January 1, 2010

The Social Construction of Expertise

Key materials
Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

In The Social Construction of Reality, Berger & Luckmann discuss the division of knowledge and the consequent emergence of experts. They contrast the stabilizing monopoly traditionally enjoyed by “universal experts” with the destabilizing competition of a modern pluralistic society. “When a particular definition of reality comes to be attached to a concrete power interest, it may be called an ideology.” The current institutions of forensic science illustrate the claim that monopoly in expertise is associated with political power. Much of the analysis of universal experts in The Social Construction of Reality translates nicely into an analysis of forensic science.