44 thoughts on “Responsible self-promotion: negotiating the relationships between self and Other, myself and ‘my’ work

  1. If I never strayed from my own areas of expertise I’d write nothing for I’m a complete and utter layman. I feel entitled to state my opinion on most things but I do make some effort to see what the experts have to say. Experts often disagree then perhaps the consensus is a good bet.
    Take self consciousness- not to much agreement there. Take the Christian Religion -still in constant debate. Take the moral aspect of science -a minefield. Sometimes there are financial reasons for certain views such as sugar in drinks. If we confined all statements to the experts how do we know they may not lead us astray? Let’s hear all voices the good , the bad , and the ugly.

  2. there is a lot of humility here. i feel i am reiterating your point tirelessly to people who think they have the right to opine on a matter that they have no knowledge about, but due to the freedom of opinion that democratic countries entitle people to, which seems to have seeped into them through conditioning, they can make vague assumptions with little repercussion. this can be merely infuriating in minor cases or can cause Brexit & the media white wash of the truth in major cases.
    living in Korea, the male, middle class, ajeossi, as they are titled, are the very worst for this. they will happily orate the way it is, often embarrassing themselves, then when someone contradicts them with actual knowledge, they’ll make sure they don’t look chagrin, by defending their position rather than acquiesce & listen to someone else; which really just exposes them to further humiliation.

  3. Thank you for posting on such a delicate topic. It feels like such a balancing act: at what point does a person share or choose to withhold information and experiences that seem to ring true and are received with feelings of gratitude? Can we, in all good conscience, withhold from each other affirmations of inherent self-worth and encouragement? I appreciate the tremendous and sincere historic efforts of everyone in all aspects of empirical research, who have worked tirelessly to uncover, document, and test findings that benefit, as well as the efforts of those who endeavor to protect us from harmful information. As a new blogger, I appreciate and welcome discussions like this. The line in the sand seems tenuous.

  4. We need to have “informed opinion”. Facts don’t always speak readily for themselves. We need people to bring individual expertise to bear on sets of facts so that we can see diverse interpretations of puzzling facts. Otherwise, we become stuck in the same old same old.

  5. I see not a single reply speaking to the fact of the devaluation of the word opinion. My criticism of the use of this word in relation to what should be intellectual analysis. Let me state here this is mostly done by Americans. A phrase often thrown up when one person or(persons) has nothing left to counter with in a debate is” well that’s just your opinion” in an effort to devalue and dismiss everything one has said during the course of the exchange. Your use is not in this vein so you may be safe in seeing it this way as your involvement with a US audience may be limited. That sorted I will say one’s analysis does not always need to be informed solely by one’s educational experience. You can extrapolate using pure logic and your life or observations of life. I see nothing wrong in qualifying that you are stepping somewhat out of your realm yet you are not experiencing any discomfort in doing so but your contribution may not have the weight of another’s analysis. The difficulty you cite is a trap that I see being set world wide for those who have inside tracks to becoming public intellectuals. The trap of an all inclusive expert. This allows for easy media manipulation of the public intellectuals’ image. even if this person invests in educating them-self in those areas adjacent to their field so as to be ready for the event of being called on to speak it invariably leads to the dilemma you cited. Speaking for/ above the other and thereby further marginalizing whatever community that might be. The aim of the master class is to exactly to achieve this. Absolving the rulers of ever having to deal with problems in a real way. Minor reform may be a result but in removing real people from the conversation to be replaced by a spokesperson(the public intellectual) who has gained trust whatever this person has been steered to do is achieved. Recognition is step one. Step two is to ask yourself what will I do about it? Is the money or prestige worth joining the oppressors. Not very complex yet very difficult to sustain. You must look ahead and determine what you want to accomplish and also as yourself a very tough question is my soul for sale?

  6. I don’t know. It seems to me that you can self-promote responsibly by providing factual input on a discussion without actually promoting yourself. The character of your content, as it were, would show you as someone worth listening to. Would it not?

  7. You’re self-conscious about your role, that of the persons you work with and what you produce as a scholar. It looks like there’s no way around it. And that’s probably an unintended consequence of being a scholar and a complimentary “public intellectual.” Very enlightening piece.

  8. This is a very sensitive issue which people tend to overlook and see nothing wrong with but you have brought it out in a way that a person reading will have no other option but to stop and think. I think this is a brilliant work and it has inpired me so thank you and your partners.

  9. Thank you for this very thoughtful post. I am thankful also that there are those out there that are pushing against the tide of ‘self-promotion’. It is not just the sciences, and in fact invades the arts as well… I used to want to be a writer, but at some point, when I considered publishing something about 15 years ago, the focus had switched from marketing your ‘work’ to marketing your ‘self’. It is rampant throughout our culture.

    Now I am considering research and have noticed similarities… just as you pointed out. It doesn’t help that I am not a fan of the media’s usage of ‘social research’, and in fact, the research studies themselves (and how they are marketed) tell me far more about the researchers than the subjects… But I am weighed down with the knowledge that most people don’t understand what is involved… and that statistics only show tendencies, not truths… and as you so aptly state, only shows a ‘snapshot’ of a demographic.

    Thank you again!

  10. It may be difficult to distinguish between self-promotion and speaking out on what we may legitimately know. Oftentimes self-promotion is in lieu of knowledge. Other times it may be an after effect based on praise for what one does know. Either way it should have no place in how we behave. I had not heard the term “public intellectual” previously. It is a great term and could apply to many of our so-called leaders. Thanks for the insight.

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