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Seeing the World: How US Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology Book 74) (English Edition) Kindle电子书
An in-depth look at why American universities continue to favor U.S.-focused social science research despite efforts to make scholarship more cosmopolitan
U.S. research universities have long endeavored to be cosmopolitan places, yet the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology have remained stubbornly parochial. Despite decades of government and philanthropic investment in international scholarship, the most prestigious academic departments still favor research and expertise on the United States. Why? Seeing the World answers this question by examining university research centers that focus on the Middle East and related regional area studies.
Drawing on candid interviews with scores of top scholars and university leaders to understand how international inquiry is perceived and valued inside the academy, Seeing the World explains how intense competition for tenure-line appointments encourages faculty to pursue “American” projects that are most likely to garner professional advancement. At the same time, constrained by tight budgets at home, university leaders eagerly court patrons and clients worldwide but have a hard time getting departmental faculty to join the program. Together these dynamics shape how scholarship about the rest of the world evolves.
At once a work-and-occupations study of scholarly disciplines, an essay on the formal organization of knowledge, and an inquiry into the fate of area studies, Seeing the World is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of knowledge in a global era.
- ASIN : B074Q4QY6Z
- 出版社 : Princeton University Press (2018年2月6日)
- 出版日期 : 2018年2月6日
- 语言 : 英语
- 文件大小 : 1501 KB
- 标准语音朗读 : 已启用
- X-Ray : 未启用
- 生词提示功能 : 已启用
- 纸书页数 : 181页
- > ISBN : 069115869X
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The authors divide US interest in the non-West European world into three stages: civilizational (before WW II), area studies (post-war), and global (from the 1980s on). This division works a little better for the Middle East, where they focus their research, than East Asia, I think. But more importantly, they emphasize that universities are cumulative organizations -- each new layer gets added on, without eliminating the previous one. This is a very important insight.
The authors also find that Title VI centers are effective in getting US universities to sponsor research on the non-Western world, but in a way that is somewhat indirect. Building off studies that emphasize the importance of the Department in organizing and credentialing knowledge, they show how "Not-Departments" form a crucial, but subordinate, role in giving the university flexibility. Finally, they show how in the "harder" social sciences, especially Economics and Sociology, but to a lesser degree Political Science, it is only the "Not-Departments" that are exercising a countervailing pressure against a powerful, inbuilt bias towards researching only those countries (pretty much all developed industrial economies, preferably English-speaking) where statistics are sufficiently reliable to be suitable raw material for advanced and theoretically interesting quantitative methodologies. (Kind of like the old joke: "Why are you looking for your keys under the lamppost? Is that where you dropped them?" "No, but that's where the light is!").
The authors don't discuss it, but the addition of the Dept of Defense funded Flagships in many ways support their conclusions. Intended at first by anti-area studies insurgents who just wanted top language skills as a replacement to Title VI centers, in the end they were ADDED to Title VI centers (cumulative again). But Flagships can't replace the Title VI centers' networking functions, and so remain a bit outside the mainstream of the Department-centered worlds. Again the authors' conclusion is validated: Departments are central to the University -- you can leverage them and network them as Title VI centers do, but if you just ignore them, you will remain marginal.
In sum, this is solid sociology of academia, that will be of interest to anyone working in US academia or allied parts of the US government who studies non-Western parts of the world.