ICM836 Day 4 (6/8): Finding Theories and Concepts for Research

Research, Teaching

Today, we take another step  of research. We will start to search for resources and sources.

1.One More Self-Reflection! Simple and Telling.

Remember last week’s discussion on situated knowledge and “feminine” and “masculine” (perhaps arbitrary?) norms. You may have already seen Lauren’s self-assessment – mapping of her characteristics. Try it out yourself — and think about what the results of your mini auto-ethnography (self-analysis) might mean. Surely that the reality is more complex than stereotypes. But are stereotypes also changing? How culture-specific are they? (Might this list pertain beyond Western cultures?) Beyond gender, these attributes also have positive and negative connotations, and different ones in different contexts (what attributes would you like your teacher, your president, your doctor, your loved ones, to have?). And so on…

This is me, for better or worse (from my own perspective):

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 8.52.16 AM.png

This is an extra task the result of which you don’t need to share if you don’t feel like it. But try this as an intellectual exercise, even by just looking at the options and what they mean for you. Share your analysis or your thoughts on your blog, if you like!


2.Inspiration for Your Research: Search for Ideas, Concepts, Theories.

If you are still pondering about what to research for this course, no problem. Take a look at your colleagues’ posts and get inspired. There are clearly some common themes:

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 8.17.40 AM

The more focused you are, the easier the final project. So now we are going to work for a couple of days on getting more concrete by illustrating those themes with different kinds of materials.

  1. Choose 3 of the common themes.
  2. Find, for each team:
    1. A news story or (journalistic/expert) commentary
    2. An image (picture, or a video that, to you, symbolizes the theme)
    3. A scholarly-academic-professional text that would help you to theorize /analyze the specific theme. (Start with our course book Current Perspectives – the texts are short and showcase an array of global approaches; you might find a usable concept there! Also, go online. Many feminist academic journals are open access. And you can find many book chapters, and articles online as well. For example, here is a good introductory chapter on GENDER AND POPULAR CULTURE!)

Write a blog post on your own blog that briefly documents the above: the 3 general themes you chose of our common interests, and for each: one concrete empirical realization that relates to the theme (news/commentary), one visualization (image/video), and one academic inspiration (text – short description what you learned and what you can probably use in your research work). If you are interested in advocacy and campaigning (Nicole, Jehan?), you can naturally also use academic/professional PR literature.

Then, in a couple of sentences, reflect on how these three modes of knowing –(1) empirical, current issues; (2) symbolic, visual; (3) academic – conceptual —  inspired you and perhaps took you closer to your research focus and specific research questions.

So, the themes once more:

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 8.19.34 AM.png

NOTE: If you think I have missed a common theme, feel free to include that one in your chosen 3 themes!

This assignment is due 6/13 midnight in your own blog. Then check out and comment – help everyone else by Thu 6/15.

3. Optional Google Hangouts to Discuss Your Research

This is entirely optional! But if you want to brainstorm about your research work, or ask any other questions, I’ll be on Google Hangout:

Thursday 6/8  8-9pm

Friday 6/9 6-7pm

I will email you the link 10 min. before. You can join at any point during those times.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 12.37.28 PM

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