Donald Trump discourse/language analysis

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Gravitational waves detected or how theory building requires not only empirical evidences but also imagination

Ligo has detected gravitational waves 100 years after Einstein predicted their existence. In other words, Einstein build up the theory of gravity without having proved the existence of gravitational waves. This fact has reminded me one of his most famous quotations: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

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Imagination understood not as the action of making up new ideas with no empirical base but just the flexible articulation of thoughts derived from the first but not definite results of one research. In the same way, the results derive from case study based research or qualitative approach often do not allow to extrapolate the results to the whole universe under study (usually for lacking representativeness). Yet, the data obtained may give rise to new theories or hypothesis to be tested later under a positivist approach and be (or not) scientifically validated. This is not a banal issue, since qualitative data is usually excluded (usually by natural scientist and/or scientism) as part of scientific knowledge for not having been obtained by the application of the experimental method. But they are an essential part of the research process.

My thesis

My thesis, from start to finish, adopted a qualitative case study methodology with a mixed-methods approach, drawing upon social capital and conflict theory as lens to understand the impact of a mining-energy megaproject.

See summary in English (In progress)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292329072_Megaprojects_and_community_The_impact_of_a_large_scale_energy-mining_project_from_a_sociological_perspective

Or original version in Spanish

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292907017_Megaproyectos_y_comunidad_Impacto_de_un_proyecto_minero-electrico_a_gran_escala_desde_una_perspectiva_sociologica?ev=prf_pub

Challenges confronting beginning researchers in conducting literature reviews

Conducting literature review is a complicated, sometimes confusing and laborious process that beginning educational researchers, especially graduate students, often find challenging. However, in the past these challenges were hardly considered, but in more recent times they have been increasingly considered by various faculties and graduate schools due to the expanding needs from growing enrolments. To further develop and strengthen the responses to these identified needs, this article reviews literature concerning challenges faced by beginning educational researchers in conducting literature review, aiming to help unpack this complicated phenomenon by constructing a coherent story. Based on our review, we propose a framework to conceptualize four types of challenges. We term them LMCO (linguistic, methodological, conceptual, and ontological) challenges. Discussions centers on the four identified challenges, recommendations for future studies and implications to graduate preparatory programs.
Chen, D. T. V., Wang, Y. M., & Lee, W. C. (2015). Challenges confronting beginning researchers in conducting literature reviews. Studies in Continuing Education, 1-14.
Source: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0158037X.2015.1030335

Great video overview of Weber and the Protestant Work Ethic (and difference between Northern and Southern Europe.

Government and Community Reaction to Boomtown Growth theory

1) Enthusiasm as officials and residents concentrate on the positive economic impacts of job growth and retail spending that are espoused by energy industry spokespeople, while the possible negative impacts are either unknown or are dismissed as unlikely in their specific area; 2) Uncertainty, as the town starts to change as new workers arrive in
noticeable numbers. It is realized that some negative impacts have arrived along with the positive benefits, and that these negative impacts will likely grow. Officials begin to perform preliminary research; however, there are few resources or experienced staff to draw upon, while industry and state government claims there is nothing that can be done. Divisions emerge within the community as to whether the growth is detrimental or beneficial; 3) Near Panic, as the industrial activity and associated impacts grow much quicker than anticipated and the community character changes dramatically in the eyes of longer-term residents who become confused and angry at local officials and each other. Government services are overwhelmed and quality of services declines while officials realize that any increase in revenues will not offset the expenditures in the near future or at all. Government officials find that they are ill-equipped, unprepared or do not have jurisdiction to make the necessary policy decisions while longer term residents feel new
government polices are an affront to the community’s historic way of life; and 4) Adaptation, as the core problems are eventually identified and planning/mitigation strategies are developed. Residents become solidified in their beliefs; however, they begin to accept the reality of the situation at hand. Residents and officials feel a sense of progress.

Freudenburg, W. 1981 “Women and Men in an Energy Boomtown: Adjustment, Alienation, Adaptation” Rural Sciology 46:2:220-244

 

Poverty in Appalachia coal mining region

Appalachia (/ˌæpəˈlætʃə/ or /ˈæpəˈleɪtʃə/) is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York to northern Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.[1] While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range. As of the 2010 census, the region was home to approximately 25 million people, containing the major cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Knoxville, Tennessee; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Asheville, North Carolina.

Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants. Early 20th century writers often engaged in yellow journalism focused on sensationalistic aspects of the region’s culture, such as moonshining and clan feuding, and often portrayed the region’s inhabitants as uneducated and prone to impulsive acts of violence. Sociological studies in the 1960s and 1970s helped to re-examine and dispel these stereotypes.

While endowed with abundant natural resources, Appalachia has long struggled and been associated with poverty. In the early 20th century, large-scale logging and coal mining firms brought wage-paying jobs and modern amenities to Appalachia, but by the 1960s the region had failed to capitalize on any long-term benefits from these two industries. Beginning in the 1930s, the federal government sought to alleviate poverty in the Appalachian region with a series of New Deal initiatives, such as the construction of dams to provide cheap electricity and the implementation of better farming practices. On March 9, 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission was created to further alleviate poverty in the region, mainly by diversifying the region’s economy and helping to provide better health care and educational opportunities to the region’s inhabitants. By 1990, Appalachia had largely joined the economic mainstream, but still lagged behind the rest of the nation in most economic indicators.