Cloth: 978-0-226-36464-3 | Paper: 978-0-226-36478-0 | Electronic: 978-0-226-36481-0
AVAILABLE FROMUniversity of Chicago Press (cloth, paper, ebook)
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ABOUT THIS BOOK
While there has been an increasing call for social scientists to engage more broadly with the public, concrete advice for starting the conversation has been in short supply. Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels seek to change this with Going Public, the first guide that truly explains how to be a public scholar. They offer guidance on writing beyond the academy, including how to get started with op-eds and articles and later how to write books that appeal to general audiences. They then turn to the digital realm with strategies for successfully building an online presence, cultivating an audience, and navigating the unique challenges of digital world. They also address some of the challenges facing those who go public, including the pervasive view that anything less than scholarly writing isn’t serious and the stigma that one’s work might be dubbed “journalistic.”
Going Public shows that by connecting with experts, policymakers, journalists, and laypeople, social scientists can actually make their own work stronger. And by learning to effectively add their voices to the conversation, researchers can help make sure that their knowledge is truly heard above the digital din.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: So You Want to Go Public?
There's a big world out there that needs to hear from scholars. We need to intervene on public debates about pressing issues. Journalists regularly consult academics as experts. But in the process, journalists tend to distort their ideas, failing to contextualize their studies adequately. Scholars need to learn how to translate their work themselves. This book shows them how to do so.
1 Writing beyond the Academy
This chapter discusses four principles of good writing, offering a guide for academics who wish to enlarge their audiences. These principles include: 1) thinking of oneself as a writer, 2) knowing one's audience; 3) striving for clarity and concreteness; 4) showing and telling.
2 Telling Stories about Your Research
[op-ed;long form articles;digital magazines;storytelling]
Scholars can exercise their public voices by writing op-eds, commentaries, and magazine articles (both paper glossies and electronic). This chapter offers a step-by-step guide for doing so, and includes examples from published articles.
3 Books for General Audiences
[pop sociology;ethnography;cultural critiques;social trends;publishing]
Is the heyday of general interest social science dead? We argue that it is not. Books about social trends, ethnographic studies, and cultural critiques are three genres of popular social science today. We discuss successful books and what makes them appealing for general audiences. We also discuss different kinds of publishers and what they look for. Popularizing does not mean dumbing down your ideas.
4 The Digital Turn
[digital technology;media;public scholar;blog;public intellectual]
Today, being a public scholar almost surely means using digital technologies. From writing blogs about their research and work conditions, to setting up Facebook pages for scholarly books, to maintaining Twitter accounts to connect around research themes with people beyond the usual academic peers, scholars with a desire for life as a public intellectual are increasingly turning to digital technologies. The shift to using digital technologies to engage wider publics around scholarly ideas is referred to here as “the digital turn.” This chapter offers both an intellectual grounding in these shifts in the academy as well as hands-on tips about how to be a public scholar after the digital turn.
5 Building an Audience
To build an audience, you need to know your audience and they need to know you. In this chapter, we address how you build an audience for your work. While the digital turn makes it possible to reach more people who are interested in your work than ever before, the downside is that getting the most out of digital technologies takes more than simply the “click of a mouse” as the popular misconception about the Internet goes. Drawing on extensive interviews with prominent public scholars, this chapter describes how your network is your audience and what it means to have a professional persona.
6 The Perils of Going Public
Far from naïve about the risks of going public, here the authors provide a frank discussion about what is at stake in doing public scholarship. They note that these risks for going public are not evenly distributed among all academics. Instead, those scholars who are most vulnerable as public scholars are those from marginalized groups - women, LGBT scholars, people of color, and those of us at the intersection of several of these. Yet, these are the scholars who are often most committed to speaking outside the academy. Using case studies and interviews from public scholars who have come under attack, this chapter offers practical advice about the precautions that scholars may take.
7 Making it Count, Making a Difference
Once you've taken the plunge to be a public scholar, how do you make it count for you in ways that matter? This chapter describes a number of ways to measure the impact of publicly engaged scholarship, and how to make those measures understandable by hiring, tenure and promotion committees. There is also a growing number of people who hold the PhD and are re-imagining alternative academic careers that combine being a public scholar with life outside the tenure-track.Finally, we offer some perspective on making a real difference outside the academy.