What Are the Challenges to Expert Knowledge?
The members of the contemporary world’s society are undergoing a lot of changes. Society evolves rapidly and so do its needs, requirements, values, and sources of happiness. The modern speed of life is incredible if we compare it with the kind of life people lived several decades ago. The types of activities and goods that are the most popular nowadays are also completely different from what our parents and grandparents used to enjoy.
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Technological progress affects the lifestyle of modern people immensely. The process of globalization and massive migrations cause cultural clashes, assimilations, and a mix of various types of lifestyles all around the world. The issues that are studied by the social sciences are multiple and various, yet all of them have one aspect in common – they all have a social dimension. Social scientists recently started to be aware of the effects of all these changes. Not all of them are positive. Social scientists are involved in the exploration of how society and its development affect itself, what kinds of outcomes may follow, and how negative consequences can be prevented or inverted.
What Are the Risks and Their Sources?
The work of the scientists such as data collection, statistics, and analysis has pointed out the connections between human societies and the damage they can cause to the environment. The risks that people create have to be carefully monitored to maintain the social awareness of the dangers that we may have to face in the future. Social scientists have already raised the social awareness of such issues as the power and effects of mass production and mass consumption, the environmental pollution caused by manufacturers and producers, and social pressure. One of the main challenges social scientists have to face nowadays is the complex and changing nature of the risk itself.
The problems that need to be estimated and monitored become harder to follow, risks become impossible to detect. As a result, some of the consequences cannot be predicted and our society will have to face one of the scariest things possible – the unknown.
What Is Expert Knowledge in Social Sciences?
The role of the social sciences in modern life is finding social problems, studying them, collecting data, analyzing, and making logical and appropriate conclusions. The work of social scientists helps the members of the society understand the quickly changing life around them, the risks, and damages. To find the sources of the risks, scientists need to learn the way our society operates, its patterns, the most common habits, and processes.
After careful observation and research, the scientists start to accumulate a great deal of expert knowledge. This is the type of knowledge that is gained by highly qualified and professional individuals.1 The issues that challenge the expert knowledge have sources that the scientists are not very familiar with. Such sources and issues tend to occur due to the evolution and the development of society. Different things become popular, new inventions appear, the society’s behavioral patterns change and this makes the experts start collecting knowledge about the newly developed and unknown spheres of social life.
Within the circles of experts and scientists, there are still debates and arguments about the ways of research, the best methods of data collection and analysis. The clash of points of view is another challenge for expert knowledge. Various approaches create a lot of confusion for the professionals, and as a result, some of the aspects can be measured and estimated by different means and show different data.
What Are Some of the Most Important Issues?
One of the biggest aspects of social life studied by social scientists is the role of consumption for modern people. In it fascinating that the experts have identified that the contemporary world has moved past the stage of industrial built of the society. Nowadays all of the capitalist countries have societies driven by consumption.2 In the past, one of the most important sides of an individual’s personality was their profession or occupation. Our society was used to acknowledging people according to what they produce. Today we percept people around based on what they consume: the types of music they like, their favorite food, the clothes they wear.
What Kinds of Risks Exist in the Sphere of Consumption?
The risks that occur in the sphere of consumption are established by the suppliers. First of all, the prices of various goods are not suitable for all social groups. For example, statistically, the levels of obesity are much higher among people with lower levels of income than among the wealthy upper classes. This is happening not because the rich people are driven by social status and peer pressure about beauty standards. The main factor that causes obesity is the low level of income. Lack of money pushes the consumers towards the markets of cheap products with low quality such as fast food. In modern society being a vegan or buying organic healthy food is something not many people can afford.
Social and Financial Risks
Luxurious goods and activities have become essential parts of modern people’s lives. According to the statistics, contemporary individuals spend five times more money on recreational activities than they would spend on such important aspects as health or education. This is the consequence of constant peer pressure in society. Contemporary individuals are forced to spend money on luxurious goods, and they do it not to show off, but to fit in.3 Otherwise, there is a risk of being excluded from certain social groups. Expert knowledge is facing the risks of the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the outcomes that may follow in the close future.
What are the Risks in the Sphere of Production?
Environmental threats are the outcomes of the other side of the consumption that is called the production. The appetites for all kinds of goods are growing rapidly in our society. This makes manufacturers spend more money and resources to provide consumers with more goods. It is a well-known fact that if something is consumed in one place; it will cause some kinds of effects in the other place. The ecology of our planet is suffering severe consequences of our modern technologies. The expert knowledge is challenged by the quick development of the technology of production and the effects it is making on our environment and people.
Social scientists are very familiar with the issues of environmental pollution, the effects mass consumption has on public health, and the gap between social classes, yet some of the aspects, patterns, and sources of these risks are very challenging to estimate, this is why the experts do not have a clear solution for these problems.
Booker, J. M., M. C. Anderson and M. A. Meyer. ‘The Role of Expert Knowledge in Uncertainty Quantification’, n. d. Web.
Taylor, S., S. Hinchliffe, J. Clarke and S. Bromsey (ed.), Exploring Social Lives. Milton Keynes, Open University, 2009.
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- J. M. Booker, M. C. Anderson, and M. A. Meyer. ‘The Role of Expert Knowledge in Uncertainty Quantification’, n. d. Web.
- S. Taylor, S. Hinchliffe, J. Clarke, and S. Bromsey (ed.), Exploring Social Lives. Milton Keynes, Open University, 2009, p. 23.
- S. Taylor, S. Hinchliffe, J. Clarke and S. Bromsey (ed.), Exploring Social Lives. Milton Keynes, Open University, 2009, p. 24