[Air-L] Reputation and professional degrees

Chris Hodge chodge5 at utk.edu
Tue Jan 5 12:29:15 PST 2010

I am working with a number of interrelated biodiversity projects --
some grounded in academia and some centered more in the sphere of
citizen science -- and I've found the work Nancy van House has done on
trust and knowledge sharing across epistemic communities to be  quite

On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM, Ingbert Floyd <ifloyd2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think it is important to note that in the case of the professional &
> amateur astronomers, and the earlier case of the professional &
> amateur naturalists, the mutual respect comes out of shared, strongly
> held values regarding the value of the science, the care that must be
> taken in the collection of data, and the shared goal of developing a
> particular kind of understanding of the world. It seems to me that the
> values of the academic anthropologists, whether or not they have a
> degree, and the values of the people who are employed by corporations,
> are at times radically different, and that is the source of the
> tension, especially because the people on the corporate side who use
> the label often make little effort to understand the academic use of
> the label. Now, obviously, this is not universally true. There are
> many people on the corporate side of things who do understand the
> academic side of things, but I'm not talking about the exceptions to
> the rule. The same division also occurs within academia, between
> people from anthropology departments, and people in computer science
> departments. That's not to say there aren't any people in computer
> science departments who understand the perspective of the
> anthropologists (Paul Dourish is an excellent example, though he's
> currently in an information science department). But if, for example,
> you look at how the word ethnography is used in the CSCW literature,
> and how it is used in the anthropology literature, they can be very
> different things.
> Personally, I do rapid ethnography, which most anthropologist would
> not recognize as true ethnography. But my purposes and goals are
> different than theirs, and I would never presume to call myself an
> anthropologist. I am a social scientist (I am from library and
> information science), but I am not a sociologist, as I study analog
> and computing technology as well as people and their interactions.
> Ingbert
> On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM, Liz <nwjerseyliz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I find this an interesting topic as someone with a first draft of her dissertation but no Ph.D. I identify myself with my academic discipline but because of professional requirements, I've had to look outside of universities for employment.
>> I've found that people in social networks take it on faith that I am a sociologist, albeit not a professor, which I appreciate. At least, no one has asked to see a CV. But when I first started following people on Twitter, I did a bio search for those who describe themselves as an anthropologist or sociologist and was surprised how much these titles had been appropriated by people who, as part of their job in marketing or media, try to make sense of why people act as they do. "Technology anthropologist" is one title I've seen several times by people working in social media.
>> In one sense, people can call themselves whatever they want. But there is a lack of self-consciousness or irony in ascribing an expertise to oneself that I think most credentialed people within those disciplines would find a surprise.
>> In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson discusses the cooperation & respect professional & amateur astronomers have for each others abilities and how they've come together to work on some research projects. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's more likely that this pro-am collegiality could occur in technology & media studies than in the social sciences.
>> Liz Pullen
>> nwjerseyliz at yahoo.com
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> --
> ==========================================
> Ingbert Floyd
> PhD Student
> Graduate School of Library and Information Science
> University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
> http://ingbert.org/     ||     skype/twitter/etc.: spacesoon
> Check out the unofficial GSLIS Wiki:
> http://www.gslis.org/
> "Dream in a pragmatic way."
> -Aldous Huxley

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