I was tagged a while back by William J. Turkel at Digital History Hacks. He’s taken the 5 things about me meme and changed it into 5 Things (about Memes and the Blogosphere), along with a request for tagged people to take it and twist it. I wrote the meme below. Specifically it was written after reading a fairly dull paper which pulled the trick of putting points 2 and 3 in succeeding sentences with no trace of irony. I left it in the draft bank in case anything better occurred to me. It’s a couple of months later and I’m off to take a break after thinking about what a good Archaeological Theory course would look like. Looking at it, I think I’m broadly right.
I suspect the following points could describe any theory in the social sciences that annoys you.
- Whatever it is you’re studying will provide the perfect example of the bold insights that New Theory can bring to a topic.
- Any praise of another New Theorist’s work is also praise of your work as it recognises the importance of New Theory.
- Any criticism of another New Theorist’s work does not apply to your work as your work will be significantly different in at least three important aspects, and the criticism does not recognise the vibrant diversity of New Theory.
- Any failure of New Theory to solve any questions people were asking before its arrival simply illustrates that people were asking the wrong questions.
- Old Theory is the product of the political prejudices of the time. Awkward questions from Old Theorists can therefore be dismissed. The same would apply to New Theory, were it not for the fact that New Theory is far too new to be critiqued in the same way.