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GMU Hospitality and Management Discussion and Responses


Every discipline is rooted in fundamental values and assumptions that undergird the field’s disciplinary practices (its lines of inquiry/research questions, its research methodologies, its conventions of writing and citation). These make up the field’s epistemology (click for definition).   

What do I mean?
Every discipline/field has its own ways of thinking and ways of doing. These different ways are rooted in the field’s philosophy and values, its set of core beliefs. The way I think about it is that each field emerged as a field because there was a need, a gap, or a problem in society that needed to be solved and the existing tools we had at our disposal weren’t sufficient to fill that gap or solve that problem.

For example, let’s take “Accounting,” as a major.  Before different communities began trading or bartering goods and services, there wasn’t really a need for bookkeeping and auditing. The practice of accounting emerged from a social need (which, we will refer to as a “social exigence,” click for definition). That exigence established a set of fundamental principles, or core beliefs, about the field. For example, in the case of accounting, societies realized that “without systems and processes that manage money and resources, chaos would ensue (eg. people would lose life savings; communities would compete for resources; corruption wouldn’t be checked.” In other words, they realized that “in order for society to thrive, its money needs to be managed.” 

For this post, I want you to think about your major. What is its history? What are its values? You are welcome to go online and explore different sites and I encourage you to go down the research rabbit hole. (Wikipedia actually has a pretty decent introductory overview of many of our fields.) Once you’ve read up on your field (its origin, history, and values), could you write a paragraph or two (max 400 words) that shares the following with us? 

  1. A brief explanation of the origins of your field; specifically, what would you say was the “exigence” or social need, gap, problem that led to the emergence of your field as a discipline of study and practice?
  2. Your analysis/reflection/brainstorming on the fundamental values, foundational principles or core beliefs of your field. This is exploratory and creative. There isn’t necessarily one right answer. I just want to hear your thoughts on what you found so far and what you’re thinking about.
  3. A Tweet OR a hashtag that captures your field’s fundamental value/principle or core belief.
    • The tweet should be written as an independent clause (subject-verb-object). For example, economic health depends on smart accounting practices.
      • [Let me break it down into its language components: 
        • “economic health” ? subject; 
        • “depends on”? verb; 
        • “smart accounting practices” ? object]
    • The hashtag should be written as a noun phrase (pre-modifier+ Noun + post-modifier). For example, #smartaccountingforeconomichealth 
      • [Let me break it down into its language components: 
        • “smart” ? pre-modifier as an adjective;
        • “accounting” ? head noun; 
        • “for economic health” ? post-modifier as prepositional phrase] 


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