The concept of "boundary work" is defined as the practices that concretize and give meaning to mental frameworks by placing, maintaining, and challenging cultural categories.
"Boundary work" consists of the strategies, principles and practices that we use to create, maintain and modify cultural categories. It is the never-ending, hands-on, largely visible process through which classificatory boundaries are negotiated by individuals. Boundary work is what allows categories and classification systems to exist, to be meaningful, and to change over time. It is boundary work, therefore, that allows culture or society to do the same.
Nippert-Eng, Christena. "Calendars and keys: The classification of “home” and “work”." in Sociological Forum. Vol. 11. No. 3. Springer Netherlands, 1996:563, 564
The discursive attribution of selected qualities to scientists, scientific methods, and scientific claims for the purpose of drawing a rhetorical boundary between science and some less authoritative residual non-science.
Gieryn, T.F. Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1999:4-5