Great readings that might shake you to your academic core? I’m compiling a list

In the spirit of research readings that might shake you to your academic core, I’m compiling a list. Please reply to this thread with any suggestions you have to add. They can be anything from short blog posts (microblog?) to research articles to books. What’s on your ‘must read’ list?

Here are a couple of mine to kick us off:


Charles Goodwin’s Professional Vision paper

I don’t think I’ve referred to any paper as much as this one. It’s about the way our professional training shapes the way we see the things around us. Shortly after reading this paper I was in the gym thinking about commonalities between the weight stacks and survey scales. I expect myself to be a certain relative strength, and when that doesn’t correlate with the place where I need to place my pin I’m a little thrown off.

It also has a deep analysis of the Rodney King verdict.


Revitalizing Chinatown Into a Heterotopia by Jia Lou

This article is based on a geosemiotic analysis of DC’s Chinatown. It is one of the articles that helped me to see that data really can come in all forms


After method: Mess in Social Science Research by John Law

This is the book that inspired this list. It also inspired this blog post.



9 thoughts on “Great readings that might shake you to your academic core? I’m compiling a list

  1. Sylvia Sierra, PhD student in the Georgetown Linguistics department, reminded me of The Sociolinguistics of Globalization by Jan Blommaert: . This was a great read. Blommaert deconstructed the notion of language competence into a notion of the words that accompany a life lived instead of a single unit or birthright of sorts. This provided a different multilingual base from which to understand language contact. He also explained his notion of sociolinguistic scales, or social weights that accompany words and expressions.

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  4. You might be able to guess some of what I’m going to say, but I’ll say it anyway.

    Heath 1983 “Ways with words” (book) – examines the literacy practices of lower-class children on their own terms, the necessary antidote to deficiency discourses

    Lave & Wenger 1991 “Situated learning: legitimate peripheral practice” (book) – we’re so indoctrinated to thinking of learning as a process that happens inside someone’s head, but in this model learning is nothing more or less than participation in a community of practice

    Scollon 2001 “Mediated discourse: the nexus of practice” (book) – social theory grounded in linguistic/ethnographic data, presents both a workable methodology for practice theory and a super cute one-year-old participant

    Silverstein 2003/1996 “Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life” (journal article) – a semiotically-based model of how social meaning gets wrapped up in language

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