learning / reading / reflecting / researching / writing

Concepts, messy concepts

We are making our way through Howard Becker’s Tricks of the Trade, making connections to our own scholarship along the way. Today’s mind-map captures the “sound bites” we could pull out of specific passages in the chapter along with the ways in which insights could be applied to our own theses and projects.

A number of key themes showed up for us:


Defining terms is a messy business, all wrapped up in our experiences and the lens we view the world through.


Cultural norms reflect the dominant view; such a view is often limited and misses the big picture.


Most of us are invested in research (methodologies) that allow us to make visible that which has been hidden from view.

Telling the side of the story that has not been privileged.
Creating space for the silenced to be heard.
Making people primary.

The “trick of the trade” here is to explicitly make the connections between your method and agenda clear. It is the “so what” of why your research matters and why you use the methods and theories you do–to, as Lizbett says “You do you!”


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