Boundary object

Das boundary object bzw. Grenzobjekt ist ein Konzept aus der Soziologie, um die unterschiedliche Nutzung von Informationen durch unterschiedliche Gruppen zu beschreiben. Sie sind plastisch, werden von verschiedenen Gruppen unterschiedlich interpretiert, enthalten aber genug unveränderlichen Inhalt, um eine globale Identität zu wahren. Die Idee wurde von Susan Leigh Star und James R. Griesemer 1989 im nachfolgenden Artikel publiziert (S.393):[1]

"Boundary objects are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. They are weakly structured in common use, and become strongly structured in individual-site use. They may be abstract or concrete. They have different meanings in different social worlds but their structure is common enough to more than one world to make them recognizable, a means of translation. The creation and management of boundary objects is key in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting social worlds."

Seit der Veröffentlichung wird diese Idee von vielen verschiedenen Forschungsrichtungen adaptiert, und Susan Leigh Star hat ihrerseits die Idee weiterentwickelt.


  1. Star SL & Griesemer JR: Institutional Ecology, 'Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39. In: Social Studies of Science. 19, Nr. 4, 1989, S. 387–420. doi:10.1177/030631289019003001.

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