In his article,’ Professional vision’, Charles Goodwin seeks to examine the discursive practices often used by members of a given profession to shape the domain of their professional assessment, the phenomenal environment where their thoughts dwells, as well as the objects of knowledge (including bodies of expertise, theories and artifacts) that symbolize their profession. These objects of knowledge are a source of competence for the professions in question, in that they set them miles apart from other professions.
Goodwin (607) has examined the three practices necessary for achieving a profession’s vision. They include highlighting, coding schemes, and the generation and interpretation of graphical representation. Goodwin (608) examines these practices with respect to two professions under study. The two professions in question are law and archeology.
Instruction was a central element of the activities undertaken by the expert witnesses and archeologists in the courtroom, and for the individual learning processes consisting of modes of access and participation frameworks for the relevant phenomena. Although each of these settings was organized differently, nonetheless, both comprised common discursive practices.
The configuration of the aforementioned practices that the current paper has investigated is pervasive, consequential and generic in nature with respect to human activity, with good reason of course. To start with, the classification process is vital for human cognition. The construction and application of coding schemes allows facilitates social organization of relevant classification systems as bureaucratic and professional knowledge structures.
Ongoing historical practices have helped to shape human cognition. In addition, graphical representations are a prototype version of how human beings are able to construct external cognitive artifacts necessary for the persuasive display and organization of relevant knowledge. Strong political and rhetorical consequences are associated with the graphical representation of a coding scheme.
This is because the practice of highlighting echoes the perceptions of other individuals in that it reshapes a scrutiny domain, in effect making some of the phenomena to become more salient than other. Also, some of the phenomena may fade into the background. Goodwin (609) has investigated seeing as a historically and socially constituted body of practices that allows for the shaping and construction of objects of knowledge that can animate a given profession’s discourse.
The study allowed for an interaction between co-workers, their tools of measurement, the lines that they have drawn, and their ability to view pertinent events in such a manner as to allow for the achievement of a single coherent activity. At the same time, practices mainly involved in the generation, distribution and deducing of these representations provides the cognitive infrastructure and materials needed to allow for the achievement of the archeological theory.
The author has further argued that professional vision is unevenly allocated and is housed by specific social entities. In addition, the author has managed to communicate across the three practices relevant to a given profession in an orderly manner relative to human interaction. Examining the interactions between these practices within specific parameters allows us to explore diverse phenomena using a single analytical framework.
Thanks to the sequence of interaction, individuals of a given profession contest are held responsible for the right perception and constitution of objects that fins use in outlining their professional competence. Upon reading this article, one cannot help but wonder, is professional vision largely established by the three aforementioned practices- coding scheme, highlighting, and the generation and expression of material representation, or not?
Goodwin, Charles. Professional vision. American Anthropologists, 96.3(1994): 606- 633