The democratisation of expertise

Tajana Stankovic, Alan Wilson, Andrea Tonner

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

As individuals engage in new activities and social collectives they begin the journey from novice to expert (Leder et al:2004). In pursuits such as wine, gourmet food, and art it has been argued that the oenophile, gourmand, and aficionado can more fully appreciate their respective experiences (Clarkson et al :2013). However such experiences have historically been regarded as high threshold and as such expertise has been available to few, guarded by gatekeepers and as such difficult for the lay individual to achieve. Based upon a qualitative study with art buyers and gallery owners this paper suggests that the contemporary art buyer challenges these assumption. It argues that, with the increase in a 'social media savvy society', individuals can develop their expertise using a new range of tools which speed their advancement to expert status and indeed alter the meaning of expertise. No longer is expertise the preserve of the critic or art seller with vested interests in desirable taste rather it becomes democratised as novices use online resources to quickly increase the breadth of their consumption knowledge; develop requisite vocabulary to differentiate stimulus properties, finely tune preferences and explore their refinement; and build relationships with artists directly enhancing their in-group status. Online art communities therefore come to represent a distributed form of cultural authority. One can now demonstrate taste without acquisition but rather by association and simultaneously claim of authority and expertise about what constitutes good taste.

Conference

ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Conference 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBirmingham
Period6/04/168/04/16

Fingerprint

Democratization
Expertise
Art
Buyers
Authority
Artist
Qualitative study
Owners
Gatekeeper
Resources
Seller
Vested interests
Food
Wine
Social media

Keywords

  • consumer behavior
  • art buying

Cite this

Stankovic, T., Wilson, A., & Tonner, A. (2016). The democratisation of expertise. Abstract from British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Stankovic, Tajana ; Wilson, Alan ; Tonner, Andrea. / The democratisation of expertise. Abstract from British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom.1 p.
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Stankovic, T, Wilson, A & Tonner, A 2016, 'The democratisation of expertise' British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 6/04/16 - 8/04/16, .

The democratisation of expertise. / Stankovic, Tajana; Wilson, Alan; Tonner, Andrea.

2016. Abstract from British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

TY - CONF

T1 - The democratisation of expertise

AU - Stankovic, Tajana

AU - Wilson, Alan

AU - Tonner, Andrea

PY - 2016/4/6

Y1 - 2016/4/6

N2 - As individuals engage in new activities and social collectives they begin the journey from novice to expert (Leder et al:2004). In pursuits such as wine, gourmet food, and art it has been argued that the oenophile, gourmand, and aficionado can more fully appreciate their respective experiences (Clarkson et al :2013). However such experiences have historically been regarded as high threshold and as such expertise has been available to few, guarded by gatekeepers and as such difficult for the lay individual to achieve. Based upon a qualitative study with art buyers and gallery owners this paper suggests that the contemporary art buyer challenges these assumption. It argues that, with the increase in a 'social media savvy society', individuals can develop their expertise using a new range of tools which speed their advancement to expert status and indeed alter the meaning of expertise. No longer is expertise the preserve of the critic or art seller with vested interests in desirable taste rather it becomes democratised as novices use online resources to quickly increase the breadth of their consumption knowledge; develop requisite vocabulary to differentiate stimulus properties, finely tune preferences and explore their refinement; and build relationships with artists directly enhancing their in-group status. Online art communities therefore come to represent a distributed form of cultural authority. One can now demonstrate taste without acquisition but rather by association and simultaneously claim of authority and expertise about what constitutes good taste.

AB - As individuals engage in new activities and social collectives they begin the journey from novice to expert (Leder et al:2004). In pursuits such as wine, gourmet food, and art it has been argued that the oenophile, gourmand, and aficionado can more fully appreciate their respective experiences (Clarkson et al :2013). However such experiences have historically been regarded as high threshold and as such expertise has been available to few, guarded by gatekeepers and as such difficult for the lay individual to achieve. Based upon a qualitative study with art buyers and gallery owners this paper suggests that the contemporary art buyer challenges these assumption. It argues that, with the increase in a 'social media savvy society', individuals can develop their expertise using a new range of tools which speed their advancement to expert status and indeed alter the meaning of expertise. No longer is expertise the preserve of the critic or art seller with vested interests in desirable taste rather it becomes democratised as novices use online resources to quickly increase the breadth of their consumption knowledge; develop requisite vocabulary to differentiate stimulus properties, finely tune preferences and explore their refinement; and build relationships with artists directly enhancing their in-group status. Online art communities therefore come to represent a distributed form of cultural authority. One can now demonstrate taste without acquisition but rather by association and simultaneously claim of authority and expertise about what constitutes good taste.

KW - consumer behavior

KW - art buying

UR - http://www.britsoc.co.uk/media/111669/AC2016_Final_Prog.pdf?1469181471478

M3 - Abstract

ER -

Stankovic T, Wilson A, Tonner A. The democratisation of expertise. 2016. Abstract from British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom.