How stuff spreads: is “brand” the new “clustering”?

Posted by on Aug 28, 2008 in Uncategorized | One Comment

Alex has done some more great stuff on how jargon spreads through academic populations (reported today in the THE)

I suspect his inner physicist might be responsible for the cute dig at social scientists and how they seem to be just copying each other's words randomly…

"I have come to feel that in the social sciences you get bodies of
theory that I suspect actually started from a buzzword. A lot of those
words don't have concrete meaning,"

Meanwhile, just for you, dear Reader, he's done the above chart which seems to suggest that "Branding"'s spread through business and economics academe has 1. grown via the s-curve pattern typical of random copying and 2. it may be peaking in popularity (thank the Lord, you're saying…)

Now, my more evil twin has just asked whether Alex's comment also applies to business journal contributors…and we other users of the B-word?

UPDATE: today's free gift is Alex's paper

1 Comment

  1. Alex Bentley
    August 28, 2008

    One of the things I didn’t get to note in the Times Higher story is that, out of the hundreds and hundreds of academic authors who have mention ‘bathwater’ over the years, in every single instance it was in the context “baby in the bathwater.” Apparently not one person has actually taken some bathwater and analysed it (probably because it always has a baby in it, which affects results…).