, and confined within, bounded spaces such as cities, regions and nations. Many would argue that with the development of modern telecommunications systems knowledge communities and their activities are spread throughout the world in extensive networks. Others argue that certain types of knowledge are socially embedded in particular places and are difficult to transfer
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