This entry is really difficult to write, mainly because I feel as if I should give Luker the benefit of the doubt. Like Kait, I read Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences over the holidays. My first impression of it was as a study designed to recycle earlier research, either for the purpose of CV development or for securing tenure. I found that many of her arguments discouraged students from scholarship and encouraged a kind of journalism. Yes, publishing is good, but scholars should refrain from publishing creative restatements of earlier research. Sure, some scholarship now viewed as timely brings together seemingly unrelated topics to re-present common ideas. But this salsa dancing approach does not negate the value of focused and methodical research (and she hardly touches upon positivist techniques). This being said, I found that she made a few good points, though barely enough to justify a 320-page study. Harvarding books is a great concept, as is her notion of the research nodal point. Also, she described a few subject-specific terms which, to my shame, I didn’t know (e.g., sampling, operationalization, generalization). And I like to think that there is some hidden pearl noticeable upon rereading …
My favourite part of Knight’s study is on page 11. He really nails the right questions for humanities scholars to ask themselves!