The conclusion brings together the reflections and lessons from this study in three parts. The first section reexamines the empirical chapters, focusing both on how the narrative of each accomplishes particular analytical tasks that allow us to reevaluate Mead as a social actor and to reconceptualize the social nature of knowledge production in academia. The second section offers a set of general reflections on the social processes of scholarship. The section outlines a view in which knowledge is intrinsic to social action and argues that in order to understand the production of scholarly knowledge, analysis must trace sequences of social action rather than any given set of documents, concepts, mechanisms, or individuals. In this view, knowledge “moves” in a much more fundamentally social way than is typically assumed. After offering recommendations for productive directions of research along these lines, the final section address concerns about the nature of “discovery” in historical research and its relation to the self-reflexive study of knowledge production.
Keywords: George Herbert Mead, sociology of knowledge, social process, knowledge, historical research, self-reflexivity