Saturday, August 3, 2019
Friday, August 2, 2019
This study examines topic models for the purpose of determining the nature of a “crisis” in the humanities.” By examining the original “Default Model,” the new “Default Model” without duplicates and a Reddit “Corpus-A” model and topics related to the words “humanities,” “crisis,” “problem,” and “issues” in all of the models, and using the WE1S Qualtrics surveys the study takes note of the similarities between the models as well as attempts to understand the word crisis.
First Qualtrics Survey
Through a set of reductionist procedures, the default pyLDAvis model set of topics beneath the red conditional topic distribution bubble of topic 110, while the word crisis is hovered over, may be reduced such that all documents in each topic distill down to a single topic sentence and then to a single word.
The resulting words might be thought of as the most concise approximation of the representation of each corresponding document. Utilizing pyLDAvis, for words similar to ‘crisis’ within correlated topics we have “stress,” “sustainability,” “trump,” “poverty,” “criticized,” “economic,” “terrorism,” and we have the following correlations:
looking at T223, ‘stress,’ we have T104 related
looking at T82 ‘sustainability,’ we have T37 related
looking at T85, ‘trump,’ we have very many topics related.
looking at T65, ‘poverty,’ we have T118 and 90 and 64 most related
looking at T134, ‘criticized,’ we have T240 most related
looking at T110 ‘economic,’ we have T245 most related
looking at T163, ‘terrorism,’ we have T178 most related
Where all reductions may be further reduced to the single word “problems.” And, the words “laughter,” “Freud,” and “humanities that oppose crisis might be considered as solutions:”
looking at T90, “laughter,” we have T97 (life, love) most related
looking at T118, “humanities,” we have T34 and T90 most related
looking at T69, “Freud,” we have T146 most related
For clarity, examples of the above opposition follow: Freudian analysis resolves personality crisis; humanities discourse addresses and resolves human problems; laughter rejoices on behalf of being alive. And, many of the reviewed topic documents related to the word “humanities” are arguments on behalf of the humanities.
Conclusively, humanities discourse represents a high level of rhetoric that attempts to position the humanities as a worthy pursuit in a world of high tech and science. Rather than humanities discourse found in (university) humanities curriculum, the reading of topic documents reveals argumentation on behalf of the humanities. Positive justifications for the humanities and a sense of crisis often going hand in hand, and the rhetoric confirms some need that humanities academics have for resolving varying perspectives into a crisis in the humanities.
Using Qualtrics module 4.c to compare the words humanities with problems
For the first word, “humanities,” the topics and top documents convey friction, a state of high energy of human concern, that attempts to dissipate its state through a synthesis with the sciences and less problematic academic curriculum. Thus, a focused study of the sources of tension likely leads to better solutions. In other words, a close reading of documents within the listed associated topics-with-words (semantic relations) reveals “how crisis-related words relate to the humanities in public discourse. Proceeding with this assumption, the documents of topic 191 appear to provide a recommendation to a “crisis” in the humanities in general. The top documents of topic 191 for which I labeled “Humanities and Science,” contain the following :
Doc 1: “As Dr. Chun will suggest, now is a perfect time for scientists and humanities scholars to come together to answer the hard questions about how to solve the most pressing problems of our world.”
Doc 2: ‘ ''The Hubris of the Humanities'' (column, Dec. 6): Nicholas D. Kristof correctly argues that Americans need a better diet of science to meet the complexities of civilization. His argument rests on a division between a liberal arts education and one based on science.’
Doc 3: ‘Intellectually we seldom venture outside our comfort zones unless forced to. Humanities students fulfill their physical sciences requirement only under duress while future computer scientists disdain having to sit through one ethnic studies class.’
Doc 4: ‘People generally see philosophy as impractical, unnecessary or entirely subjective. They say philosophers ponder the meaning of life and other abstract questions but contribute nothing to ?society’
Doc 5: ‘ABSTRACT [...] cutting requirements would decrease the number of social studies teachers, and would therefore decrease the number of electives available to all students. [...] social studies is not only fascinating, it is some of the most practical knowledge you can acquire.’
Doc 6: ‘The Ohio Department of Education's over-complicated and over-detailed new standards include a 40-page "Learning Standards" for Social Studies, as well as "model curricula" for each grade K-12. Four "strands" (history, government, geography, and economics) with included "skill topics" illustrate the broad scope of Social Studies and seem like a good formula for living (if actually taught and experienced in the classroom).’
Doc 7: Of all the non-useful things people believe, have no proof of but perpetuate, I'd like to put one to rest: ‘"You can't do anything with" (fill in the blank) an English degree, a degree in philosophy or anything in the general vicinity of the humanities or social sciences. But that belief is just false, false, false - especially today.’
It follows that whenever a topic where all the documents must contain the term “humanities,” and “science” and or STEM like terms the topic will mostly contain rhetorical discourse that argues in favor of more or different humanities curriculum and/or a synthesis of both humanities and science curriculum.
Second New Default 250 Topic Model Qualtrics Survey and Reddit
Topic 9, “Problems,” became the most substantially weighted topic in the new default model. This is not a coincidence since it is the critical state of all problems that the new model through its key search term “humanities” is in conversation with. Etymologically speaking, crisis, as documented in the HTOED as “< Latin crisis, < Greek κρsσις discrimination, decision, crisis, < κρsνειν to decide), and “critical” as documented in the OED as “Critical 5. Of the nature of, or constituting, a crisis: a. Of decisive importance in relation to the issue. spec. critical path: the most important sequence of stages in an operation, determining the time needed for the whole operation; frequently attributive” manifest as either “critical” conditions or “crisis” conditions of particular problems found in the corpus. In either case, critical (related words critic, criticism and critique) and analytical thinking found throughout humanities discourse are necessary and paramount to addressing all problematic issues we as humans face.
Model analysis to answer the question “How prevalent is ‘humanities crisis discourse (discourse about the crisis in the humanities) as compared with other ways of talking about the humanities (again, within specific contexts)?’ reveals a small number of topics related to the words ‘crisis,’ and ‘critical.’ Humanities crisis discourse is little when compared to the fact that every document of the corpus is in conversation with the "humanities" search term.
A quantitatively similar observation in the Reddit corpora shows that comments confirm that crisis discourse compared with overall discourse about the humanities is small. The following procedures taken prove the above conclusion:
Using grep -o -i "\bcrisis\b" Reddit-All-Humanities-2006-2018.json | wc -l, grep -o -i "\bcrisis in the humanities\b" Reddit-All-Humanities-2006-2018.json | wc -l, and grep -o -i "\bhumanities crisis\b" Reddit-All-Humanities-2006-2018.json | wc -l
Within a total of 270,784 comments that include the search term “humanities,” “crisis” appears 1562 times, “crisis in the humanities” appears 24 times, and “humanities crisis” appears 12 times.
Using grep -o -i "\bcrisis\b" Reddit-Liberal-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l, grep -o -i "\bcrisis in the humanities\b" Reddit-Liberal-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l, and grep -o -i "\bhumanities crisis\b" Reddit-Liberal-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l
Within a total of 243,476 comments that include the search term “liberal arts,” “crisis” appears 822 times, “crisis in the humanities” appears two times, and “humanities crisis” appears one time.
Using grep -o -i "\bcrisis\b" Reddit-The-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l, grep -o -i "\bcrisis in the humanities\b" Reddit-The-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l, and grep -o -i "\bhumanities crisis\b" Reddit-The-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l
Within a total of 287,335 comments that include the search term “the arts,” “crisis” appears 1029 times, “crisis in the humanities” appears 0 times, and “humanities crisis” appears 0 times.
The word “crisis” appears a total of 3,413 times within 801,595 comments for a corresponding representation within the corpus of 0.00425776: 1 out of every 235 comments contains the word “crisis.“ Similar to topics 93 and 143 discussed above, “crisis” is again more often related to financial matters and not related to the humanities.
“Crisis” is an integral “gloss” in humanities discourse most often addressed, at lower value levels of “a crisis in the humanities,” under the guise of the words “problem” and “problems.” Since a “problem” is a condition, and “problems,” are conditions along paths where critical points are stationed to prevent a crisis or to resolve a crisis, the listing of the number of times “problem,” and “problems” appear alongside the three search terms in Reddit comments follows:
Using grep -o -i "\bproblem\b" Reddit-All-Humanitiesl-2006-2018.json | wc -l
reveals that within a total of 270,784 comments that include the search term “humanities,” “problem” appears 20,060 times, and “problems” appear 10,501 times.
Using grep -o -i "\bproblems\b" Reddit-Libera-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l
reveals that within a total of 243,476 comments that include the search term “liberal arts,” “problem” appears 14,508 times, and “problems” appear 5,980 times.
Using grep -o -i "\bproblem\b" Reddit-The-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l and grep -o -i "\bproblems\b" Reddit-Thel-Arts-All-2006-2018.json | wc -l
reveals that within a total of 287,335 comments that include the search term “the arts,” “problem” appears 14,036 times, and “problems” appear 6,578 times.
Out of 801,595 comments that include the three search terms “problem” and “problems” appear 71,663 times or 0.089400508. Therefore approximately one out of every eleven comments contains the words problem or problems. Whereas crisis discourse is one comment out of 235 comments, “problem” terms are 21.35 times as prevalent. This fact complicates the question of how prevailing crisis discourse is and “crisis discourse” depends on how close the problems discussed in the documents approach definition as crisis problems.
Despite the assumption that "humanities crisis discourse" is not that prevalent, examination of the relationship between humanities discourse and crisis discourse more broadly shows that conceptually these discourses are very intimately related in a broader intellectual sense. Humanities curriculum addresses the issues surrounding the condition of being human, of which the ultimate crisis is death. "Humanities" discourse is always critical, and, in some way in conversation with "crisis," especially when art makes a statement through performance. Like science, humanities discourse clears the forest with ever higher forms of awareness, and makes all that exists more than historically possible. Thus, humanities discourse is the act that overcomes the greatest crisis in humanities: non-existence; through critical analysis, the humanities disciplines work toward the goal of superseding the human condition. Therefore, humanities discourse is always at varying value levels of “a crisis in the humanities.” The most critical point is located at the apex of a “crisis”, and critical points exist in each step along the way to resolving a crisis. Tension first builds to a crucial point and then dissipates, breaks down, or resolves in some way. In this sense then, critical thinking enters almost every document written argumentatively as well as to rhetorically convey meaning via problem resolution. The what, how, and why of college essay writing as well as published problem resolution articles inherently contain some level of crisis.
In summary of the Qualtrics survey 4c, observation of the model with the above perspective in mind suggests that "crisis” language, especially through relationships to the word(s) “problem(s),” exists inherently as a “gloss” or ghosting of the meaning of “crisis” that enters into the four reviewed topics, T93, T134, T2, and T42.
By analyzing a public corpus with a student-focused Reddit corpus it may be shown that the difference and similarity between the two definitively reveals discourses that may be addressed in such a way as to increase interest in becoming a humanities major.
The default 250 topic model referred to here as Model-A 2238 “consists of documents from all U.S. sources in the WE1S corpus (as of the beginning of July 2019) found by searching on "humanites," minus materials from Reddit.” (Lindsay)
The Reddit topic comments in the Corpus-A model, referred to as Model-B, contain the search words 'humanities,' liberal arts,' 'the arts.' "student," "major," and "college" and therefore are limited to comments about Student Life in particular.
This analysis expects to find where the greatest tension exists in student discourse about the humanities and where the greatest tension exists in public discourse about the humanities. And, further to determine how the discourse is the same or different.
The following is assumed to be true.
If aspects of student perception about the humanities become known, then that perception might be modified via appropriate advocacy. Identification by young adults with groups is necessary for most during the period of psychological development when individual identity forms. Students are at an age where they need to identify with their major because it constitutes their developing persona. If both models show tension exists between the humanities and science fields that represents an identification issue for students, it should be looked at across all models to see how the identification issues in the context of the documents relate to each other. The results of the document analysis will establish definitive elements for advocacy.
Exploring both models together helps to answer the research question of whether or not topics reveal high relative tension (possibly reaching a crisis) between the humanities and other topics.
In Model-A 2238 T9, top MegaTopic top words are: need, problem, system, issue, policy, time, important, believe, problems, question, fact, process, change, and issues
In Model-B Reddit T191, top MegaTopic top words are: people, wrong, argument, agree, true, problem, opinion, humanities, reason, simply, understand, read, argue, issue, view, and evidence
Comparison of the two MegaTopics shows that Model-A terms relate to larger situations than the smaller more individual focus of Model-B Reddit comments. The reasoning behind this conclusion follows:
System, issues, policy, and process typically relate to large issues. The words wrong, argument, true, opinion, reason, evidence, read, understand, simply, issue, view, and problem are words that might be used in smaller individual contexts.
In Reddit comments, only “humanities” and “people” seem to be words involving larger contexts. When compared with “system,” “issues,” “policy,” and “process,” the words nvolving larger contexts in Model-B are “Human-related,” and the Model-A terms are “System-related.”
Although this is the case, the words “need,” “problem,” “time,” “believe,” “fact” and “change” may be typical of either system-related issues or more human-related issues.
The words found in both models’ MegaTopics are “problem” and “issue.” Depending on the degree, these two circumstances may be crisis problems or crisis issues.
This finding relates to my prior finding that depending on degree, problems may be crisis problems or minor problems.
Looking at the topics and their relationship with the prominent topics for the words “problem,” “problems,” “issue,” and “issues” we have:
Five prominent topics in Model-A 2238 show “problem” as a top word.
Twelve prominent topics in Model-B Reddit show “problem” as a top word.
A cursory glance at the prominent topics in Model-A 2238 for the word problem suggests labeling of the topics as follows:
T9 the need problem
T176 the drug problem
T144 the people problem
T164 the fact argument problem
T242 the sciences problem
A cursory glance at the prominent topics in Model-B Reddit Corpus-A for the word “problem” suggests labeling of the topics as follows:
T81 solving types of a problem
T123 black lives matter problem
T191 problem arguments
T5 the general problem
T176 the people problem
T28 the education problem
T106 the understanding and learning problem
T187 the job problem
T152 the math problem
T45 the student university problem
T148 the student debt problem
T172 the humanities and jobs problem
This implies that students speak about the individual “problem” more often than published articles do. And, topics where the word problem is prominent shows a higher focus on the types of individual student problems than the default model which shows more societal types of problems.
Following the same rough analysis of the prominent topics for the word problems a cursory glance at the prominent topics in Model-A 2238 for the word “problem” might suggest labeling the topics as follows:
T9 the need problems
T219 health problems
T2 student problems
T106 official problems
T242 science problems
T66 public health problems
And a cursory glance at the prominent topics in Model-B Reddit Corpus-A for the word “problems” might suggest labeling the topics as follows:
T81 solving problems
T78 mental health problems
T93 social problems
T152 math problems
T77 philosophical problems
T47 female problems
T5 general problems
Thus, despite being a smaller corpus with a smaller number of topics (200 vs. 250 in Model-A) Model-B Reddit Corpus-A tends to have a greater focus on the words problem and problems.
While the other shared MegaTopic word “issue” appears six times in prominent topics’ top topic words in both models, “Issues” appears sixteen times in Model-A and seven times in Model-B.
Published articles in Model-A 2238 speak to the following issues:
T234 symposium issues
T61 social issues
T16 student administration issues
T41 election/political issues
T9 needs issues
T5 humanities presentation issues
T73 community support issues
T94 international issues
T207 female issues
T55 presidential issues
T81 legal justice issues
T183 gender issues
T32 inaudible issues
T168 humanities publication issues
T66 health issues
T162 political issues
And, students in Model-B Reddit Corpus-A speak about the following topic issues:
T78 mental health issues
T47 women issues
T81 people responsibility issues
T5 general issues
T121 political argumentative issues
T45 academic issues
T98 varying majors’ studying issues
The number of topics that published articles contain the word “issues” confirms that published articles speak to “issues” (larger themes/contexts) more often than students speak about them.
Published articles have a broad audience and the commenters on Reddit tend to have a focused personalized “scope” to their themes. Their individuality seeks recognition in Model-B, Reddit subreddits, whereas a business publication and the author of an article seek recognition in Model-A; Therefore it makes sense that Model-A should contain more topics with the top word “issues.”
Consideration of the above indicates the divergence between the two models based on the greater number of topics related to the word “issues” in Model-A and the greater number of word “problem” in Model-B. But, why?
From the OED we have:
1. problems in problem, n. View full entry a1382
...A difficult or demanding question; (now, more usually) a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome, harmful, or wrong and needing to be overcome; a difficulty
2. problems in † problem, v. View full entry 1645
...intransitive. To dispute or discuss an academic or scholastic question.
And for the word issue we have the following:
I. The action of going, flowing, or coming out; the means by which, or place where, this occurs.
1. The action of going or flowing out; the opportunity to flow or go out; exit; release; outflow; an instance of this. Also: (a quantity of) something which flows or comes out in this way.
a. With reference to physical movement, as by water, air, people, etc.
II . . . III (many various definitions for issue)
IV. A point of contention or significance.
a. Law. The point in question or dispute in a court action at the conclusion of the statements of case by the contending parties, when one side affirms and the other denies.
issue of fact n. an issue depending on or relating to the facts of a case.
issue of law n. an issue depending on or relating to the application or interpretation of the law.
general issue: see general adj. and n. Special uses 2; special issue: see special adj., adv., and n.
The diverse definitions of “issues” alone may be the reason why “issues” appear in the default model 2238 Model-A articles more than the singular word “issue.” In other words, it may not be a fact that “issues” represents a larger quantity, but instead, it represents a broader usage among publishers of its various definitions when compared with the way that Reddit commenters use the word “issues.”
Using Topic Bubbles for Reddit Model Corpus-A
The two comparison words humanities+problem reveal bubbles T45 and T191. Topic 45 is specific to student life in the university as determined by the words “students,” “university,” “study,” “programs,” “pressures,” “issue,” “diversity,” “change,” and “support,” while T191 contains words such as “people,” “opinion,” “argument,” “wrong,” “facts,” “reason,” “agree,” “disagree,” “true,” “correct,” and “discussion.” Both topics appear to be highly coherent. T45 might be labeled “Student Life,” while T191, although a MegaTopic might be labeled “Debate Words.”
Looking at the top documents of Topic 45 in Dfr-Browser we have:
Doc 1 "The university created a Career Services Diversity Fund Committee that allocates funding to campus events related to diversity and inclusion . . . CLA hired a multicultural advisor.\n\n* School hires a bunch of administrators and deans to implement absurd policies.\n* Student fees and tuition go up\n* School talks about how expensive college is and how it \"disadvantages poor students\",\n* School begs for money from alum because \"tuition and state funding does not fully cover the costs of the 'important' programs we offer\""
Doc 2 "peaking from experience within the Faculty of Arts.\n\nThe funding problem McGill is facing now, following student strikes over 2011-2012, are complex. When the provincial government froze funding to the university, and then slashed it following a change of parties in office, the university was forced to freeze certain funds"
Doc 3 ""Waikato student who left a few semesters back. This change might seem insignificant but it[.] quite a blow to the Maori and Indigenous studies department, it[.] also a situation where the straw is breaking the camel[.] back. \n\nCurrently, the Maori and Indigenous studies department has their own management structure, culture, and support network for students that they've built from the ground up. This shift will restructure all the staff, management team, and destroy what is effectively a space specifically for Maori education on campus."
In the three above top comments of Topic 45, depending on the perspective taken, each could be noted as crisis situations.
The top documents of MegaTopic T191 follow:
Doc 1 "calling names is not an \"ad hominem argument.\" If you're acting stupid and I call you stupid because your argument is stupid, I'm not basing my argument on the fact that you're stupid, I'm noting that you're stupid as a result of your stupid argument. However, since you have many times brought up things that you think are true about me personally"
Doc 2 "Condemning someone for an arbitrary reason is therefore morally wrong in every sense."
Doc 3 "Feminists dont agree on what feminism is. And unfortunately, thats why i think feminism has gotten such a negative rep among many, because the same unreasonable third wave 'feminists' are grouped in with the more reasonable moderates."
Doc 4 "See, research in the fields of Humanities is not the same as that in Science. \n\nI know. I studied in a college that is renowned for the Humanities."
The few documents examined in topics that contain both humanities and problems suggest a division between two categories. First, T45 includes kinds of crises related to the university and students, and second, T191 contains a wide range of people problems, including student problems, but the top words might be defined as a debate vocabulary that is associated with the words humanities and problems.
The words in topic bubbles T45 are: “students,” “universities,” “issues,” “funding,” “resources,” “problem,” “hiring,” “diversity,” “issue,” “culture,” “pressure,” “enrollment,” “sciences,” “humanities” . . .
And in T191 the words are: “people,” “wrong,” “argument,” “true,” “facts,” “question,” “makes clear,” “opinion,” “issue,” “evidence,” “reality,” “disagree,” “position,” “debade,” “absolutely” . . .
From the above observation economic concerns such as “funding,” “resources,” and “hiring” might be considered sources of economic crises. Students have a lot of crisis-related issues, and some words in T45 such as “humanities” and “issue” that are present in the debate words of T191 may indicate a crisis.
A diachronic perspective into crisis related words.
Of note the Google ngram viewer shows the two words “problem,” beginning to decline in 1980, and “issue,” beginning to decline in 1998 through 2008.
But, Topic 9 in the Default Model 2238, and Topic 191 in the Reddit Corpus-A show a relative increase. T9 begins to increase in 2004, and T191 begins to increase in 2014.
From these conditional probability charts and the Google Ngram Viewer charts the question arises as to why the conditional probability T9, including its top words are increasing in published articles while they are declining in books? Part of the reason for the trend higher of both topics T9 and T191 is that the contexts that give the words their meanings have changed. Although it is beyond the scope of this report to determine the reason for the decline in the words “problem” and “issue” in books, the above graphs seem worthy of note since most today would conclude that both “problems” and “issues” are on the rise. Thus, the conclusion that “problems” and “issues” are on the rise as shown in the Default Model 2238 and the Reddit Model Corpus-A correlates with a general perception that that is indeed the case.
We could say then that as the perception of crisis related topics T9 and T191 increases, talk of a crisis in the humanities is not “outside” the context of a general increase in the perception of crisis. In other words, it is less difficult to talk of a crisis in the humanities today than it would have been a number of years back since the prevalence of the debate words, of topics T9 and T191, which are on the rise, may easily be called into conversation with the word “crisis.”
Speaking of “crisis” in general and “a crisis in the humanities” in particular may be more acceptable and therefore more welcome to the ears of listeners today as anxiety rises. Physiologically, an anxious condition has an emotional connection to debate words whenever an individual’s psychology reaches a state of crisis: from being torn between “pressures” (a T191 word) and “stresses.” Unlike words such as “problem,” “crisis,” “pressure,” and “stress” the word “anxiety” which may lead to individual crises is on the rise in the Google Ngram Viewer.
Further analysis of the “anxious condition” may be correlated to an emotional response that carries meaning in connection with the debate words of T9 and the word “pressure” of T191. The rise of stress that leads to crises may be confirmed by finding evidential psychiatric research studies of individuals over time as well as proved biologically by locating evidential research studies of the levels of cortisol in the general population over time.
If one speaks about crisis today then the top topic words, the “debate words,” of T9 have more referents supplying meaning to and whenever the word “crisis” used today as in “a crisis in the humanities” calls into focus the meanings of the debate words of T9 and the words of T191. The perception of “crisis” is at some level understood when the phrase “a crisis in the humanities” is read, even though the reader hasn’t a notion of what it means to “a crisis in the humanities” researcher. And, further, “a crisis in the humanities” researcher never fully understands what the phrase means because the phrase always invokes a flux of understandings justified according to the needs of various perspectives taken. This implies that perspectives into “a crisis in the humanities” may effectively be rhetorical according to knowledge gained through ongoing analyses. And, further, the more that the phrase “a crisis in the humanities” appears in publication, the greater the audience it speaks to.
Comparing the two models top topics that contain the word “humanities” we find that both models’ top topics may be labeled Humanities and Sciences.
This is a very noteworthy finding in that if there is a crisis that arises out of the tension between the humanities and the sciences then a level of tension reveals itself as a common theme whether the corpus is comprised of individual student comments, or comprised of public documents. The evidence for the above observation follows:
Model-A 2238 Topic 25 (a topic that could be labeled Humanities and Sciences)
Doc 1 “there is no guarantee that an engineering or tech diploma means you are set for life."(“Did You Choose the Right Major?,” Mic, 2014-03-24)
Doc 2 “College graduates who received engineering degrees this year were offered salaries averaging about $25,000, again getting the highest offers of any group of graduates” (“Degrees in Engineering Bring Top Offers for ’81 Graduates,” The New York Times, August 04, 1981)
Doc 3 “college graduates with bachelor's degrees in the arts, humanities, and architecture experienced significantly higher rates of joblessness” (“It’s a matter of degrees - some are less useful.” The Virginian-Pilot, January 07, 2012)
Doc 4 “A new study supports the value of a liberal arts education over time, countering some of the claims that science, math, engineering, and technology are the most lucrative career paths” (“Study Highlights Value Of Liberal Arts Major,” Education Week, January 29, 2014)
Doc 5 “That is why so many employers who want to hire thinkers and problem-solvers look no further than humanities students.” (“College teaches one to think,” The Washington Post, September 03, 2014)
Model-B Reddit Topic 105 Stem vs. Non-Stem
Doc 1 “never EVER think that a liberal_arts major is \"inferior\" because they don't do math until 3 am.”
Doc 2 “Physics student, so can chime in here. STEM students feel that their major is harder and more rigorous than those who major in the liberal_arts, particularly since STEM fields are very math heavy.”
Doc 3 “It[.] because of the stigma in society, because the way such subjects are advertised in society -- they make it seem like math and science are difficult subjects that take real skill to do, and anything else can be done by everyone.”
Doc 4 "Well here[.] the thing. It[.] harder to FAIL at humanities, social_sciences, etc. So it[.] easier to coast, and the students who don't want to do much work are going to gravitate to those fields.”
Doc 5 “Its the ridiculous perception that these people are somehow *better* than non-STEM majors, and that their ability to use \"logic\" makes them superior to \"emotional\" women.”
The comparison of these topics reveals two different catalysts of tension between the humanities and science majors. In Model-A “humanities” T25 the concern is the economic viability of humanities majors vs. sciences majors. In Model-B “humanities” T105 the concern is the difficulty of humanities majors curriculum when compared to STEM majors curriculum and how the issue of stereotype plays a part in the way that students feel about their identity; the comments show that the students are concerned about how they are perceived and they are concerned about the economic viability of their major.
So, the comparison implies that published articles biggest concerns about the humanities and the sciences are economic viability of the majors and the Reddit commenters biggest concern is how students perceive themselves in relationship to their major. Therefore “if” a crisis exists in the humanities then it likely exists whenever the tension rises between the two “fields” of disciplines either in economic terms or when the tension rises due to negative stereotyping of student identity. Additionally, external pressures and stresses contribute to a general sense of a state of crisis, and may contribute in one way or another to a student’s choice of major (e.g., “I’m so stressed out that I’m just going to go along with my parents.”).
The correspondences between topics and keywords were surprising in the above finding that two topics of two different models confirm the highest tension in the models exists between the humanities and sciences; the distribution of the theme, (the humanities/sciences debate) is homogenous across models. The disparity between the two models are the different audiences that the documents address. The Reddit commenters address others within a topic thread of comments in a subreddit, and the published articles address specific public audiences related to their papers’ distribution.
Conclusions from the comparison between the two models follow:
The highest tension that might be termed a crisis is related to student identification with a particular major. And, the greatest external pressure on how well or poorly a student feels about their major is the economic viability of their major. Further, since the crisis is located in the discourse between the humanities and the sciences, in both published articles and within Reddit comments, I believe the same will be found in a comparison between all media forms. In other words, it will be possible to label a topic “Humanities and Sciences” in all of the existing topic models. This is due to the homogenous distribution of the “Humanities and Sciences” theme across all spectrums of corpora that contain the search term “humanities.” And, further, this assumption implies that the humanities define the sciences and Vice a Versa. Neither can exist without the other and therefore a crisis in the humanities, at some level, always was and always will be a crisis between the humanities and the sciences.
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