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Posted on Monday 3 November 2014 at 2:03 pm

Quick Dissertation Help Mini Poll

Hive mind: without details, which of these sounds like it would flow better...
A.) NY political history, NY non-political history, non-NY political history or
B.) NY political history, non-NY political history, NY non-political history?

In one case I have to separate the two NY parts and in the other I have to separate the two political parts. In both cases, the last two have nothing to do with each other.

My main problem with resolving this on my own is that I intuitively think options B is better (politics together) and is better for my final argument, but every time I try to write it that way, I can't make it work. My brain will only process writing transitions and train-of-thought using option A.


bowl_of_glow at 7:07 pm on 03 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure why, but option A seems better to me.
bratty_jedi at 12:51 pm on 04 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It appear to work for other people, so I guess I'll run with it. :)
failte_aoife at 7:36 pm on 03 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Hm...I actually think A might be better, somehow grouping everything NY together sounds better to me (though perhaps that's just because you put NY first and I'd say the opposite if you put political first...)
bratty_jedi at 12:51 pm on 04 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Not sure why I keep thinking it has to be B, but A apparently works for other people so I'll go with it.
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 8:08 pm on 03 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Go with the brain! Neither is objectively wrong so I'd write the one you find easier.
bratty_jedi at 12:52 pm on 04 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'll just let it go as it wants and stop trying to force it, I guess.
A work in progress
ancarett at 8:14 pm on 03 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
"A" can work well. If you're framing arguments naturally based on the geographic similitudes and only then with the political aspects, run with it!
bratty_jedi at 1:19 pm on 04 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Going into a bit more detail... I'm doing the lit review for my dissertation and I basically need to say....

1) People who study this event in NY only used to say it was ethnic conflict but now they dismiss that in favor of economics and political power but still argue that ethnicity shaped the form it took. They see the biggest effect as political parties / factions developing after it.

2) People who study NY outside this event see ethnicity as even more important, vital in everything outside of politics and don't really care about the political stuff at all.

3) People who study this event in larger imperial political contexts completely ignore any aspect of ethnicity, which is basically unique to the NY case, and emphasize stuff shared in various parts of the empire as cause and effect both.

I'm coming in to say how do we reconcile these arguments that on the local level ethnicity is important in everything, including the shape of the event, but had no causal impact on the event and everyone studying it from the bigger picture don't see ethnicity mattering at all? Simple: colonial / early modern historians need to take seriously ethnic studies theory developed by people studying later periods and not just assume ethnicity as a given to be used to answer other questions but rather analyze its development in its own right, which also means pushing at ethnic studies scholarship that maintains much of their work is only valid for modern post-French Rev / nationalism stuff but some of it was already happening a century earlier. And then my argument and contribution to multiple fields of study plays out from there. Basically. Hopefully.

Somehow out of all that, it just sounds better in my head to do all the political stuff first then go back to ethnicity right before bringing in the ethnic studies stuff, but I can't make it flow that way. Maybe because both political sections (NY and non-NY specific) are much longer than the NY non-political stuff so the imperial stuff is more of an interruption than the ethnicity stuff. I'll just stick with NY all together.
labellerose at 11:45 pm on 03 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I'd go with A if that's how your brain is working, myself. Once the sections are written you can always play with switching them around. Good writer-fu to you!!
bratty_jedi at 1:20 pm on 04 November 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I've actually written all the sections and keep trying to move them around and change transitions between them and what not. I keep getting ideas for how I can make Option B work but then it never actually will. I guess that's proof I should give up on it and just roll with Option A.

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