Research Portfolio Post #10 Mentor Meeting

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.

One thought on “Research Portfolio Post #10 Mentor Meeting”

  1. Annie — this sounds like a very productive meeting and it sounds like you have a good sense of where you are headed as we transition from 206 to 306. Substantively, I noticed the prominence of the idea of “individuality” in your discussion of empowerment and what you want to study, so perhaps that is also an important representation within the discourses that you will study.

    Looking forward, if you are considering interviews then I would be sure to review our course material and readings on interviews (including suggested readings), and then work on sketching out the main 2 or 3 themes that you would explore in those interviews and 3-4 specific interview questions for each theme (as per our course material). Then, work on identifying who you might interview. You’ll need that information to begin the IRB approval process (and I can help guide you through this over break).

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