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Title

Between Certainty and Trust: Boundary-Work and the Construction of Archaeological Epistemic Authority

AuthorsAlonso González, Pablo
KeywordsAmateurs
Gieryn
Trust
Latour
Heritage
Cultural heritage
Archaeology
Public archaeology
Authority
Epistemic
Epistemic authority
Boundary-work
Pseudoarchaeology
Issue Date2016
PublisherSage Publications
CitationCultural Sociology 10(4): 483-501 (2016)
AbstractThe discovery of a rock art site in 2008 by an amateur archaeologist spurred a wave of public interest in archaeology in Maragatería, Spain. As new discoveries took place, alternative archaeological discourses thrived facing the inaction of institutional and academic archaeologists. A long-term study of Maragatería carried out by the author serves to explore the construction of archaeological epistemic authority in a context where various social actors compete for dominance. Gieryn¿s notion of `boundary-work¿ serves to analyse the different strategies employed by academic and institutional archaeologists, amateurs and pseudoarchaeologists to build epistemic authority. This article draws on Latour¿s affirmation that the legitimisation of scientific objectivity should rely on `trust¿ rather than on `certainty¿. Ethnographic research showed that the more archaeologists attempted to legitimise their authority by reclaiming certainty, the more pseudoarchaeology proliferated. In contrast, the work of amateurs restrained the growth of pseudoarchaeology by creating networks of trust.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1177/1749975516640569
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/147123
DOI10.1177/1749975516640569
Identifiersissn: 1749-9755
Appears in Collections:(INCIPIT) Patrimonio y participación social: propuesta metodológica y revisión crítica
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