Crime scene investigators as a boundary profession

Bild på brottsplats. Picture shows crime scene
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Increasingly, knowledge of importance to society is produced in cooperation between different professions and organizations in complex systems. Different professions, however, have different and perhaps conflicting understandings of what is regarded as valid knowledge and how it is to be produced, which can make such cooperation difficult. Employing ethnographic methods, this project studies a hybrid profession, namely crime scene investigators or technicians (kriminaltekniker), to analyze how the Swedish judicial system makes their cooperation on forensic evidence successful and possible.

Crime scene technicians bring together the epistemic cultures of the police and the forensic laboratory in their everyday work, and they translate and mediate between the judicial system’s different professions. Analyzing their training in forensics from the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science as well as their everyday work will not only contribute to a better understanding of how the judicial system shares and produces knowledge in the form of forensic evidence, but also, in a wider perspective, contribute to understanding the production of knowledge across disparate epistemic cultures.

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