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By Frances Christie, Karl Maton

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How is this possible? What is it that produces this common cast of creative thought such that different investigators arrive independently at the same intellectual terminus? To answer this brings us to one of the deepest theoretical fissures in the sociology of knowledge. Consensus or Epistemic Norms? The French Connection Karl Maton and Rob Moore (2010) sub-title their recent collection ‘coalitions of the mind’, after Randall Collins’ (1998) slightly different ‘coalitions in the mind’. Collins develops a theory of intellectual centres that are linked together 26 Disciplinarity by ‘interaction ritual chains’ into networks of connections.

As our work became better known I continued to be puzzled by the vehement reactions it produced and as a linguist I could not see the class basis of the confrontations. We knew as an issue of social justice that we were attempting to redistribute the literacy resources of the culture, so that working class, migrant and indigenous learners excluded by traditional pedagogies and further marginalized by progressive ones could access the powerful forms of discourse they needed to renegotiate their position in society.

Norris, C. (2000), Minding the Gap: Epistemology & Philosophy of Science in the Two Traditions. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. — (2006), On Truth & Meaning: Language, Logic & the Grounds of Belief. London: Continuum. Price, D. de Solla (1971), Some remarks on elitism in information and the invisible college phenomenon in science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 22: 74–75. — (1986), Little Science, Big Science and Beyond. New York: Columbia University Press. Shapin, S.

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