Research Guide for Progression 2: Cultural Conversations
Exercise: Annotated bibliography
Sample preliminary question: Self-driving cars are arriving on the scene. Presumably, they will become increasingly available to consumers and eventually become the norm. What impact will this have on various societal issues -- for example the economy (automotive industry and taxi/Uber services), urban planning, accident liablility, and drunk/distracted driving?
Keyword brainstorm: self-driving cars driverless cars autonomous cars
What is a Cultural Conversation?
1. A cultural conversation is an interchange of distinct opinions and conclusions among various speakers/writers. It should be what we think of as a lively, animated conversation: there should be a sense of urgency among the participants that something truly important is at stake.
2. A cultural conversation is cultural in that it is occurring across the culture at large, as opposed to within a limited subculture, a specialized field of study, or minor area of interest. It can and often will relate to a specialized area of activity (whether that be biology labs, startup offices, maternity wards, or organic farms), but needs to be seen to have culture-wide implications. A sign that a conversation is culturally significant is that it is taking place in culturally significant venues (like the NY Times, or Slate, or Wired, or other publications with a broad readership) and not exclusively in specialized professional or academic publications.