Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: rhetoric

Bibliometric paper on HM is out

Factions in Savory-citers based on bibliometric coupling.

Factions in Savory-citers based on bibliometric coupling.

There has been a great irony in my first sabbatical: it has been publication-free. More things in process than I can easily monitor but nothing in hand. Until today, barely three weeks before sabbatical end. Phew! Today the first paper is out in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems from my SSHRC-funded project on adaptive grazing approaches like holistic management. This paper, Who’s afraid of Allan Savory? Scientometric polarization on Holistic Management as competing understandings, is based on Carlisle Kent’s bibliometric work on HM in the summer of 2015. This used papers citing Allan Savory’s work on HM, as found in Web of Science, to understand the structure of research on the topic. General descriptives allowed us to see the changing nature of that work, geographically and in terms of discipline. Bibliometric coupling revealed distinct factions in terms of the kind of work being used to support papers (i.e. the reference lists) and that those factions seemed to align with disciplines as well as positions on HM. A number of recommendations are discussed around how farmers, advocates, researchers and policy-makers can work to resolve the competing understandings.

Discourse in HM and permaculture

All day today and tomorrow I will be enjoying final-term MREM student project presentations, including by HM project RA Carlisle Kent. After a summer spent on bibliometric analysis of holistic management, which we’re currently preparing for publication, she tackled a discourse analysis over the fall term. Specifically, we have been interested in the differences between the adaptive nature of the principles of holistic management (HM) and permaculture, and the sometimes proselytizing, ‘chapter and verse’ nature of proponent language. We wondered if this was in part responsible for the divide between practitioner and scientist perspectives of the practices. She looked at the rhetoric evident in  websites and Twitter, and mapped those two social movements online.  It was clear that rhetorical tools such as emotion, and building common ground through antipathy with non-members, were more evident than evidence. Additionally the adaptive and problem-solving nature of the movements were not at all evident in the discourse. Credibility suffers as a result. Great work and excellent presentation, Carlisle!

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