ABSTRACT

This book has explained why epistemic knowledge, the type of knowledge created in universities and taught in schools, is crucial to modern demo- cratic societies. It has explained why that powerful knowledge has been subverted by the forces of localisation. In education these forces take the form of the various relativisms: constructivism, culturalism, and postmod- ernism. This chapter examines how the knowledge promoted by local- isation—social knowledge or “culture”—that is protected from scrutiny and criticism from “outsiders” becomes accepted as epistemic knowledge despite failing to meet the criteria to support such a claim. I use the example of indigenous knowledge as a type of social knowledge that has acquired remarkable saliency in recent decades to the point where it has developed its own episteme, the “logic of the gift”, and a disciplinary infrastructure situated within the university.