You can almost hear the professor: “…in the old days students were much more interested in knowledge…”, or you may have met the even more concerned academic figure: “…back then the university produced real thinkers…”. Well, the that might be true. But it might also stand out as an alternative fact, and I have settled to give you an answer to that question through the work of my dissertation. Here is my introducing thoughts on the subject of academic writing, taxonomy, steering and much more to come in the next 3 years.
My preliminary concern: academic writing is different than other writing, but how, and how has the genre developed, and how can we even talk about taxonomy as a way of steering? Some of the answers is to find in the midst of the educational field; looking at certain parts of academic writing as it unfolds in human sciences over the past 40 years I present a critical analytical approach to academic writing and the presuppositions of thinking within humanities. This goes for the genre in general and the way it is governed partly by curriculum and ideas such as taxonomy.
If you know just a bit on the subject academic writing, you might be surprised to recognise that I take a systemic approach to the concept of steering (you know this guy Luhmann?) to explain to you how the opportunities of writing within the academic genre is closely linked with other ideas of evolution; the necessity to reproduce and stabilise the core with is the very genre.
In this view my claim is that the diversity of writing is being ever more restricted from at least to perspectives; the form and the differentiation of form is reduced towards present time, and the methodological space is gradually decreasing. E.g. the reduction of form is identified in the use of writing and the construction of identity. Moreover, the gradually decreasing of methodological space is identified as the way that writing represent thinking interpretively.
These aspects are related to the question on how the concept of e.g. taxonomy is being transferred from the discursive field of nature science to discourse communities concerning arts (do you know Swales?). Take a look at the manufacturing of methodology in, let´s say, master theses; you will find a significantly restricted structure and narrowed room for methodology towards the period, 2000-2016. This is just one example of the ways of steering in the academic genre. And maybe, just maybe, this function of steering in the specific case has its pattern elsewhere – in society as a broader sense.
Do you see how this makes sense? We can both recognize the sublime object of ideology (what about Zizek?) and aspects of modernity and singularity (and Derrida and Jameson?) within the human sciences by investigating academic genre…
Follow this blog to see if the professor form above is right or wrong…