Expert knowledge is an essential component of modern society. It is also a potentially difficult topic for sociology because of the importance sociology attaches to culture and context. The sociology of science has emphasised the continuity between scientific expertise and more traditional forms of knowledge. Whilst this suggests an increasing ‘democratisation of expertise’ is desirable, it also risks erasing the idea of expertise itself. This might be particularly detrimental for sociology as it restricts the role of sociological inquiry to examining how expert status is attributed rather than understanding what expertise is. This paper describes these developments and contrasts them with other approaches in which expertise appears less important. It concludes by setting out a new approach to expertise that respects the role of culture in generating knowledge but, by stressing the importance of socialisation and experience, argues for a more nuanced conception of expertise as both real and unequally distributed.
Sociology Compass – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2008
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera