My most recent meeting with my mentor, Professor Jennifer Poole, took place on December 9 at 2:50 for 25 minutes. To begin the meeting, I summarized my research since our last conference that took place just before the interpretivist research design was due. Since the beginning of my research with the Olson Scholars, my research has evolved greatly. In fact, Professor Poole even commented that there was very little that had anything to do with my original topic of international rent seeking. When I first began my research into national anthems, I was interested in how certain perceptions of national anthems have evolved over time, or completely in the interpretivist world. My research has now shifted by making national anthems (or more precisely- the adoption of national anthems) my dependent variable, as I investigate the factors that lead to individual cases adopting their anthems.
I described to Professor Poole my preliminary findings in 206 and my methodological approach, a small-n typological case study, that I will use in 306. We talked about two of my most pressing concerns with my research design entering 306:
- What a potential conclusion may look like
- How to address multivariate variability in my dependant variable
To answer my first concern, she recommended that I take more interest in how national anthems influence the case population. This was the original intent of my research, but difficulties in successfully and quantifiably analyzing public perception alongside a lack of uniform data across my cases prevented me from discussing this topic, at least through a neopositivist lens. However, she recommended that I create a “policy implications” section to display the public policy relevance of my research to a contemporary audience while using existing literature about anthem semiotics. To address the second concern, we came to an agreement that I need to all but eliminate the element of relative time from my research. Though there are certainly interesting aspects of the topic that can be drawn out by comparing the cases in terms of when each state adopted an anthem, she argued that controlling for a bivariate dependent variable would be incredibly difficult with such a small set of cases. Thus, I will likely only be discussing the comparative relativity of when each state adopted an anthem in my case selection section.
My research will not require me dealing with human subjects, though it may require outside assistance in regards to enlisting help with translating government documents. Nevertheless, both Professor Poole and I seriously doubt that my research will require IRB approval for this project. Professor Poole and I discussed accessing archival holdings and full databases briefly, but she recommended I continue talking to Clement Ho about any databases I may need (it is doubtful that I will need physical access to anything more than the National Archives).
Reading materials to prepare for 306 will primarily consist of secondary sources within my conceptual groupings. Professor Poole recommended that I expand the conceptual grouping of the bucket I have named Fascist Objectivism to fully elucidate and make myself able to describe the impact that it may have on other schools of thought in the topic area. She also recommended that I show restraint when assigning causality until I am certain regarding my sources since the variables require a deep analysis of their specific evolutionary path. (Such as the timeline of fascism within a case).
In regards to questions I have going forward: I am most concerned with the two issues I mentioned earlier. Additionally, I wonder if some of my independent variables (such as the existence of a supranational anthem, which is measured by a dummy variable) are not nuanced enough to justify their selection in a case study. Finally, I also wonder about the use of the United States as an effective case. I am unsure about continuing its use in my final project, but the wide range of accessible literature about it thus far have convinced me to keep it in.
Through my analysis of the literature within the topic of the semiotics of music I have been able to distill common themes and approaches to self-reported interpretations of music, namely the use of scaled measurements.  For my independent variable I will use a metric developed by Tyson and McLaughlin in their RAP (rap music attitude and perception) study of male/female constructs of rap music, adjusted to my independent variables to fit within the framework of national anthems.  When put into practice of qualitative studies, the RAP scale yields high levels of consistency.  I will retain one of the variables measured in the scale, the “violent” measurement, and switch the other two to tempo and an understanding of history behind the national anthem, which will be measured through surveys. Perception of anthem data taken from surveys on three national anthems, Malaysia, The United States, and France, will be used to operationalize my independent variable.  These cases have been chosen due to the wide array of literature available for their anthems as well as the variance in the meaning of their lyrics, historical background, and tempo. Instead of
As discussed within the development of the RAP scale, analyzing potential differences between groups is an important direction to begin research to ensure validity across group lines. Original sheet music retrieved from the nationalanthem.info will be used to determine the intended tempo of the anthems, and will be operationalized into a case study of differences or similarities in the tempo and cadences of the anthems.  The same database will be used to access the original lyrics, if applicable, to the anthems of the selected cases. These lyrics will be operationalized by addressing their level of “implicit violence-” namely the mentioning of narratives of violence in the lyrics. The operationalized connection between violent tendencies and song lyrics has been studied, but I will investigate if any hidden variables exist within the realm of national anthems and cause the outcome to change due to their role as national symbols.  The indicators for my dependant variable will be the adjusted indicators from the RAP scale, changed from “views of rap music” of certain cases to an analysis of national anthems. In a similar study, Tyson found out that owning more rap media corresponds to a higher perception of rap music.  Echoing Tyson, I will assume that recognizing a national anthem by the melody for a country as well as being able to describe the historical background of the case’s anthem will indicate a positive perception of that anthem.
 Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1995). Constructing validity: Basic issues in objective scale development. Psychological Assessment, 7(3), 309-319. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1040-3518.104.22.1689
 Edgar H. Tyson and Alicia McLaughlin, “Do Males and Females Report Similar Constructs of Rap Music? A Cross-Gender Validity Study of the Rap Music Attitude and Perception Scale,” Gender & Behaviour; Ile-Ife 10, no. 2 (December 2012): 4926–48.
 Edgar H. Tyson, “Rap-Music Attitude and Perception Scale: A Validation Study,” Research on Social Work Practice 16, no. 2 (March 1, 2006): 211–23, https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731505281447.
Cheong Soon Gan, “The National Anthem: Contested and Volatile Symbol of Post-Colonial Malaysia, 1957–69,” South East Asia Research 23, no. 1 (2015): 61–78, https://doi.org/10.5367/sear.2015.0248; Naomi Winstone and Kirsty Witherspoon, “‘It’s All about Our Great Queen’: The British National Anthem and National Identity in 8–10-Year-Old Children,” Psychology of Music 44, no. 2 (March 2016): 263–77, https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735614565831; Also Avi Gilboa and Ehud Bodner, “What Are Your Thoughts When the National Anthem Is Playing? An Empirical Exploration,” Psychology of Music 37, no. 4 (October 2009): 459–84, https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735608097249
 “Nationalanthems.Info,” accessed October 27, 2019, http://www.nationalanthems.info/.
 Craig A. Anderson, Nicholas L. Carnagey, and Janie Eubanks, “Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs with Violent Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings.,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84, no. 5 (2003): 960–71, https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1240.
 Edgar H. Tyson, “The Rap Music Attitude and Perception (RAP) Scale,” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 11, no. 3–4 (October 12, 2005): 59–82, https://doi.org/10.1300/J137v11n03_04.
I am proposing to research the changing narratives behind national anthems. I would like to find out what explains the success of some national anthems at producing national pride across time, compared to similar failures of other anthems in similar circumstances. This research attempts to explain to readers what primary factor of causality drives the changes in interpretations of national anthems over time. 
My research question for a large-n neopositivist study is: “What explains variation in levels of support (defined as the national anthem achieving its goal of instilling a sense of national pride) for national anthems.
I found it most likely that I will need to create my own data set for this research. Inside such a dataset, or in one already constructed, I would operationalize the change in national support of national anthems by creating a unique plus/minus ordinal grading scale. There is some variance of measurement in national surveys across world polls on national pride, so a unique grading scale would be necessary for this project. After recording the time and event of a dependant variable occurring, survey data from before and after the dependant variable will be measured.
A set of selected cases to a set of comprehensive independent variables would be selected from various national or international survey services. An existing dataset that I will use as a measurement tool recording the change in opinion of the US national anthem is a combination of the 1991 Gallup May 4 Poll and 2001 Terrorism Reaction Poll #3. As mentioned earlier, I will compile these polls into a single ordinal grading scale. The questions in each poll was: “Which of the following would you PREFER as the national Anthem? The Star Spangled Banner, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, or God Bless America?” Only the difference of % of respondents who chose The Star Spangled Banner will be measured. In this data set, only one case for my research (the United States’ perception of their national anthem) was measured, so similar datasets for other cases are necessary for a large-n analysis. 
At the moment, two of the primary independent variables I am investigating are the effects of institutions and inherent human psychology on how perception of national anthems change over time. A possible limitation of the datasets is the nonuniformity of such national survey polls. This will force me into creating a custom ordinal grading scale, possibly creating problems in terms of ignored variables within the cases.
 Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. Fitzgerald, The Craft of Research (4th ed.), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016, 54.
 Gallup Poll News Service. May Wave, #4. Gallup Survey Distribution. (05/23/1991-05/26/1991). Retrieved from: https://institution-gallup-com.proxyau.wrlc.org/documents/questionnaire.aspx?STUDY=GNS122035; Also Gallup Poll News Service. Terrorism Reaction Poll, #3. CNN/USA Today. (09/21/2001-09/22/2001). Retrieved from: https://institution-gallup-com.proxyau.wrlc.org/documents/questionnaire.aspx?STUDY=P0109036
I am proposing to research the use of symbols and their effects on nationalism within societies immediately following a revolution or in instances of nation building. I would like to find out what explains the decision of states to adopt differing types of symbols during periods of nation-building in order to help my reader understand the values placed on symbols by states as unitary actors.
Observing unexplained differences and similarities between nation states and their symbols is what originally inspired me to pursue this field as a project. The effects of symbols on human behavior is well-documented, sociohistorical research into the field appears to begin with sociologist Leslie White’s article The Symbol published in 1944. White argues that symbols have most often been used as heuristics, acting as a middleman between cognitive understanding and the outside world.  While academia continues to be conducted with the goal of establishing how a certain aspect of society actually acts as a symbol of a higher degree, fewer research projects have been conducted on the basis of examining the way symbols communicate with one another across the international space. The idea of intentional symbol use is also debated, as interpretivists argue that symbols are themselves a piece of the context that individual actors sit in, thereby each symbol is interpreted differently by every person, including the actors attempting to “use” the symbol. Studies similar in scope and means have recently been undertaken focusing on psycholinguistics, addressing how language affects the way we think about issues such as gender and race.  These types of studies made me optimistic for research into the field of symbols and nationalism, as language is comparable to nationalism in that both are immaterial facets of contemporary society that influence our thought. I will draw as much from the epistemology of linguistics as I can without entering the minutiae of the field, particularly focusing on transferable theories to nationalism from linguistic relativism, linguistic universalism, and cognitive linguistics. 
The role symbols play in the facilitation of nationalism in modern nation states have been examined in many case studies since White published his article. The onset of classical liberalism as theoretic status quo changed the narrative of nationalism to one of preservation instead of obligation.  Therefore, modern nation states with a vested interest in preserving or cultivating a concept of nationalism- and Gellner argues that all do- in their domain also have an interest in establishing and solidifying a set of national symbols that will inspire different thoughts than just their materiality. In Creating a Country through Currency and Stamps: State Symbols and Nation-Building in British-ruled Palestine, sociologist Yair Wallach argues that the importance of symbols in attempts at nation building is paramount to their eventual success, particularly in colonies or occupied territories.  According to many political scientists, reaping the fruits of a country-wide sense of nationalism is a goal to some degree of all states today.  Though many Westerners look at the idea of nationalism with a skeptical eye, the concept is still desired and widely studied. The seemingly universal shift to the nation-state as the preferred policy of governance (in 1900, 70% of countries were not nation states, today the total sits at 6%) is indication enough that despite the reputation of nationalism as a tool for autocrats, it remains the primary tool of governments to build a civic nation within the borders of a state. 
The decision of modern nation states to adopt different types of symbols despite having apparent similar goals of nationalism (for example, England has never had a national anthem and Russia continues with the melody of a former Soviet anthem) begs further investigation.  The primary puzzle of symbolic nationalism is the misunderstood weight that nationalism puts on literature and cultural legacies. Leith and Soule argue that the reason Scottish independence has not come to fruition in the face of similarly-popularized independence campaigns in democratic nations was that the Scottish Government failed to embrace the importance of Scottish national symbols (especially the Kailyard school of literature) in their movement, “limiting the scope of the devolution campaign to intellectuals and populists.” Kwak argues, however, in Nationalism and Productivity that previous concepts of the positive impact nationalism has on national productivity, using South Korea as a case study, were misunderstood.  A similar study was undertaken in 2003 by Elena-Lorena Nedelku describing a documentary titled Who’s that Song with the intent of discovering the true nature of a nationalistic song she had known in her childhood in Bulgaria. She eventually discovers that the song is actually sung as a means of celebrating nationalism by Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The song serves an example that, in a different context the song could have served as a symbol of Balkan unity but truly acted as an instrument of reciprocal conflict. The continued use of “God Save the Queen” across the United Kingdom despite regional campaigns of nationhood ).
Potential Research Questions:
General: What explains the societal adherence/nonobservance to certain symbols of nationalism as time progresses from the initial action of nation building/revolution?
Specific: What explains the global adoption of national anthems from 1765 to present regardless of nation-state regime type, and do national anthems serve the same purpose as they did then?
 White, Leslie. “The Symbol: The Origin and Basis of Human Behavior (1944).” Et Cetera vol. 40 (January 1, 1983). Retrieved from: http://search. proquest.com/docview/1290137091/.
 Pamela Jakiela, “Gendered Language,” Center for Global Development. Working Paper Series 55. (January 2011), 1-55
 Harley, Trevor, ed. Psycholinguistics Vol. 1. SAGE Library of Cognitive and Experimental Psychology. (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2011). doi: 10.4135/9781446263013.
 Welch, Michael, and Bryan, Jennifer. “Flag Desecration in American Culture: Offenses Against Civil Religion and a Consecrated Symbol of Nationalism.” Crime, Law and Social Change 26, no. 1 (March 1996): 77–93.; also Doak, Kevin Michael. A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan Placing the People. (Leiden: Boston, 2007).; also Gellner, Ernest. Thought and Change. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1964).
 Wallach, Yair. “Creating a Country through Currency and Stamps: State Symbols and Nation-Building in British-Ruled Palestine.” Nations & Nationalism. Volume 17, issue 1. (2011). 129–47. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00470.x.
 Andreas Wimmer, “Why Nationalism Works,” Foreign Affairs. February 13, 2019, Retrieved from: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ articles/world/2019-02-12/why-nationalism-works.
 Su Kwak, “Nationalism and Productivity,” Harvard Asia Pacific Review. Volume 6, Issue 1. Cambridge, (Spring 2002). 70-73
 Murray Stewart Leith et al., Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2011)
 Kwak, 71
The primary claim of the Jakielka and Ozier article is that there are some unestablished and subtle connections between being raised in a community speaking a gender-based language (gender-based constituting a language that either has masculine and feminine nouns [English] or masculine and feminine forms of grammatical nouns [French]). The authors studied over 4,000 languages spoken by over 99% of people, using a neo positivist approach to generalize the impact of gendered nouns across all languages. In the literature review, the authors introduced social theories regarding the relationship between language and social perception that will serve as most useful to me. Gender roles were added to the study later as a specific variable of social perception. The data was organized through a regression analysis between “…the association between women’s labor force participation and the proportion of a country’s population whose native language is a gender language…” and using labor force participation as the primary outcome.  The primary claim of the selected Ignatieff text was that individuals do not have the capability to control the role virtue plays in a society, so it is up to our institutions to do so. The research was conducted by analyzing previously-studied social norm theories focused on the role of the individual, and arguing that certain historical institutions (such as religion and government) play a much larger role than the traditional idea of inherent human virtues. The data analyzed was primarily contextual, i.e. a textual comparison between Christianity and Confucianism featured socio-historical context of which each religion was a part of. 
I will use the Jakielka text as a format to draw my methodology. After describing my research topic to my mentor, she gave me the Gendered Language article as a template to connect social institutions to personal perception. The texts will relate to one another in that both make arguments of societal value creation through institutions. The Jakielka article is more of a practical application of this theory, the purpose of the Ignatieff article being to focus specifically on virtue, historically analyzing it through a similar lens.  In my paper, and it will be laid out in my literature review, I will put both of these articles in a grouping with other, similarly-methodized articles. Each article builds on established studies into social cohesion and value creation, also providing me with fundamental citations in those fields.
 Jakielka, Pamela & Ozier, Owen. Gendered Language. Center for Global Development. Working Paper 500. (Jan. 2019). 1-55. Retrieved from: https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/gendered-language.pdf
 Ignatieff, Michael. The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2017. 6
I personally understand ontology as being the principle behind the ontological argument of religious philosophy. Of course, this argument also can serve to confuse (as it is more an argument about the opposite of being as opposed to being), but whenever I hear the term ontology I think about this example of ontology in practice. I see ontology as the umbrella structure from under we develop much of our social theory studied today, designed to explain why we as individuals perceive situations in the way that we do. I understand methodology as making up the way that we approach any activity that requires a combination of factors in a study, particularly one that requires a specific order of the methods to complete. Methodology extends well out of only the realm of pure academia, but also to any applicable activities we may enjoy in our personal, social, or even political lives. Booth argues that two of the reasons we write are to understand (related to ontology), and to improve our research skillset (related to methodology) .
I believe that while objective observations are often interesting to read and draw generalizations from, complete objectivity is impossible. It seems to me that every year more and more articles are published displaying the failure of the objectivity of certain “universal standards,” whether they be GDP, IQ, Standardized Testing, etc. However, there are some measurements that I see as helpful in a positivist lens. Comparing social structures that allow us to understand the world better as level can be explained with positivism. In Chapter Two of the Methods of Discovery, Abbott writes that interpretivism argues that life is only the context in which it lies . While I agree with this quote in principle, I feel that “life” can be extended to apply to larger structures or institutions under the lens of positivism. For example, while happiness is often seen as subjective at the individual level, I believe that using happiness as a standard of measurement and comparison between nation-states can be productive. This perspective will likely lead my research to models of analysis regarding social structures such as economic class or institutions and their relations to individuals.
In Interpretive Research Design, the authors write that an “…orientation toward contextuality before anything else is important to consider” . However, there are other positions to analyze aside from individual context. Collections of individuals often form general ideas about their identity and how they interact with other groups. I believe that- while every individual may have their own heuristic and/or nuance that they add to their interpretation of reality- the way that the groups interact can be studied and potential conclusions can be drawn about causation (based in historical fact).
 Wayne Booth et al. The Craft of Research. (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2016). pp. 3-26.
 Andrew Abbott. Methods of Discovery. (W.W. Norton & Company: New York, NY, 2004). pp. 3-40.
 Peregrine Schwartz-Shea and , Dvora Yanow. Interpretive Research Design. (Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames, 2011). Chapter 3.
I met with my mentor, Professor Jennifer Poole of the School of International Service, on September 3 at 4:00 PM. At the meeting, she and I began by discussing our various research interests and our background. We only had about 10 minutes due to her busy schedule, so we were not able to cover all that we both would have liked (we are meeting again early next week). She began by discussing her previous work as a Senior Economist to the Council of Economic Advisors to the Obama administration and later the World Bank. From what I was able to gather, her research has been almost entirely focused on neo-positivist analyses of economics. Whereas going into the meeting I had the impression she principally researched demand-side/labor economics, I later found out that her research is much more diverse and there is not one specific universal factor, except that it often involves the Brazilian economy.
My primary concern and question was finding an approach to research methods from which I could launch into my project. Currently both my topic and method are much too broad, and while I can fairly easily reduce my methods, my topic will likely be more difficult. As of now, I am attempting to design a (likely small-n due to that being my mentor’s expertise, but possibly interpretivist) project with the goal of connecting either Foreign Direct Investment or monetary investment with actual policy change in the assisted nation. Professor Poole then encouraged me to find an area of study, particularly one state or institution who has influenced a wide range of subjects, such as the United States, IMF, or EU. Within this framework, she explained, I will still have a plethora of potential cases available to study, leaving room for any form of research method. Because of this help I found the order from which I should begin my research, first by finding a specific set of similar instances and then drawing either a neo-positivist hypothesis or interpretivist inference to be explored.
My interest in contemporary economics, particularly labor and behavioral economics, began as a study of historical narration in those fields and a personal interest of determining the first luxury good in research conducted last year. Currently,my research interests surround the relationship between international foreign direct investment into developing nations and resulting economic policymaking in those nations. In particular, I have an interest in the increasing role Israeli influence has played in Sub Saharan Africa. (1) A specific puzzle, or question, I have wondered in this area is regarding the potential influence Israel has had in the widespread economic liberalization in Sub Saharan African labor markets since the early 1980s.(2) Israel’s relation to Sub Saharan African nations itself is a puzzle, as most African nations- aside from the North African nations led by Egypt, who wholly condemn Israel- are generally supportive in open trade agreements with Israel, despite their neighbors being so staunchly opposed to such deals. (3)
I am also interested in the recent trend of economists led by Kahnemann, Tversky and Thaler to focus increasingly on psychological stimuli causing humans to act irrationally, creating the field of behavioral economics. (4) Continuing with the International Relations theme discussed earlier, I would like to study the effects of this theoretical transition from the classical-Austrian school of economics to contemporary economics in Sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly wondering what, if any, business interests are pushing for such a theoretical shift in the region. If I were to pursue this research, the primary difficulty to overcome would be obtaining documents (syllabi, working papers, and statistical data regarding tags and keywords in academic papers) as well as curriculum for economics courses in Sub-Saharan African nations in order to determine the schools of economics primarily taught. This question could be pursued while studying abroad at the AU Center in Nairobi, a location that I am interested in attending. Due to both of these potential research areas requiring large amounts of historical context to effectively understand the relationship between Israel and Sub-Saharan Africa, completely covering the entire field may take more than a year of research to study, leading to continued research in future courses.
(1) Eldad Beck. “Most Greeks believe Israel is our only true ally in the region.” Israel Hayom, July 26, 2019; Grace Wermenbol. “Israel seeks new inroads on the African continent.’ Middle East Institute. February 19, 2019.
(2) Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Rudiger von Arnim. “Economic liberalization and constraints to development in Sub-Saharan Africa.” United Nations Economic and Social Affairs. September 2008.
(3) Franzman, Seth. “Israel’s influence spreads across Africa.” The Tower. February 2017.
(4) Sunstein and Thaler. “Libertarian Paternalism is not an Oxymoron” AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. May 2003