In this book, Stehr and Grundmann outline the theoretical significance and practical importance of the growing stratum of experts, counsellors and advisors in contemporary society, and claim that the growing spectrum of knowledge-based occupations has led to the pluralisation of expertise.
As decision makers in organizations and private citizens, for various reasons, increasingly seek advice from experts, the authors examine the nature of expert activity, and suggest that the role of experts needs to be distinguised from other roles such as professionals, scientists, or intellectuals. Experts, they argue, perform knowledge based activities that mediate between the context of knowledge creation and application. Existing approaches tend to restrict the role of the expert to scientists, or to conflate the roles of professionals with experts. In avoiding such restrictions, this book sets out a framework to understanding the growing role of expertise in a better way.
Experts provides thought-provoking discussion that will be of interest to postgraduate students and academics working within the fields of social theory, knowledge, and consumption.
Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor for Cultural Studies at Zeppelin University, Germany. Reiner Grundmann is Reader in Sociology at the School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham.
1. Introduction: The Growing Significance of Expertise in Modern Societies 2. Knowledge and Expertise 3. Who are the Knowledge Workers? 4. What Do Experts Do? 5. The Hierarchy of Expertise 6. Social Change and the Crisis of Scientific Expertise 7. Conclusion