Stepping onto the icePosted: September 21, 2013
After reading the problem facing several of my blogging colleagues- namely that there is an overwhelming multitude of research questions- I find I have quite the opposite problem. Having spent the majority of the last year working on my undergraduate thesis, I am irreconcilably attached to my thesis question. It has almost become a safe place for me wherein I know the dimensions of my research and I know its limitations. Having studied the Feminist, Communist Memoirs of the Spanish Civil War, however, I understand how divorced my subject is from Library Science and is all but irrelevant in day-to-day life. Where Professor Gayley sees research questions everywhere, I see opportunities to expand my thesis everywhere. The social reverberations of my subject are everywhere.
Thus, my dilemma is this: how can I commit myself to another research project when I feel that I have not yet researched my question to its full potential. Can I devote myself as passionately to a subject that may not elicit the same zeal? The prospect of finding a new research project incapacitates me. I do not want to be what Luker (2008) calls a “run-of-the-mill sociologists” (pg. 8), however much I fear change. So I need to step out onto the ice and see if I sink or swim. I need to salsa dance.
If Kristin Luker is correct, then even if my research fails (or rather, fails to produce substantive results), then I have still learned a little more about myself and a little more about the social world around me.
This is my first step onto the ice.
Luker, K. (2008). Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an age of info-glut. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.