Review: Matthias Groß, Holger Hoffmann-Riem und Wolfgang Krohn (2005). Realexperimente. Ökologische Gestaltungsprozesse in der Wissensgesellschaft [Real Experiments. Ecological Design Processes in the Knowledge Society]

  • Till Westermayer Universität Freiburg
Keywords: knowledge society, experiment, real experiment, ecology, theory of science, grounded theory, learning, practice

Abstract

This book shows how a new type of experimentation, the "real experiment", was developed in knowledge societies as a reaction to growing risks and non-knowledge. "Real experiments" combine knowledge production and knowledge application in real-world cases. The authors discuss the history of the scientific experiment. They present lessons learned from the early Chicago school of sociology about "society as laboratory". Four case studies (cattle farming in Tanzania, the ecological restoration of Montrose Point, Chicago and of Sempachersee, Switzerland, and the system of waste treatment in Germany) are re-constructed in detail, using Grounded Theory methodology. These represent four different kinds of ecological "real experiment". What is typical of "real experiments" is a recursive and cyclical process of design, intervention and learning. The book concludes with some thoughts on the design of robust and successful "real experiments", but here the degree of concreteness found in the case studies is absent. Although "Real Experiments" makes interesting reading for STS (Science and Technology Studies) researchers, professionals in the field of eco-system management and related areas will miss guidelines for best-practice "real experiments". A further shortcoming is the restriction of the book to the field of ecology, while the authors claim that this type of experimentation has general relevance in knowledge societies. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604139

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Author Biography

Till Westermayer, Universität Freiburg
Till WESTERMAYER (Jg. 1975) hat in Freiburg Soziologie, Informatik und Psychologie studiert und sein Studium mit einer qualitativ orientierten Magisterarbeit zum "Virtuellen Parteitag" von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Baden-Württemberg abgeschlossen. Er ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Forstbenutzung und Forstliche Arbeitswissenschaft der Universität Freiburg, derzeit in einem Projekt zur organisationssoziologischen Analyse von Geschlechterverhältnissen in der Forstverwaltung. Parallel dazu arbeitet er im Rahmen seines Promotionsvorhabens "Technik und Alltagskultur in Nachhaltigkeitsmilieus" an Fragestellungen im Schnittpunkt von Technik- und Umweltsoziologie. In zurückliegenden Ausgaben von FQS hat er Rezensionen zu "Doing Culture" (http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-10-d.htm) (hrsg. von Karl H. HÖRNING & Julia REUTER, 2004), "Experten des Alltags" (http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/1-04/1-04review-westermayer-d.htm) (Karl H. HÖRNING, 2001), "Computer und Weltbild" (http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-03/2-03review-westermayer-d.htm) (Peter BERGER, 2001) sowie zu "Wissenschaft in der Wissensgesellschaft" (http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-05/05-2-15-d.htm) (hrsg. von Stefan BÖSCHEN & Ingo SCHULZ-SCHAEFFER 2003) verfasst.
Published
2006-09-30
How to Cite
Westermayer, T. (2006). Review: Matthias Groß, Holger Hoffmann-Riem und Wolfgang Krohn (2005). Realexperimente. Ökologische Gestaltungsprozesse in der Wissensgesellschaft [Real Experiments. Ecological Design Processes in the Knowledge Society]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-7.4.196