Critics, Ratings, and Society is the first comprehensive study of the review as social institution. Its theories and data encompass reviews of all types of products-including the arts (e.g. theater, books, and music) and consumer products (e.g. cars, software, and appliances). According to Blank, the core problem of reviews is credibility. Concerns about credibility organize the formulation of reviews and audiences. The connoisseurial-procedural distinction describes the production of credibility and its assessment under different types of rating systems.
Grant Blank is assistant professor of sociology at American University in Washington DC. His special interests are in the sociology of culture, the influence of computers and electronic networks, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
Chapter 1 What Are Reviews? Chapter 2 Toward a Theory of Credible Rating Systems Chapter 3 Connoisseurial Reviews: Restaurants Chapter 4 Procedural Reviews: Statistical Software Chapter 5 The Production of Reviews Chapter 6 Audiences, Credibility, and the Social Construction of Reviews Chapter 7 "Dining Is My Sport": Reception and Hierarchies Chapter 8 Reviews and the Status Culture