Early Modern Echo Chambers. Material Improvement, Social Inequality, and the Restricted Circulation of Knowledge in Pre-Industrial Bavaria
Keywords:Chambered knowledge, social inequality, (non-)circulation of knowledge, rural society, agricultural Enlightenment, subaltern knowledge
Drawing on the concept of chambered knowledge, this article focuses on the problem of non-circulation of knowledge across social groups in pre-industrial Europe. By following one of the few peasant practitioners whose knowledge transcended the barriers of peasant society, this article not only sheds light on the worldview of an especially loud and proud individual, but also seeks to analyze the conditions that prevented or allowed knowledge to jump from his native knowledge chamber to those of the local elites and the wider literary public. As the mystery of Michael Irlbeck can be partly revealed by examining the economic and socio-political pre-conditions of his agency, this article makes a more general claim for the relevance of social structures and categories in the history of knowledge.
Copyright (c) 2022 Verena Lehmbrock
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