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On the Sedimentation and Accreditation of Social Knowledges of Difference: Mass Media, Journalism, and the Reproduction of East/West Alterities in Unified Germany

Excerpt From Essay

"This article offers insight into how a professional intellectual practice like journalism selectively formalizes intuitive and informal schemes of differentiation, factualizes the schemes as objective knowledges of identity difference and relational appurtenance through the specialized intellectual skills of "professional expertise," and then publicizes the results of its labors as accredited knowledge of social self and other through institutional apparatuses such as the mass media. The article thus seeks to retrieve and to forefront the too-often neglected social agency of knowledge specialists in the negotiation, determination, and circulation of orders of identification and classification. In this way, the article points not only to the artifice of factitious identity differences but also to the artisanry of how those differences come to be refined, rationalized, and reproduced as objective "distinctions-in-nature." The ethnography of intellectual professionals, among which we might include academics, journalists, consultants, advertisers, teachers, and writers, is therefore vital, I maintain, for understanding the everyday codification and sedimentation of social knowledges of difference."

"On the Sedimentation and Accreditation of Social Knowledges of Difference: Mass Media, Journalism, and the Reproduction of East/West Alterities in Unified Germany," Dominic Boyer (461).

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