Continuing the examination of Berger and Luckmann (see References page), I’m looking for ways in which their comments support my framework of knowledges exchange.  For example,  there are many places in their text in which they acknowledge the diversity of knowledge sets. Early in their text, on page 3, they write:

The ‘knowledge’ of the criminal differs from the ‘knowledge’ of the criminologist.

They summarize their views (and mine) when they state:

The social stock of knowledge includes knowledge of my situation and its limits. For instance, I know that I am poor and that, therefore, I cannot expect to live in a fashionable suburb. This knowledge is, of course, shared both by those who are poor themselves and those who are in a more privileged situation. Participation in the social stock of knowledge thus permits the ‘location’ of individuals in society and the ‘handling’ of them in the appropriate manner (Berger and Luckmann, 1966, p. 42).

What a can of worms this opens up!  Apart from the concept of a social stock of knowledges, we now have to consider the proposition that there is a hierarchy of knowledges. This hierarchy, it seems, allows the privileged to marginalize those who have fewer or less valued knowledges. Plumbers are less respected than lawyers.

But we already know that. It’s misguided and foolish, but parents still direct their children away from the trades into the so-called professions.  So it seems that the theories around the social stock of knowledges (note my use of the plural) support the lived reality of all of us.

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