Gathering all kind of info on formal requirements for the documentation of voluntary work experience I need to write for my M.A., I ran into some humourous mind having renamed Teilnahmeschein aka “kleiner Schein” (assignment for having participated) into Laufzettel.


.theory follows practice

Theory ontologically follows practice.  

What happens when culture becomes nature and what impact can an ethnography of what is not spoken about possibly take on academic reality?

Will my eigensinnig approach of appropriating the conditions I faced first when having been put to write a proposal in the student project that brought me here [appropriation of prescribed conditions in my case means, doing extensive “preliminary investigation”, as CKelty called it, to really be able to present Informed Consent of Participants and being able to write a proposal in which I do know what I am talking about in an adequate way and “them” a little knowing me–instead of in the end being decidedly able to show why practice does not follow theory, which I happen to already know] lead me to great failure because IRBs already are revolutionized once I finish my proposal?

And what does this have to do with cyberpunk?

Fragen über Fragen.      

Sociology’s Top 10

Books of the Century

 “ISA [International Sociological Association] XIV World Congress of Sociology (Montréal, 26 July-1 August 1, 1998) was the last ISA congress organized in the twentieth century and was also an occasion to celebrate fiftieth anniversary of the International Sociological Association. One of the major aims of the Montreal Congress was to make a critical assessment of sociological heritage of the twentieth century. In this framework the ISA Congress Programme Committee carried on in 1997 an opinion survey in order to identify ten most influential books for sociologists. ISA members were asked to list five books published in the twentieth century which were most influential in their work as sociologists. 16% of ISA members (455 out of 2785) participated in the survey.”

Top 10:

1. Max Weber, Economy and Society

2. Charles Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination

3. Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure

4. Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

5. P. L. Berger and T. Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality

6. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

7. Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process

8. Juergen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action

9. Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action

10. Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 

See also most voted books by females, most voted books by males, most voted authors by females, most voted authors by males, list of all voted books and languages in which respondents studied sociology

Nice simple survey, isn’t it? Exciting to imagine a similar one for sociocultural anthropology. Just–I would not limit the publications to be published in the 20th century.  Wonder whether there already is one out there.


On Thomas Hylland Erikson’s site Engaging with the World  some nights ago I came across his keynote speech to the conference “Bi- and multilingual universities: Challenges and future prospects” [University of Helsinki, Sept 1 – 3, 2005] wherein he reflects  cultural implications of English as a universal academic language: McDonaldisation or diversity? Notes on the use of English as a foreign language

I won’t try to reproduce it here, you can go and have a worthwhile look yourself icyai. While both title and the initial lines, which are said to be an “aphorism from the internet” are provokingly set, it is a sensuous reflection on what it means for non-native speaking academics to professionally communicate in English–especially in the humanities. You know these nightmares in which one cannot speak, only grumbles and strange sounds coming off one’s mouth, like a video that is on slomo?   

The use of English moreover may impact the representation of non-native speakers’ research in the academic community and on the publication market, as far as I ve understood Erikson–whom I would not have been able to read without him presenting in English. 

The last line of that internet aphorism btw–I think–Adrian would have answered by “an australian? “.   


Open J-Gate and Captive Madrillus leucophaeus

3921 open access journals, full texts pop up. Searching for titles containing ‘Anthropology’ my attention was caught by one Oxford Journal of Anthropology article entiteled Activity Budget of Captive Madrillus leucophaeus in the Confines of the Atlanta Zoo. This is remarkable in so far as I don’t even from the abstract get a glimpse of what this paper is about.  

Google in turn asked me whether I meant Captive Mandrillus leucophaeus.  (Those Bioko guys do survey the local bushmeat market ??) 

And no, I’m not spotting a typo.

question and answer

In case one is interested in learning more on academia, the columns of inside higher ed, I think, really are a place. I actually am not aware whether there exists an equivalent in german language. It even seems hard to only imagine there was one.

From a comments section: “Then (…) there’s the reverse: editors who collect papers together, then sit on them. For years. Maybe editors learn this skill early in their careers. Mind you, it can be a hard one to avoid.A useful skill for editors is shadow-writing when contributors fail to produce for a volume. I recall a couple of articles that I basically wrote myself, from the author’s raw text or data (and twice in a foreign language, too). Funny how these two papers later appeared on author’s cvs, without coauthorship or acknowledgement of the extra input.”

Another commentor adds, “as an over-extended graduate student, I must lift my glass to Mr. Weir. We must remember those articles we have listed as ‘in press’ on our CV’s which, if not submitted, revised, or otherwise completed, make our documentation blatantly false… (…)”

My simple lesson here is, things are more complexe than I knew. Somehow I had only thought up to “acceptance” and imagined “publication” to be the immediate follower on some level of abstraction. On the way I already had learned that academic authors must be aware of their texts being modified in the publication process. I now am aware of there being much more (f)actors that take impact on things (academic) publication and (academic) vita.