Enactments of Expertise

Published on Oct 21, 2010in Annual Review of Anthropology2.70
· DOI :10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104948
E. Summerson Carr4
Estimated H-index: 4
(U of C: University of Chicago)
Every society recognizes expertise, and anthropologists have long documented the culturally and historically specific practices that constitute it. The anthropology of expertise focuses on what people do rather than what people possess, even in the many circumstances where the former is naturalized as the latter. Across its many domains, expertise is both inherently interactional, involving the participation of objects, producers, and consumers of knowledge, and inescapably ideological, implicated in the evolving hierarchies of value that legitimate particular ways of knowing as “expert.” This review focuses on the semiotics of expertise, highlighting four constitutive processes: socialization practices through which people establish intimacy with classes of cultural objects and learn to communicate that familiarity; evaluation, or the establishment of asymmetries among people and between people and objects; institutionalization, wherein ways of knowing are organized and authorized; and naturalization, or the essentialization of expert enactments as bodies of knowledge.
  • References (133)
  • Citations (103)
Published on Nov 1, 1953in American Journal of Sociology4.46
Howard S. Becker45
Estimated H-index: 45
An individual will be able to use marihuana for pleasure only when he 1. learns to smoke it in a way that will produce real effects; 2. learns to recognize the effects and connect them with drug use; and 3. learns to enjoy the sensations he perceives. This proposition, based on an analysis of fifty interviews with marihuana users, calls into question theories which ascribe behavior to antecedent predispositions and suggests the utility of explaining behavior in terms of the emergence of motives ...
Published on Feb 1, 2010in Journal of Pragmatics1.33
Susan U. Philips7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UA: University of Arizona)
This paper compares semantic indirectness and interactional indirectness in Tongan lexical honorification and relates them to each other, demonstrating a need for greater methodological and theoretical attention to interactional indirectness, both in the study of honorific systems and more generally in the linguistic conceptualization of indirectness. Semantically the Tongan honorific vocabulary is created primarily through metaphorical extensions and semantic bleaching of everyday words. These ...
Published on May 1, 2009in American Ethnologist3.05
Summerson Carr1
Estimated H-index: 1
(U of C: University of Chicago)
Rather than simply silencing or excluding actors, contemporary U.S. institutions commonly assign ways of speaking to the identities they forge and, therefore, preestablish ways of hearing the people who have come to inhabit them. Although institutional power is thereby reinscribed when “subalterns speak,” people can also inhabit such identities, and speak from these designated locales, in politically efficacious ways. Examining the rhetorical practices of clients and social workers at one instit...
Published on Mar 1, 2009in American Anthropologist2.71
Lisa Frink6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UNLV: University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
ABSTRACT There is often an implicit assumption that womens' technologies and associated tasks in subsistence-based groups are expedient and simple. For instance, in Native Alaska, the butchering of fish has been illustrated as arduous but uncomplicated work. On the contrary, closer examinations, as well as discussions with the people who are still learning and practicing subsistence tasks, indicate that this perspective is inaccurate. Instead, these taken-for-granted technologies and techniques ...
Published on Jan 1, 2009
Kira Hall14
Estimated H-index: 14
Published on Nov 1, 2008in American Ethnologist3.05
Tara A. Schwegler1
Estimated H-index: 1
(U of C: University of Chicago)
In this article, I unpack the relationship between neoliberalism as a policy framework and as a rationality of governance by examining the daily practices of Mexican technocrats with advanced academic degrees in neoclassical economics. Neoclassical economics is implicitly regarded as the transparent technical mechanism through which neoliberal ideas are transmitted to policy. In contrast, I approach neoclassical economics as a system of knowledge for analyzing how markets work that is constitute...
Published on Aug 1, 2008in Cultural Anthropology4.15
Andrew Lakoff22
Estimated H-index: 22
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
This essay concerns the current intersection of national security and public health in the United States. It argues that over the course of the past three decades, a new way of thinking about and acting on the threat of infectious disease has coalesced: for public health and national security officials, the problem of infectious disease is no longer only one of prevention, but also—and perhaps even more—one of preparedness. The essay describes the process through which a norm of preparedness cam...
Published on Aug 1, 2008in Cultural Anthropology4.15
Amahl Bishara4
Estimated H-index: 4
(U of C: University of Chicago)
This article tracks contests of representation among the Palestinian Authority (PA), the U.S. news media, and the Palestinian public regarding the funeral of PA President Yasser Arafat and subsequent presidential elections. It is popularly assumed that governments primarily represent by gathering people and implementing actions in their names, whereas media represent by depicting the world. Latour has called for “object-oriented democracies” that reintegrate gathering and depiction in ways that ...
Cited By103
Published on Dec 28, 2018in Critique of Anthropology0.91
Laur Kiik1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Oxford)
When reading anthropological writings on global nature conservation, one may wonder: Where are the conservationists? Anthropologists have written nuanced ethnographies of how native people encounter and are dispossessed by transnational environmental NGOs and conservation policies. Yet, anthropologists have neglected the other side of those worldwide encounters: the conservation practitioners. Instead, conservationists are sometimes misrepresented as homogenous, impersonal and voiceless. This is...
Published on Sep 27, 2017in Sociological Methods & Research3.10
Daniel A. Menchik4
Estimated H-index: 4
Ethnographers often study those who periodically meet to interact in multiple venues. This article focuses on how people who share and engage in tasks in recurrently visited venues define and change their social projects’ problems and solutions. To address the complexities of this “meta-work,” I introduce the concept of “tethers.” Tethers are links across venues that people use to set and shift these problems and solutions that are continuously being contested. Drawing on examples from the autho...
Published on Jun 24, 2019in Public Understanding of Science2.75
Brianne Suldovsky2
Estimated H-index: 2
(PSU: Portland State University),
Asheley R. Landrum8
Estimated H-index: 8
(TTU: Texas Tech University),
Natalie Jomini Stroud17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Texas at Austin)
In an era where expertise is increasingly critiqued, this study draws from the research on expertise and scientist stereotyping to explore who the public considers to be a scientist in the context ...
Published on Sep 9, 2019in Journal of Language Identity and Education0.74
Virginia Zavala3
Estimated H-index: 3
(PUCP: Pontifical Catholic University of Peru)
ABSTRACTBased on an ethnography of a language policy in the region of Apurimac in the Peruvian Andes, I analyze the boundaries that are constructed by a community of practice of Quechua “experts” i...
Published on Aug 24, 2019in Western Journal of Communication
Karen A. Foss8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UNM: University of New Mexico),
Sonja K. Foss17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Colorado Denver)
Published on May 1, 2019in American Ethnologist3.05
David Kloos2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies)
Published on Apr 12, 2019in Social & Legal Studies1.19
With the emergence of global mechanism for toxic harm accountability, a transnational environmental justice regime is slowly rising. One of the ways in which its taking form is through transnational litigation schemes where corporations are being locally sued by the alleged victims of their overseas misbehaviours. Using a science and technology studies approach, this article deals with one of the most central components of those schemes: victimization devices. Such concept refers to the highly v...
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