Gary Rolfe (2011) discusses C Wright Mills' ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’ (the appendix to ‘The Sociological Imagination’ ( Wright Mills, 1959 )) and reminds us of the relevance of this piece to today's context, despite it being written so long ago. Mills' work is, Rolfe suggests, “shockingly radical”, a position that is hard to disagree with. The main point appears to be that the focus of social science (and by implication much of nursing ‘science’) ought to be on writing as scholarship without too much effort necessarily expended on, and attention paid to, empirical research. Scholarship is writing and so the nurse academic, as scholar, writes as a result of critical reflection upon and immersion in their social world, which (Mills also suggests) is not bounded by false divisions between one's work and one's life.</P>This is a timely reminder to re-apply the Sociological Imagination and Mills' notions of intellectual craftsmanship to endeavours in the higher education sector today. Mills' critiques of abstract empiricism will resonate with anyone who feels the dead hand of research assessment exercises (or frameworks) driving out and devaluing scholarship from the academy. Scholarship may suffer from a lack of recognition because too much attention (and
Nurse Education Today – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2011
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