Knowledge, then, is cumulative, not in the sense of adding to some otherwise fixed pile but rather because it accumulates through a process in which current researchers assume a critical attitude towards past research.
For some, this critical attitude has a moral dimension and is applied not only to the work of other researchers but also to the human world being researched. The point of research, on this view, is not simply to add to knowledge but to change the world for the better."
— Elspeth Graham (1997) Philosophies underlying human geography research. In Flowerdew R and Martin D (eds.) Methods in Human Geography, Prentice Hall: New Yorkp. 29 (via geogthoughts)
“Simple systems for creating alerts when something goes wrong can be a first step toward greater familiarity with and appreciation for complex urban systems.” from UrbanOmnibus.net
I received a reply to this post:
“Well, this seems self-contradictory: Livingstone can’t both claim that there’s no essence to geography and that it is ‘always negotiated.”
I think Livingstone wouldn’t have been so careless as to have made such an obvious internal contradiction. Of course,…
C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination
Hmm. Or it’s a peer review and p&t committee issue. Which I suppose puts a fine point on his point about status. The writing isn’t just belabored, it is labor. Alienated. Abject…
Howard Becker (in a range of article / books in collaboration with various other academics) has looked at both how students aspire towards ‘classy’ prose from the hierarchy within academia and that only established academics have the reputation to escape the imposition of form by peer-review. Bourdieu, Passeron and De Saint Martin as well looked at Academic Discourse (title of the work in English) finding amongst other things that adoption of jargon and over-complex means of articulating an argument were rewarded with better grades.
In (my) geography, this is summed up in two words: Nigel Thrift.
(Or three: Anderson and Wylie)
Stop trying to write like Nigel Thrift. But it’s a difficult habit to overcome, when all you read is prose like that.