Symposium: Peter Berger’s Achievement in Social Science


, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 220-226

First online:

The Social Construction of Expertise

  • Roger KopplAffiliated withInstitute for Forensic Science Administration, Fairleigh Dickinson University Email author 

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In The Social Construction of Reality, Berger and Luckmann discuss 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. Applying the analysis of universal experts in The Social Construction of Reality to forensic science provides useful insights into forensic science as a social phenomenon.


Experts Expertise Social construction of reality Science Forensic science