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Guidelines for Comment

So as to keep me from having to make the same point again and again in the comments of my blog, I have assembled these guidelines. These are not rules one has to follow. More like a page where I can collect my most common points, for the uninitiated, those who are new to cultural studies (as an academic discipline), or those who don’t get what this blog is about.

Guideline #1

Very little of what I say is unsourced, although I don’t always provide a citation. Feel free to ask me where I got my information. If you start asking me to source every single thing I say, though, I will ignore you.

Guideline #2

Don’t be surprised if I ask a dozen Koreans about something you asserted in a comment, to get their reactions and impressions. Also don’t be surprised when I report the outcomes either in a reply comment, or in another entry to my blog.

Guideline #3

If you come onto this blog and start telling me how “real” inquiry is done in: cultural studies, cultural anthropology, ethnography, sociology, ethnohistory, social psychology, or psychology, I’m likely to ignore you. Why? Because I didn’t fall off a turnip truck yesterday. I either hold a degree, have taken multiple classes, or have conducted research in all of these disciplines (and yes, there is lots of overlap). See my About Page for more information about my background.

Guideline #4

If you tell me I need to “examine my assumptions,” please point out a specific assumption you think I am making so that I can in fact examine it. About fifty percent of the time when people tell me I’m making an assumption, it is because they are assuming something about me. If you tell me I should “examine my assumptions” in general, I’m going to assume you a) haven’t read my About Page (or these guidelines), and/or b) don’t realize that people with cultural studies degrees (at least out of my university) spend a full two years hunting down every possible assumption they may hold about race, ethnicity, sex, gender (that’s right, sex and gender aren’t the same thing!), class, and a bunch of other things.

Guideline #5

If you’re going to telling me that my pattern of questioning is biased (when I question Koreans about their culture), please point out something specific that I asked, and how it is biased. Don’t assume I’ve asked a “loaded question” and conveniently left it out of commentary on an issue. If I don’t provide a transcript of a Q&A session, and you’d like to know what questions I asked, ask me and I’ll tell you. I write them down right there in the room, along with the responses. I’m a skilled interviewer. Sometimes my questions are value-free, and sometimes they are not, but generally I know when I’m asking a value-free question like “What did you have for lunch yesterday, if anything?” or a question that is value-laden or assumes something like “Do you think there is anything wrong with the methods used for slaughtering dogs?” Both question types have their uses.

The above are guidelines. I will not delete your comments for not following any of the above. I will however, delete your comments for breaking rules.

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