Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fall '09 Class #1: Qualitative Research Methods

OK! So I started my fall semester today. My class on Thursdays is Qualitative Research Methods. I went, and it was great, except for one small thing: I need a research project. Well really, I needed a research project like yesterday, because when we went around the class and everyone talked about what they wanted to research, I was the only one without a clear plan.

I've been mulling over the concept of looking at womens processes of self representation in fashion blogs. That would tie many of my interests together. The research question would be: what factors contribute to womens decisions to write online about what they wear? I can think of several bloggers that I would be interested in interviewing.

But first I need to do a literature review. What have other people written about with regards to this concept of networked female sartorial representation... fashion as motivation for networked female authorship... I mean, this isn't a social justice issue. But it's a social expression and community-building issue. So... I don't know. I'm still thinking it over. One thing the professor said a couple of times is that we need a clearly defined rationale.

What is the rationale behind this project? What does it contribute? I do think there's something there behind the fact that some women get self-motivated, personally involved, and driven to express themselves through this medium. How is this form of social expression safe? How is it risky? How is it a positive experience? How is it a negative experience?

Hm. Just thoughts.


  1. I'm not going to lie... I kind of wish I had thought to do that for my senior thesis. If you end up doing this, I would LOVE to read what you come up with! I think it sounds fascinating and will be thinking about it this weekend.
    Happy Friday!

  2. OOo intriguing! I've never thought of any of that. Let us know how your project goes! And if you need more bloggers to interview- we'd love to help you out!

    Happy Friday!!!

  3. Excellent topic Emily. What I've been thinking a lot about lately is if my path would've been different if the Net, blogging, and sites like Polyvore existed when I was in my teens. Living in a small rural town and dressing like Cyndi Lauper only made you a freak and the constant target of ridicule. Women now have the opportunity to share their style with like minded individuals, which in turn builds self confidence and comradery.

  4. please let me know if/when you publish your research - I think the topic is thoroughly interesting. I'm always curious, from a women's studies perspective, about the representational aspects of fashion blogs and how the abundance of such blogs influences (positively or negatively) consumer culture and perceptions of femininity.
    Best of luck in your research and in writing your thesis.