Writing together separately: Critical discourse and the problems of cross-ethnic co-authorship

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Abstract

The nature of cross-cultural and cross-ethnic co-authorship can often be a frustrating exercise. This is partially due to the separate socialisation processes and resulting self-identification of each of the authors. This results in different, and often selective, interpretations of historical and political events by each of the authors. The ongoing cross-ethnic co-authorship project relating to the geography of the Israel-Palestine conflict is analysed by one of the partners. Specific problems concern the use of competing semantics and the often irreconcilable nature of these terms. This may involve the use of such unsatisfactory measures as reluctant compromise, clarification, exchange and/or mutual censorship of terms. The debate centres around conflicting perspectives on the maintenance of academic political hegemony as contrasted with a desire to rewrite history in line with a political agenda. The search for symmetry by both authors is found to be an asymmetrical process, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Academic geographers have been unsuccessful in overcoming the differences in perspective brought on by situations of conflict, and have not, so far, contributed to the ongoing peace debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalArea
Volume28
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1996

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