Re: centural sensitivity

Greg Laden (gladen@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 11:11:15 -0500

Heather and all:

Two things seem to happen on lists such as this one quite often. One, is
th e posting of requests for help that do seem to be someone asking for
something that most of us view as easy to look up oneself, and the other
is flaming of people (or, sometimes not flaming, but just admonishment of
some sort) for asking for such things.

I also have my students request information from lists while they are
doing their research projects (not in all cases). I tell my students to
make sure that they carefully compose their request for information, very
briefly indicating what they have done so far (i.e., "I've checked all
the usual journals and sources and am aware of the work of X Y and Z, the
key people in this field") and to clearly state why they are making this
particular request for information (i.e. "Even though everyone refers to
such and such I have found no source that actually provides the data to
back up this assertion etc. etc.).

This way not only will people not be PO'ed about being asked to do
someone's preliminary research for them, but also, the answers or
information or comments one will get will be much more useful!

I suggest that folks who direct their students to this method of research
prepare a one page handout that gives some guidelines for composing
requests for information.



On Fri, 8 Dec 1995, Heather M. Bradford wrote:

> Eeryone,
> I just wanted to clear something up. In a letter to me Dorothy suggested
> that I needed to do my own work before I asked for help. I was deeply
> offended that she thought I had not, and then I became concerned that
> maybe some of you thought the same. So I wanted to let everyone know that I
> have been doing research in my own library for three days and the anth.
> dept. here has been helping me as well (one prof. suggested that I ask
> for help on the list). We have only been able to come up with a limited
> number of sources, and most do not help. I am looking for causes in the
> rising trend of cultural sensitivity. I need at least three or four
> because I have to agrue that one is the best explaination for the cause.
> So far the only cause that we have been able to come up with is
> political correctness.
> Thank you all again,
> Heather Marie.
> ===================================================
> | Heather Bradford | "I am not a committee!" |
> | | --Princess Leia |
> ===================================================

Greg Laden
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138

"It is a wise child that knows his own father."

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
--William Shakespeare