Daniel Menchik

Associate Professor
Photo of Dan Menchik

Social Sciences 419

My research focuses on several areas of inquiry linked by a broad interest in the cultures and social organization of medicine, science, and other areas of expert work. In short, I am interested in how social relationships among people, groups, and institutions influence the creation and use of knowledge, social status, and authority. My methodological approach to such questions has been diverse, including social network analysis, archival and library research, content analysis, interview research, and ethnographic observation. In my book Managing Medical Authority, I have written about how doctors organize their work in a way that enables them to retain control over tasks, strengthen medicine’s coalescence, and ultimately, manage its authority. Recently, I have also been studying: the linguistic tools that professionals use to manage expectations in end-of-life interactions; the emergence of the idea of ‘levels’ in sociology; and the automation of expert knowledge in medicine and other occupations. To facilitate my cross-national fieldwork on these automation processes in medicine, I have received a grant from the Bi-National Science Foundation.