Monday, February 9, 2009

Social Sciences

Continuing my organizational work, I hit the social sciences books pretty hard today. I noticed a few reoccuring problems in these books as pertains to categorization. Unlike the Humanities and Fine Arts books, which seemed to be characterized by category minimalism, the Social sciences books seemed to be in a constest to be in the most categories. Here is a line that was all too common in these books:

{{Subject|Social sciences|Sociology|Psychology|Cognition|Neuroscience}}

This shows several common problems that I've been cleaning up all day:
  1. People categorizing books in subcategories and their parent categories simultaneously.
  2. Mixing up subjects that are only peripherally related. The book in question was probably a sociology book or a psychology book, not both.
  3. Authors tend to get a little grandiose with their conceptions about a book. Just because a book deals with psychology, and a person's psychology is affected by their brains, that doesn't mean every psychology book is also a neuroscience book.
  4. "Cognition" really isn't a topic for a book, or is a very uncommon one if it is. People tend to treat a bunch of related-words as categories, and every book picks a different set of strange words to use. Categories are supposed to be a way to keep like books together, but that only works if books use a common set of subject names.
The sociology books are coming along nicely, but I could always use more people to double-check my work. Plus, if we could get somebody in here who actually is familiar with these subjects at a higher-then-gradeschool level, that would be good too.

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