Editorial Note: The Book Review as "Performance"

Kip Jones

Abstract


The growth of the Internet presents challenges to knowledge transfer; such knowledge is formed contextually and dialogically, a negotiated discursive construct that is created between people. The editorial makes a case for book reviews and review essays which are auto-ethnographic, "performative" and critical. The shift to a more dialogic exploration of emergent knowledge through the book review as social discourse is discussed. The essence of qualitative research itself is explored as the bedrock of book reviews. Reviews are considered as polyvocal attempts at interfacing with cultural/relational/linguistic accounts of the real. A narrative approach to reporting on reviewed books is encouraged, permitting authors to reveal themselves in the relationships presented through their writing. A case is made that a phenomenological approach to writing reviews would be more interested in the person who writes than in the act of writing itself. It is through the creative representations of the reviewed book that reviewers can fashion their own individual Gestalt or worldview woven from the writing under review. The report itself mediates between researcher/writer and reviewer/reader. Such an approach opens up opportunities to write book reviews "performatively". Finally, reviewers are encouraged to create both a dialogue with the author under consideration as well as with their reader.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0602270

Keywords


book review; "performative social science"; narrative; Internet; knowledge construction; phenomenology; criticism; dialogue

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Copyright (c) 2006 Kip Jones

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