Analyzing Narratives of Expertise: Toward the Development of a Burkeian Pentadic Scheme
abstract discourse, narratives of expertise, professional identity, dramatism
Recent work in the sociology of professions highlights the central importance of abstract discourse in professionalization processes. Drawing on the work of Kenneth Burke, I argue that broadening the focus of analysis from “abstract discourse” to “narratives of expertise” will provide the ability to (1) more clearly analyze the social conditions that are conducive to the efficacy of abstraction as a basis for a claim of expertise and (2) theorize and empirically examine the formation and maintenance of a collective professional identity. To assist in the reformulation of professionalization studies around narratives of expertise, I develop a modified extension of Burke's five key terms of dramatism (act, agent, scene, agency, and purpose). Burke's pentadic scheme enables researchers to show how narratives of expertise ground jurisdictional claims and the constitution of professional identity in one of the elements of pentad. I illustrate the empirical power of the pertadic scheme through an examination of claims of psychotherapeutic expertise, particularly claims of marital and familial expertise.
Original Publication Citation
Knapp, Stan J. 1999. “Analyzing Narratives of Expertise: Toward the Development of a Burkeian Pentadic Scheme.” The Sociological Quarterly 40: 587-612.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Knapp, Stan J., "Analyzing Narratives of Expertise: Toward the Development of a Burkeian Pentadic Scheme" (1999). Faculty Publications. 3981.
The Sociological Quarterly
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© 1999 by The Midwest Sociological Society
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