Professor Taylor and I met earlier this week on Monday December 5 from 4:30-4:50 P.M. to wrap up with thoughts from SISU 206. In our last meeting, we focused on my interpretivist research design sketch which I will most likely pursue next semester. When beginning this project, I actually started with an interpretivist research question without realizing it. Though maybe stated in other words, I wondered how women in international education programs made sense of their own empowerment. Since then I have picked up much from modeling my research in the positivist world with my large and small n designs that focused more on what factors affect female empowerment. When returning to the interpretivist world, Professor Taylor asked me to consider what is it that I want to know? I answered that I was interested in how organizations market these campaigns to create propaganda that appeals to western feminists. I find it interesting that female empowerment campaigns subscribe to a common narrative of an individual girl who is empowered by education despite her circumstances who carries on hope for the future. I found it interesting that many of the campaigns that I considered fit into this NGO discourse of a marginalized girl just waiting for the opportunity to fulfill her “westernized” aspirations.
In planning ahead for next semester, I need to consider what first hand interactions I can pursue. Though it is unlikely I can interview the subjects of these videos and text posts, perhaps I will interview people who work with female education programs in the D.C. area. I might also interview/observe activists in the D.C. area from organizations like She’s the First to understand how women make sense of this NGO discourse. In that case I will need to start reaching out to contacts and filling out IRB paperwork to get approval for such interactions. To stay engaged over the break, I need to continue to read about NGO marketing campaigns and how empowerment is conceptualized by activists and organizations. I hope to find more primary texts within and challenging this discourse to gain more intertextuality within my project.