Dear list members,
I wonder if anyone out there can point me in the right direction. I wrote a 300 page Ph.D dissertation, titled Tourette's Syndrome, Foucault and Discourse: A Grounded Analysis, and I want to publish it. I have requested some advice from another Foucault-related list and got some great feedback. However, none of the leads given has of yet proved successful (but I'm still hopeful).
The study itself was reviewed by several important theorists in discursive theory - Rom Harre, Derek Edwards among others - and they feel that it is an important work, and that these ideas should be made available to others. I have sat on it for a little while, but I am now sending it to major publishers. Two of these publishers have taken a very serious look the proposal and, according to their editors, have only just come down on the side of not publishing it. These are Sage and Routledge, and both state bottom-line considerations in the current economic climate (it's not a text book), and that the work might be too narrowly specialized, but the personal letters I got back from them do illustrate that it was something of a difficult decision, which is encouraging. Having said that, however, it is still a bit ironic. Though my work was focused on the area of a defined disorder and its communities, the theoretical model that I created for the study (aided by Foucauldian theory) is quite generic, in that it could be used to study other areas, or as I prefer to refer to them, other social systems. This was put to the test at a conference in London last summer, when I presented the research to a gathereing of consultants and academics of Management depts who were meeting on the topic of organizational discourse.
And with a devoted chapter, the thesis also provides a very good example of 'grounded' methodology for quantitative research and the creation or building of social theory. This also included some good discussion of the use of allied software packages for handling large amounts of qualitative data, and again, building theory with it in a rigorous and principled way through 'sampling' and other grounded postulates for empirical research. Therefore, the work will have a wider appeal in this regard also.
However, perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of the study for those interested in Foucault is the framework I had to use for introducing Foucault's ideas. As my thesis committee were made up largely of analytical philosophers and/or psychologists in the mold of the Anglo-American tradition, I was required to make Foucault's concepts and unusual ideas as intelligible as possible. In fact, I deliberately left Foucault understated for the much of the early analysis and field observations in order to create in the reader a 'Foucauldian way of looking' at social phenomena before introducing Foucault's unique and penetrating concepts. This was very successful, I think, and would be of great use to people wishing to explain what Foucault's project is without the enterprize being sidetracked by confusion, biases against the language, or other predelictions.
But lastly, my results were quite startling on the subject of the social costruction of Tourette's Syndrome (TS) and the empirical data speak for themselves in this regard. Foucault was used to bring this out in regard to contemporary TS, and at the same time TS proved to be a marvellous exemplar for what's intended by Foucault. The study illustrates, as Foucault himself would have it, that his books are toolchests for people to draw from and use, rather that stand alone treatises relevant to the areas in which they delved.
So, back to the point. What the hell should I do with this, and how can I get the work out there? Is there any publishing houses that you have worked with that you think might be especially interested? I would be glad to post a portion or summary of my proposal anyone would like to take a further look.
All your consideration would be much appreciated.
Scot Hamilton, Ph.D.
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