counter-expertisethe reservoirs of‘lay’ expertise increasingly available in modern societies to contest the legitimacy of expert (and sometimes self-interested) claims to knowledge. Since expert claims to knowledge are often internally contested, and since the divided line between science and ‘lay’ knowledge is no longer clear-cut (see SCIENCE), any assumption that decision-making in modern societies must be controlled by experts and ÉLITES is unwarranted. Thus, as BECK (1992) suggests, the opportunity exists for ‘social standards of relevance’ to become more decisive.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000