Experts: the knowledge and power of expertise

Nico Stehr, Reiner Grundmann

Research output: Book/ReportBook


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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages148
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2011

Publication series

NameKey Ideas


  • experts
  • counsellors
  • advisors
  • contemporary society
  • knowledge-based occupations
  • pluralisation
  • expertise
  • expert activity
  • role
  • professionals
  • scientists
  • intellectuals
  • knowledge based activities
  • context of knowledge creation
  • application
  • social theory
  • knowledge
  • consumption


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