I met with J this morning to review a relatively final version of his reading list. His question, which I couldn't really answer, was, "well, what do you want to do with all this material? What kinds of writing and/or what kinds of questions would be useful in moving you toward your dissertation?"
I felt inadequate because I had no ready answer. I tend to be very focused on the mechanics of doing certain academic things: tell me I need to make a list of things to read, and read them, and I'll do it, without thinking too much about "why" or "to what end." I am sure there is lots more I could read on this particular subject, but I just have the feeling there is a sort of "going through the motions" aspect to this whole process. I'll drum up some questions, which may or may not ultimately be useful (EVERYTHING is useful, in my view, eventually) and then he'll frame some questions, and I'll write some essays.
In the meantime, despite having some solid reading lists, I am back to the same old problem of not having a dissertation proposal, which I must have (and which my advisor gently reminded me of yesterday) before I get too much further down this path.
Or, I could just read in some sort of order, and see what develops in my mind. I'm inclined to read the Bater book, because it was intended as an undergraduate intro. I find that reading undergrad books is a very helpful way to get the lay of the land of a subject rather quickly, and then you can figure out how to delve into the specifics.
The trouble is, I only work on this stuff in fits and starts, so I lack continuity.
Something to think about - regional differences in the influence of Moscow-type planning.Posted by otto0114 at April 20, 2005 7:46 PM