How Subdisciplines Are Born

From a longer quotation by Willard McCarty in The Humanist:

When the number of scholars grows to a certain point, they can produce their own conferences, become one anothers’ reviewers and critics, and even finance their own journals. They establish a private language and tradition; allusions, jokes and friendships spring up, and the corporate life grows through students and in extreme cases through intermarriage. They form an example of the social equivalent of what in atomic physics is known as a critical–or in this case some would say, uncritical–mass.

William N. Parker. 1962. Work in Progress: A Report to Ernst Söderlund. Scandinavian Economic History Review 10.2: 233-44.

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