Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soc-Sci vs Lit-crit: Dialogic News Flow

Chair in Social Science
Chair in Humanities

Two academic chairs have differing approaches to writing the opening and closing sentences to a conference proposal…

Salt: We start out with…"Mass media simplify the message, social media allow for a more nuanced discussion."

Pepper: Nope. Too simple. How about… "Mass media and social media both shape public perceptions, and in turn, the unfolding news flow is shaped by an evolving public awareness."

Salt: OK, I’ll go along with that. Now, how about the conclusion? "Print media are losing money, they go online and give away big stories free and charge for the niche articles."

Pepper: Too obvious. Need something overarching. “While the parameters of this evolving dialogic model of news flow yet remains to be defined, it portends a new paradigm for shaping our understanding of human behavior and sociopolitical events.”

Salt is straight social science, bordering on pure science, Pepper comes from a lit-crit tradition. The McLuhanesque message is the same, but the minimalist soc-sci language is like a plywood chair, whereas the lit-crit couching may be comfier for some....

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