About Monday, about beginning Ferman’s book

Hello all!

I’m going to lead class Monday. And I have a few recommendations re: how you approach the assigned readings.

(a) In chapter 1, it should be clear that Ferman is entering into an existing academic debate. What may be less clear is what this debate is. Our main work on Monday will be creating some CONTEXT for making sense of the somewhat-arcane theoretical debates she is engaging in chapter 1.

(b) This means that it is probably NOT worth your while to obsess on the details of her argument (which elements of institutional framework related to what kinds of arena?) – but to get the broad strokes. I’d suggest you think about answering questions like:

-what is she trying to explain with this work? Is there an empirical reality she is trying to explain? A theoretical distinction she wants to make?

-what kinds of factors seem to be important? WHO is involved? What might their interests be?

(c) Then realize that the case studies that follow will be the best way for us to see her theoretical argument in action. That’s why it is FINE for us to gloss this a bit in the beginning; because the point of her book is to use empirical examples to explain and support her theory. She will explain to us as we go along.


Also – we need some more songs on the playlist. 🙂



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