Local disciplines, local cultures: praise and criticism in British and Spanish history book reviews

Title: Local disciplines, local cultures: praise and criticism in British and Spanish history book reviews
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2012, vol. 38, iss. 2, pp. [97]-116
Extent
[97]-116
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
License: Not specified license
 

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Abstract(s)
The use of a critical voice in book reviews seems to depend on factors rooted in the discipline community reviewers belong to and on the language and culture which hosts the review. Adopting a cross-cultural perspective, this study analyses 60 book reviews from British and Spanish history journals in terms of the entities and aspects evaluated and the polarity (positive/negative) of the evaluation. Divergences are found in the distribution of positive and negative evaluation, revealing that even if in both cultures positive evaluation is more frequent, in Spanish book reviews negative evaluation is almost nonexistent. Interviews with informants show that these divergences respond to the local character of the disciplinary communities which host the reviews and to a different understanding of what this evaluative genre implies.